Artist Talk: Olia Lialina & Dragan Espenschied
Join the pioneering net artists Olia Lialina and Dragan Espenschied for a discussion about web culture in the 1990s, the digital vernacular and performative archiving.
They will be discussing their project One Terabyte of Kilobyte Age, currently showing on The Wall, in which they present “animated screenshots” - high fidelity, pixel perfect video captures of more than 8000 Geocities home pages.
Geocities.com was originally founded by “Beverly Hills Internet” in July 1995. Soon it became one of the most popular and densely inhabited places of the World Wide Web and stayed that way through the second part of 1990s. In January 1999, on the peak of Dot.com mania, it was bought by Yahoo!. However, the new millennium proved Geocities to be a bad investment. Having a page on there became a synonym for dilettantism and bad taste. Meanwhile, the emergence of 'social platforms' such as Flickr, MySpace, Facebook and YouTube colonised the web with automated, easy to use templates which changed the visual culture of the Web.
Ten years later, in April 2009, Yahoo! announced that they were going to shut down Geocities. On the 26th of October 2009 Geocities seized to exist. In between the announcement and the official date of death the Archive Team managed to rescue almost a terabyte of Geocities pages.
Moscow-born artist Olia Lialina has, for the past decade, produced many influential works of network-based art: My Boyfriend Came Back from the War (1996), Agatha Appears (1997), First Real Net Art Gallery (1998), and Last Real Net Art Museum (2000). Currently she is a professor at Merz Akademie in Germany. Lialina writes on digital culture, net art and web vernacular. Dragan Espenschied was born in Germany. His music and online art has received international acclaim. He co-founded the home computer band Bodenständig 2000 that toured and released records throughout Europe and the USA. He has also won the Webby Awards People's Voice NET ART (2004), and the ZKM International Media Art Award (2001).