novel net art thesis
June 27th, 2022

listen while reading:

Some of the most beautiful and haunting images ever seen exist in certain corners of the internet. But what exactly is the source? Why do these images speak to our heart and stick in our mind when others don’t?

Novel net art has certain characteristics that make it so alluring. Good example of this is everything-at-once drained-out internet-as-a-dream edits that have seen boost in popularity over last 2 years.¹ Its what happens to the liminal space when the liminal space no longer attempts to tether itself to reality.²

Perception: something we do subconsciously, all the time, to everything we look at, no exceptions. To understand why novel net art is unique we must look at what exactly the process of perception is.

When we look at something we are used to breaking it down into parts. When we look at a bed we see “pillow” “sheets” “trusty pistol within arms reach” . But before that, there is a moment, a moment before perception when everything is one, a moment of pre-perception Unity before the Scalpel of Reason steps in and cuts and categorizes and identifies everything into neat little digestible elements. God lives in that moment of pre-perception (maybe other more malevolent entities do, too). In that moment everything is unified, and all rational cognition is downstream from that moment

pre-perception unity/totality broken down into hierarchy of individuated elements
pre-perception unity/totality broken down into hierarchy of individuated elements

Back to avant net art. this art is aesthetically jarring, the distortion and overlapping elements diffuses citation and disorients the viewer. This brief moment of disorientation allows the art to hijack that crucial moment of pre-perception and extend it out so we can swim in it a bit. We look at the art piece and try to go about the usual process of perception but – if the artist is skilled enough – the process is interrupted and we exist in the pre-perception moment for much longer than usual.³

The best art is that which utilizes aesthetics to convey a Truth - and novel net art is no different. This art strikes a chord because we are finally being honest about what the internet really is. Its the abyss, the void , its Heaven, its dreamscape, its what you see when you close your eyes. You don’t see your phone in your dreams because you’re looking through the window, not at it.  We’re finally being honest. When you log on, your psyche enters the realm of the Qliphoth, wherein you are at the mercy of its residents.were finally being honest. art proves it. We’re finally being honest.

One day we wont need computers to log on

  1. these examples incorporate dreamcore angelcore webcore etc, surge/hexd style album art, also hypergeometric elements, snargecore etc. not prudent to derail thought process over which examples may or may not belong to a specific (in)correctly labeled subgenre. to my knowledge a lot of this art doesnt even have widely agreed upon labels yet so im not stressing it. The purpose of this article is to analyze a phenomenon between certain pieces of digital art and the viewer during the process of viewing, which occurs across a spectrum of underground digital art subgenres. While a comprehensive history of how these subgenres came to be and how each subculture informed each other would be fascinating and is sorely needed, it is outside the scope of this article. For the purposes of exploring this phenomenon, the umbrella term “novel net art” will suffice.
  2. it could be argued that instead of a relatively straightforward photo of a liminal space, the images themselves function as a liminal space within the digital real estate of ur screen. but i could be reaching.
  3. this phenomenon can happen with the written word too, see angelicism01
  4. for further examples see: trendcluess melanarc0tic 3starcity3 7night7life7 cokeinportland ssnarge 5oul3r 1eyenorth gr0wlnet cyborgypo holochien rain.mykes bl0tter_ puffypuffypuffypuffypuffypuffy cyberwex archangelexotica xtc.ngl organs14 1str4in 1kobai _n0thingh3re nehellenian_matrix_scribblez hxllthings illweb and many many more, but those 2 dozen accounts are a good start
  5. before i polished this up and published it, this thesis existed as a rough draft in my notes for awhile. during that time i turned it from a thesis to a manifesto by creating edits under the handle 1abovee on twitter. check it out if u like :)
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