Deleting Net Art Works.


ExpunctionDeleting Net Art Works

Memory is there to deceive.

Between 11 May and 16 June 2011, Igor Štromajer, one of the pioneers of net art in Slovenia and worldwide, carried out a ritual expunction of his classic net projects, which he created between 1996 and 2007. Every day during that period, he deleted one net art project; he removed it permanently from his server, so that the projects are now no longer available on the web server of Intima Virtual Base. He completely deleted 37 net art projects, totalling 3288 files or 101 MB.

The project Expunction raises questions about temporality, duration and availability of net art projects, which change over time and slowly, but persistently lose their utility and, accordingly, their content. Štromajer’s principal guide in this project was the idea that one who creates, programs and constructs art can also deprogram, deconstruct, delete it. This is not an aggressive or destructive act, but rather an instance of taking into account natural rhythm: birth, life, death, which repeat themselves cyclically and oscillate in natural amplitudes. Štromajer has deleted history, including his own personal, intimate history, for he believes that memory serves to deceive, to betray us, to misrepresent rather than paint and describe the past. A deceitful memory can be erased without qualms, for it does not offer an authentic image of the past of which it speaks, but always only a deceptive, a fraudulent, fabricated, and distorted image. Hence, once they are published, the deleted art works or their remaining fragments – which can no longer be deleted due to the dispersal and the fragmentation of the world wide web – tell us much more about their originals (the original art works) than the originals themselves.

Number of deleted net art works: 37
Number of deleted files: 3.288
Amount of deleted files: 101.72 MB

– Deletion frequency: one (1) net art work per day
– Started: 11 May 2011
– Duration: 37 days (last project deleted on 16 June 2011)
– Subject: net art works by Igor Štromajer, created from 2007 to 1996, were being deleted, erased from the original server
– Deletion order: reverse (latest projects first, older last)

[Flickr] 451 Expunction DEL NET ART Screenshots

The Potential of Erasing (Liberating Ireversible Deletions: Art, Plasticity And Memory); Text by Pia Brezavšček; Selected excerpts about Expunction | The complete text can be found in: MASKA Performing Arts Journal, Vol. XXVII, No. 149–150 (autumn/Oct 2012)
[ Debating | Archiving ]

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