Research: Simple Net Art Diagram

by Beauchamp Art

MTAA – Simple Net Art Diagram

(1997) Protocol: How Control Exists after Decentralization. thisisamagazine issue 13. TIME!


The Simple Net Art Diagram functions a highly effective minimal representation of the pivotal aspect of Net Art because it occurs through communication (in Marshal McLuhan’s words “the medium is the message”). Its distinction from other new media platforms as media for art; is that it is not the material being sent or receive from one system to another, it is not the final visual outcome, but the communication that is key to identifying Net Art in comparison to similar digital or analogue works.

Moreover, the Diagram not only clearly illustrates a concept but also embodies it; it is a piece of Net Art about Net Art; a piece made in the media it is commenting on, which could arguable be called a form of late Structuralism. This is because the original image was made free to download and manipulate under a Creative Commons License, so it becomes a potentially participatory piece, open source art, given any Internet use the liberty to take charge of the image, to create an infinite number of copies with an innumerable about of manipulations. Whilst still remaining the creative product of the original artists, rather than just being an open well for appropriations.


MTAA are M.River & T.Whid Art Associates. I came across this piece in Frieze Magazine, issue 159, in an article on ‘Post-Internet Art’; Beginnings + Ends.