INTERVIEW | Miltos Manetas: The Internet Pavilion | CHRISTINA GRAMMATIKOPOULOU

“Internet will transform itself onto something closer to what we call Nature”

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CLICK to enter the Internet Pavilion

The entrance to the Venice Biennale is at your fingertips: a few strokes onto the keyboard can transfer you to the “Biggest Pavilion” of the Venice Biennale, the Internet Pavilion. Place, time, space, action have been transcribed into codes, electrons, bytes and have been transferred from Venice to the entire world -onto the computer screens and onto the electromagnetic waves that penetrate the atmosphere and cross space and our body. “Internet is everywhere, it is wherever you are ready to receive it”.

In the physical space of SALE dock on Dorsoduro and the digital spaces padiglioneinternet.com and biennale.net, artists, internet activists -pirates, according to some people- and the public -Biennale visitors or Stupid Forum users- leave their fingerprint. The ideas expressed and the artworks hosted map a new universe, without borders or limits in communication and sharing of “goods” -information.

Miltos Manetas, organizer and instigator of the Padiglione Internet talked to InterARTive about the Pavilion, Internet and Art.

[Arche]

Christina Grammatikopoulou: How did you conceive the Internet Pavilion? What’s the content of the Internet Pavilion today and to what extent does the realized project reflect the original idea?

Miltos Manetas: The InternetPavilion is one of the 3 really original ideas that occur -or I should say “happened”?- to me during 15 years of work. As its the case with the other 2 ideas, Neen and the ElectronicOrphanage, what came out of it is larger of what I project it to be and because of that, also impossible to visualize. (Like a giant body whose limits you confuse with the horizon).
Today, (Oct 22, 09) the content of the InternetPavilion is what you see and hear at DesertoInternet.com.
On Nov 22, the Pavilion will be left empty and later, at the next Venice Biennial, it will host another artwork again.
Visitors of the InternetPavilion are also welcome to check the content of Biennale.net where they can found discourse (which is constantly updated) and inspiration (from collateral online exhibitions such as http://newwaveshow.com)

[Topos]

C.G.: You often talk about the Internet as a country, a “real” space. The acceptance of your project by the Biennale direction seems to comply with this idea. So, how can you describe this country in a few words?

M.M.: I can’t and I am not interested to describe it because I am not a writer. I am interested instead – because I am a visual artist-to make you feel that it exists, to make you see what I see (although, as always when it comes to “visual” arts, I don’t see it with my eyes but “through” the eyes).

[Choros]

C.G.: The Internet Pavilion is the only Biennale Pavilion that can be accessed from anywhere in the world, by any visitor with an Internet connection. Do you believe that such an approach could affect the essence of “biennale” or the meaning of “art exhibition” in the future?

M.M.: It will definitely affect both but that wasn’t really my intention when I decided to build an InternetPavilion. My intention was and still is, to affect the essence of the Internet.

[Chronos]

C.G.: You have decided to give to the Biennale Internet Pavilion a closing date (November 22nd). What’s the objective of setting a time limit in a space like the Internet, which is theoretically limitless?

M.M.: No space has limits, not at least that kind of space we are talking about ( a Social Space). Internet is now open for business, tomorrow is closed “per allestimento” as they would say in Italian, the day after is open again like the Venice Biennial Pavilions.

[Praxis]

C.G.: How did you chose the people who participate in the Internet Pavilion and the projects it hosts? What is the common link between the Pirate Bay, Internet artists and interacting visitors?

M.M.: There is no common link, that’s exactly what legitimates the InternetPavilion as “Internet”.

[Meta++]

C.G.: After the end of the Internet Pavilion: What will be left of it? What future do you see for internet art and virtual exhibitions?

M.M.: Can’t talk about this yet because it’s not over. I still believe it possible that -because of the work I did with the InternetPavilion- Internet will radically change, it will transform itself onto something closer to what we call Nature. There is a month left, it can be done, I believe in Miracles. (more about this here:

Websites:

ELECTRONICORPHANAGE: http://www.electronicorphanage.com/

MILTOS MANETAS: http://www.manetas.com/

NEEN: http://www.neen.org/

VENICE BIENNALE INTERNET PAVILION: http://www.biennale.net/ and http://www.padiglioneinternet.com/