Installation Art at the End of Geography


Session Title:

  • Digital Aesthetics

Presentation Title:

  • Installation Art at the End of Geography



  • In the early exhibitions of colour-field painting, the placement of works on the gallery wall was treated as being integral to the presentation. Photographic documentation began to take on a new significance in the light of the transience of the emerging ‘installation art’. Indeed, with the impermanent and/or inaccessible qualities of ‘site specific’ art, photographic documentation has become the surrogate medium of postmodern art. Today, the Internet enables photographic representation along with sound and text to be ‘piped’ into our homes, as easily as water, electricity or gas. By virtue of Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) all the representations contained on the multitude of servers on the Internet exist in virtual proximity and geographical distance appears to have been eliminated. This paper proposes that as artists ‘build’ sites on .the World Wide Web, they are constructing a revolutionary ontology for art — one in which the distinction of ‘site’ and ‘non-site’ will no longer be meaningful. Indeed, they are reconstituting installation art at ‘the end of geography’. This paper also presents La Folie de la Peinture, an on-line ‘installation’ at the website.