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Last updated 12/2/07


Net Art 201 — Advanced Studies

21 Distinctive Properties of Net.artRoss, David. (1999). 21 Distinctive Qualities of Net.art. (Lecture transcript). San Jose State University, March 2, 1999.

Ross’ lecture was in fact titled Art in the age of the Digital prior to its delivery, then retitled Net.art in the age of Digital Reproduction by Ross in the course of the lecture, but it is most commonly referred to by the unofficial title 21 Disctinctive Qualities of Net.art. (Confusingly, only 20 are listed, but this is because number 7 has two parts.) The lecture as transcribed online has a friendly flow (and some candid vocabulary choices), though it assumes the audience has a certain amount of preexisting knowledge of artistic developments in the 20th century. 


From Technological to Virtual ArtPopper, Frank. (2007). From technological to virtual art. (Book). Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press.

Taking a rather different approach than most authors, Popper situates net art as the latest manifestation of “virtual art”, which, he argues, has existed since the early 20th century. His book is a worthwhile resource for art historians, chroniclers of the promulgation of mass media since the Industrial Revolution, and students of sociology and philosophy, though its coverage of net art in the 21st century is rather brief. The latter shortcoming is alleviated to a degree by the inclusion of a 22-page appendix listing net artists and the URLs of their works, current to 2007.


A Story of Net ArtBookchin, Natalie. A story of net art (open source). (Website).

This is an outstanding chronological history of net.art from 1994 to 1999. Hundreds of links to net.art sites themselves as well as critical writings about the movement are given. The complete lack of context, however, makes this resources suitable only for the advanced student.


Ars Electronica 1979-2004Leopoldseder, Hannes, Christine Schöpf, and Gerfried Stocker, eds. (2004). Ars Electronica, 1979-2004 : the network for art, technology and society : the first 25 years. (Book). Ostfildern-Ruit [Deutschland/Germany] : Hatje Cantz.

Ars Electronica’s annual journals (bound like books, and usually shelved as such) showcase the winners and runners-up of the annual Prix Ars Electronica competition, and in recent years the journals have included CDs and DVDs of the works described in the text.  This particular book summarizes the foundation’s first 25 years.  See the Journals and Web Resources sections for more information about Ars Electronica.


Art of the Digital AgeWands, Bruce. (2006). Art of the Digital Age. (Book). London : Thames & Hudson.

I was unable to review this book, but it is favorably cited alongside At The Edge of Art, Internet Art, and From Technological to Virtual Art by some sources. In her Amazon.com review, Diane C. Donovan of California Bookwatch says: “Introduced by a history of the genre and discussion of how it differs from conventional art, chapters provide key works by established and emerging digital artists and pairs discussions […] with critical insights on the featured artists. Color photos abound in this fine comprehensive survey, a recommended pick for any art library.”