Nam June Paik is often called the pioneer of video art, and his sculptural film installations took the stage in the early 60s. Since then, video art has become a matter of course, both in museums and in galleries. Today, instead, we speak of Internet art. This phenomenon has been around for about 15 years, and remains fairly unfamiliar to most people. Petra Cortight (b. 1986) is one of the first artists to win a large audience with computer-generated art over these last few years. And perhaps this artistic field needs an artist like her to achieve a true breakthrough into the mainstream; somebody who is a member of the very first generation of Internet users, and who can barely remember the time before it. Not to mention, born and raised in the blessed land of high tech: California! Petra Cortight generates her images by hovering around on the Internet in search of pictures, gifs, games, pornography, and lots of other stuff, and then blending and sampling her findings in her own unique way. Here’s how she describes it herself:
“It’s about bringing digital objects into physical space. On-screen, things are so different, because they are in that small format. But when you enlarge it, everything changes. That kind of transformation interests me. Digital work is flexible, it can be morphed in so many ways. It could be a print, or a video.”
Petra Cortight’s working methods, just like those of the modernists over a century ago, have caused some headaches and strong reactions. Just like when the art world asked itself if Duchamp’s’ Fountain, from 1917, could really be considered art, the sceptics of our time are once again scratching their heads in the face of a new, cannibalistic and binary technology that’s claiming auteurhood. We really ought to know better by know.
CFHILL is proud to be presenting an important triptych by this artist. And while Celebrity addresses/fifi firing tour squad may be composed of a myriad of algorithms and manipulations, it’s really no less beautiful than Monet’s water lilies.