The Victorians probably could not have articulated the future invention Scotch tape. Now we can’t live without it.
Before the Internet, we happily searched for information in libraries. Now we can hardly make it through a conversation without Googling some reference on our phones.
And yet, it would be tough to explain the World Wide Web to our former selves. A great big card catalog in the sky? Personal TV where you pull in your own programming?
My Labrador retriever’s nose, pressed to the ground and zig-zagging through the neighborhood, is a Google of sorts. Music writer Dave Tompkins said it well when he referred to the vinyl record as the original search engine.
Just in time: David Colagiovanni’s humorous and bright show, “ThankYouForVisitingTheInter.net,” on view at Lump in Raleigh through April 30, 2011.
Sure, the Internet is fair game. Wired magazine declared the Web dead in August. But David is the first artist I’ve known to poke fun at the serious side of the web.
For example, what about those ominous messages that show up in our email inbasket warning us that a domain name we purchased is about to expire?
David’s computer is being pelted with increasingly shrill warning messages as one of his domain names expires at the end of this month.
In the center of Lump gallery, three carved stone grave markers are on view, each depicting one of David’s domain names that will one day be no more. Sobering: I think I will be in my sixties when the last one finally dies.
David must have been giggling when he set up a website called “This domain name has been seized,” appropriating the federal government’s official badge logos and dire verbage associated with “ICE – Homeland Security Investigations.” When ICE tracks David’s site down and seizes it for copyright infringement, the agents will no doubt replace David’s homepage image with an identical image. Hilarious!
When you visit this exhibition, bring your smart phone. You’ll need it to see a picture of yourself through a hole in the wall of the gallery, to get zen with the “invisible” work on the far wall and to check out the cyberspace version of the artist’s fabric sculpture, “thisisnota.tv.” We all know the interwebs are here to stay. David helps us to remember to keep a sense of humor about it — and ask more questions. As Lump owner Bill Thelen put it, David’s show prods us to think about that nebulous area between our Mac, a domain name and cyberspace.
David Colagiovanni is an artist working in Carrboro. He is the artist in residence at Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill. He co-designed the website “The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl” and also this blog for the Nasher Museum. He has also created numerous mini documentary videos about artists associated with the Nasher Museum, most recently about New York artist Xaviera Simmons.
IMAGE: A visitor’s eye, as seen through a hole in the wall at Lump gallery, during David Colagiovanni’s exhibition, “ThankYouForVisitingTheInter.net.”