[ISEA2022] Institutional Presentation: Tereza Havlíková — Research-based Online Archive and the Canonization of Net Art

Institutional Presentation Statement

Second Summit on New Media Art Archiving
June 11, MACBA – Convent dels Àngels. Lightning Talk

Keywords: research-based archives, online archives, alternative archive structure, collective memory, local histories

This lightning talk presents the online research-based archive by Zentrum für Netzkunst which connects net art with a history of a GDR building in Berlin and cybernetics. Next to big institutional archives on net art, such a temporal research-based archive plays a different but nevertheless important role in the canonization of net art.

During the exhibition and research project “Calculating Control: (Net)art and Cybernetics” the Zentrum für Netzkunst had designed and built a small archive on the website of the project. Working from the site-specific history of Haus der Statistik (a building that operated as the Central Administrative Headquarters for Statistics in the German Democratic Republic), Calculating Control explored the impact of cybernetics on artistic and social practices, networks, and technology. The online archive, which is still accessible and updatable, includes different resources and references related to the topics of cybernetics, GDR, as well as artworks and specifically net art. By “misusing” the open-source software for bibliographies “Zotero” the “Calculating Control” archive offers a structure that allows making new links between net art and other historical artifacts and references.

Even though it might seem that such an archive doesn’t fulfill its function as an agency for a long-term preservation of net art, it is not an “empty” archive. Rather than being focused on a singular medium or an art period, this research-based archive introduces one possible narrative, connecting net art to local history and supporting its circulation in the collective online memory. The lightning talk looks at the role of the research-based archive in the context of canonization of net art on the internet. http://netzkunst.berlin

  • Tereza Havlíková (born in Prague, Czech Republic) is an art historian and curator living in Berlin. Her research focuses on net art and digital art in a broader context of internet history and culture as well as online curatorial practice. She is a founding member of Zentrum für Netzkunst and a pioneer participant in the urban model project Haus der Statistik in Berlin. Amsterdam, NL.