In the most significant shift in art production since video, the Internet's complex language and systems of organizing information has spawned distinctly artistic creations, interventions, and operations online. A symbiosis is emerging between "aesthetic" procedures and online and offline systems and institutions in the fields of business, education, and communication. This presents the opportunities for new strategies to shape how the Internet and it's multiple networks and languages can be used artistically. Perhaps the biggest constraint on the emergence of an Internet aesthetic and an online culture in general comes not only from technical protocols, limits, rules, or conventions, but from social and organizational protocol expectations from the mainstream art world and corporate marketplace.
Protocol Prone explores of how Net artists, along with curators and institutions, working within the set of conditions particular to "Net art" negotiate "the aesthetic" online. The activist organization ®ark, programmer and former painter Mark Napier, and M. River & T. Whid Art Associates (MTAA) present scenarios utilizing the Internet's structural and organizational grammar in unexpected ways to confound artistic, commercial, institutional, and ultimately, curatorial imperatives.
The artists and I entered into a self-reflexive exchange for the creation new projects or furthering of artistic practice and engagement in artistic production against the backdrop of an institutional position. The goal of this project is not merely to produce an "art object," but to reveal the production, distribution, and collaboration as specific to an online practice. If, in the process, curatorial or artistic authority and control over eventual outcomes are yielded, this reflects the necessary conditions of production and distribution online that allow for these specific projects to come about in the first place.