The Potential of the World Wide Web as an Artistic Medium

by Govind Shanadi

Much has been written about the potential of the internet as a source of information, place for transaction, and in general as a democratizing innovation. Others have found cyberspace to be an outlet for their artistic impulses. This latter group can be broken into two subgroups: 1)those that have taken what already exists in the form of the written word, music, visual art, etc. and transferred it onto the World Wide Web and 2)those who see the Web as a completely new mdium with endless potential for artistic expression. The difference between these two groups is enormous.

The first group designs their work for the traditional medium, whether it be paper, audio/visual film, or canvas, and then, seeing an opportunity to expand their audience, they post their work as is onto the Web. It is absurd to suggest one can have the same experience encountering a work on the Web that was originally created for another medium. For the simple reason a particular art form developed in the course of history to be experienced in a certain way, our senses will rebel against this novel medium upsurping its forerunners. Who can argue that an Impressionist painting in a gallery is not far superior to the same in the form of pixels?

Many proponents of the internet would argue it is ideal for the written word. After all, what is the differnce between "black and white" whether it appears on pulp or on a screen? Indeed, many aspiring writers and poets, having been rejected by conventional publications, use the Web to display their amateur writing. However, there are those like Stanley W. Lindberg, editor of the The Georgia Review, who does not believe the Web is conducive to the appreication of literature. Go to editorial policy.

What is Web Art?

Possible Conventions and Techniques


This page created by Govind Shanadi.