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Net Art and Flying Indirectly

I don’t know much about the history of internet art, but supposedly it started popping up in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, probably before I was born and before my parents really knew what to do with the monitor that sat in “the piano room” which then became “the computer room” and is now again void of The Computer, since we all got laptops. Recently I was told we are actually in the postinternet era, a name I don’t understand completely, but according to Wikipedia means “art that is about the internet's effects on aesthetics, culture and society.”

Whether it’s internet or postinternet, I’ve been really into art found online lately, and I recently stumbled upon this piece by the artist Joe Hamilton, called indirect.flights. To me, it’s a perfect piece of online art: it’s is made to be online and to be accessed on the go. The artist even said in an interview with the online gallery Rhizome that making it usable for a mobile device was “super important.” It appeals to my fidgety fingers which love to swipe left and right and diagonally across the screen. The sound is familiar, yet it’s indescribable and hard to place--except for a low-pitched ping which I’m pretty sure is the sound of the seatbelt sign turning on in an airplane.

When I found indirect.flights, I forwarded the link to my sister in an email. The subject line was “wanna see something trippy (headphones on).” The body of the email: “procrastination at its finest,” with the page attached. I don’t think the artist expected his artwork to be reduced to “something trippy” (whatever that means) sent between teenagers via email. But I bet he would be happy to know that I can share his art without leaving my house, or even without putting down my phone.


Pro tip: when viewing the piece, put headphones on and turn the sound up. Also, use the little control panel near the bottom of the screen to be guided on your “flight.”