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I Was Raised on the Internet

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The internet has changed our world and how we experience it. This video highlights some of the artists featured in "I Was Raised on the Internet," who are navigating these new spaces between the virtual world and reality.

The internet has changed our world. Our everyday lives will never be the same. Since its start, artists have been reacting to and engaging the internet as a medium for art making.

The way we represent ourselves has been transformed by the creation of social platforms.

The artist Amalia Ulman overhauled her Instagram and Facebook profiles with photographs of her carefully posed, “perfect” life: a beautiful breakfast, armfuls of shopping bags, plastic surgery. After four months, Ulman revealed this new identity to be a performance. She demonstrated that social media is a stage to fabricate any identity.

How do you present yourself online? How are you looked at?

Artists working today are interested in the blurring of the real and the virtual.

The Nail Art Museum, created by Jeremy Bailey, uses augmented reality software to imagine the future of the museum. As he waves his hand, pedestals appear to support a series of art objects by artists such as Ai Weiwei and Jeff Koons. Bailey posits that the future of the museum may be one that we carry on our own fingertips, responsive to our own needs, interests, and desires.

How are artists thinking about physical objects and their digital representations? Are you looking at an art object that was created by hand? Or are you looking at something that was made on a computer?

The World Wide Web was invented with the utopian promise that information would be free for everyone. Today, mobile devices allow us to carry the internet with us everywhere, but through our devices we can be surveilled by governments and corporations.

Autonomy Cube is an artwork devised by Trevor Paglen. It creates an untraceable network that scrambles your location. Using it, you are free to surf the internet, free from surveillance of this museum or of any government entity.

Is the cube the artwork? Or is the network the art? Or is it you, surfing the web, making your own decisions, free from the binds of surveillance–are you the art?

The internet has changed how we play games. Online gaming today is a collective interactive experience.

In Jon Rafman's video, Kool-Aid Man in Second Life, he takes us on an adventure through the virtual world of Second Life. Rafman uses the Kool-Aid Man mascot to take us on a guided tour. As he leads us through virtual environments, we visit dance clubs, see people making love and changing into animal-like beings. In this world, you can be whatever you want to be.

How do artists use games and play to comment on our world? How do you play?

The World Wide Web has become commercialized. Corporations regulate our access to websites. Our own online behaviors are mined by businesses to sell us products. The internet is now a place where global brands expand their reach into our collective consciousness.

Can we imagine a new way to coexist? How does the internet buy and sell us? How can artists expose the corporatization of our culture?

The artworks in this exhibition explore our collective present and our potential futures. The point of this exhibition is to encourage you to not only ask your own questions, but to pose your own conclusions. To provoke you to create your own imaginings of the future that you want.

I was raised on the internet. Were you?