internet art I

MAAD 23631 (Autumn 2022)

The Web represents a grand emotional, sensory, and intellectual adventure for anyone willing to explore it actively. [...] For artists, ignoring the imperative to grasp the cultural implications of the Internet means risking irrelevance. [...] As human discourse adapts to its new home, everything we do and think as human beings will be and is being shaped by new values. [...] If it’s ever fair to say that anything has “changed everything,” it’s fair to say so about the Internet.

Virginia Heffernan

Course Description

We generally accept that computers and the Internet evolved outside of fine art contexts, in fields like science and mathematics. That said, the history of these technologies is a history of creative individuals collaboratively shaping one of the most important narratives of our time, "the Internet is the great masterpiece of human civilization" (Heffernan). In this studio course, we'll learn what the Internet is, how it works, how it got here and how to engage with it as an artistic medium. This means we'll be learning how to craft it from code, specifically HTML (hypertext markup language) and CSS (cascading style sheets), but also studying its aesthetics, conventions and practices. We'll be drawing inspiration from various Internet art movements, from the scene of the 1990s, to the digital folk art of GeoCities at the turn of the century, to the Web design and CSS art scenes of today. The goal of this course will be to cultivate our own piece of Internet art, informed by the research, discussions, exercises and experiments we'll make along the way.

syllabus class canvas

From A Tribute to Heather by Evan Roth

Learning Goals


Crerar Library 134
Tues, 9:30 - 12:20pm
Nick Briz

mtaa - simple net art diagram