[ISEA2011] Paper: Elena Giulia Rossi – Internet and the Work of Art: New Curatorial Issues


With a theoretical, as well as a practical approach, this paper focuses on curatorial issues raised when dealing with artworks that employ the web as a territory for creation and as a means of artistic production, mostly when within the institutional walls. The goal is twofold. On the one hand, it means to analyze the number of shifts that unconventional time-based art has been undertaking by being assimilated into the wider contemporary art context, sometimes captured within the barriers of severe categorizations. On the other hand, it strives to finding new ways to encouraging and to promoting experimentation with mediums, such as the Internet, as well as discussing all that this implies in its delivery to the audience.

The presentation will shape from practical examples of curatorial practice, starting from NETinSPACE, the project I am currently curating at MAXXI — the newly born National Museum of XXIst Century Arts in Rome. NETinSPACE has been evolving from the previous NetSpace since 2005 which, in the span of three years (2005-2008), invited visitors to interact with net.?art, to deepen its historical and artistic roots. The new edition has moved outside the computer screen to undertake a journey at the confines of two worlds, the virtual and the physical, exploring their mutual interaction, while creating a new territory where diverse languages interweave and merge into one.

Emerging and established artists, working on the net but also in other fields, are invited to participate in the virtual space of the Internet and in the physical space of the museum, “infiltrating” the passageways which neighbour the exposition spaces. Milltos Manetas, Katja Loher, Bianco Valente, Stephen Vitiello are among them. The result intends to be an experimental platform that is neither outside nor inside the museum, and whose interdisciplinary nature constantly increases, together with the cross contamination between the virtual and the physical dimension.

On the one hand, the discussion will touch theoretical issues, questioning how nowadays the Internet crosses artistic production, and confronting different ethical approaches, mostly when acting within the institution’s walls. On the other hand, practical experience of curating will be put on the table to raise conversation around new possible paths of curatorial practise, inside the museum’s walls and beyond.

  • Dr. Elena Giulia Rossi lives and works in Rome, Italy, where she has been collaborating with MAXXI  – the Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI secolo (National Museum of the 21st Century Arts) since 2002. She holds a degree in History of Art from the University of Roma La Sapienza and an MA in Arts Administration from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago (2002). She has collaborated with different galleries and institutions in Italy and abroad, such as P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (New York, 2001); The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago (2002); the Joan Flash Artists’ Book Collection at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago (2002); and Studio Stefania Miscetti (Rome 2003-2004). She has been invited to give lectures and presentations at seminars, conferences and symposia in Italy and abroad. She writes regularly for catalogues and magazines. She has collaborated for the online version of the newspaper “L’Unita” (focused on net art, 2005 – 2008), and she currently contributes to the magazine cura.artmagazineAmong her curated projects are: NETinSPACE (MAXXI, Rome, 2010 – 2011); The Quadrilateral Biennial (curator for the Italian participation, Rijeka, Croazia 2010); “NetSpace” (series of cicles – MAXXI, Rome 2005-2008); “Vivono e lavorano a Roma, Nordine Sajot” (Studio Stefania Miscetti, Rome, 2008); “Food in Bytes”, Time in Jazz Festival (Berchidda, Sardinia, 2006). She is the author of Archeonet (Lalli: Siena, 2003), one of the first Italian publications on net/web art, and the editor of Eduardo Kac: Move 36 (Filigranes Éditions: Paris, 2005). 

Full text (PDF) p. 2059-2064