The Internet as Liberating Space for the Visual Arts: Political Hopes and Sociological Realities

  • Mia Rosa Koss HartmannEmail author


This chapter examines how the Internet and visual art may co-produce particular liberating spaces. Both arenas are attributed great political hopes in their capacities to bring unjust hegemonies to the fore, and to mobilize critical reflexivity and dialogue. However, sociological observations of the deep entanglement of art with hegemonies of convention raise the question of how free the freeing forces of the synergy between visual art and the Internet are. Interviews with visual artists from the Danish net art group Artnode explore their resilient hopefulness for the synergy between visual art and the Internet, and how realities have consolidated in both disappointments and accomplishments over three decades of artistic experimentation. From these experiences, the art-Internet synergy is exemplified in terms of its transformative and antagonist liberating capacities. As a transformative space, the Internet potentially offers an innovative space for experimentation, but because it is mobilized as an oppositional space parallel to the established art world, it becomes insulated and the price is lack of recognition. Antagonist capacities of the art-Internet synergy refer to socially engaging criticism. The Internet may enable reflexivity, but given challenges, but this must be specifically designed for and cultivated.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MIT Sloan School of ManagementCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Copenhagen Business SchoolFrederiksbergDenmark

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