The Net Art Historian : A Very Crafted Manifesto

Next week l’ll be leaving the so-called « ten square miles surrounded by reality » for a camping/roadtrip on the West Coast (until there, I’ll be hunting the Spiral jetty in the middle of nowhere), then crossing Canada and heading back to Montreal.

HEADing to Montreal, but HEARTin Boulder.

So this is my final project for the intership that I did here with an amazing artist, a refined theoretician and one of the greatest teacher I ever had : Mark Amerika. I would like to thank him publicly on this blog for being so generous and encouraging as well as for openning up all my perspectives and for being such a support for my creativity : Creativity only grows with confidence. I would also like to thank all the students that were both in the Remix class and the Digital History class : I learned so much from you guys, all of you, you are amazing! It’s been such a pleasure to read your blogs. Special thanks to Tom who first showed me how to do something decent with my computer 😉


The project is written in the form of a manifesto, but with a lot of images, videos and sounds. I chose the polemical form of the manifesto as it is, for me, a great bridge in between art theory and art practice. My goal was to bring them even closer by using as less text as I could. Ideas that go through the manifesto are also related to the Digital Humanities Manifesto 2.0 from Stanford Humanities Lab although I’ve tried to focus more specifically on the history of art. I thought that their manifesto was amazing, but that the form wasn’t reflecting the content. As Amerika always tells his students :  » (…) do what you mean and mean what you do », I’ve tried to do what I mean by creating this « very crafted » manifesto. I did everything : From music to video, from hacking websites to remixing artworks!

How can we make art history and theory through images, sounds, texts and videos? What does it mean to be an art historian in the digital era? How craft, which has always been important for me, influences my theoretical/historical practice? How does the historian craft the Web and offer the « user », as he is no longer a reader, to craft it? What would be the basic principles for a Net art historian? The many references to history of art are important to the understanding of what I’m trying to do here, although the spectator can experience the whole thing without being aware of these references.

The project is also a part of my ongoing Ph.D. thesis about the effect of presence and in which I’m reflecting about creative theory making in history of art.


The manifesto was shown as an installation for the event Invasion at the VAC (Visual Art Complex), CU, Boulder. I’ve tried to make bridges in between the « meat space » and the virtual one. My goal was to find a way that the spectator feels both welcomed and threatened to sit and experience the manifesto.

Put on your headphones and enjoy!

PS : For some reasons (that I ignore because I’m such a beginner in all this), the project works better with Apple’s Safari web navigator.

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2 commentaires sur “The Net Art Historian : A Very Crafted Manifesto

  1. Thank you Aaron! I so appreciated your presence in class and in the research group. Yes, let's keep in touch!! You are welcome to come to Montreal anytime! Until then, we could play the guitar together via skype 😉

    J'aime

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