On-line connected creativity
Starting from the conviction that art takes part, even in its peculiarity, in the overall process of knowledge, I would like to point out how New Media art is at present developing in a relation of promiscuity with the technical sciences, thus making its products cultural hybrids with an elevated epistemological contents.
Net Art forms part of this hybrid context and shapes the concept of "connected creativity", corresponding to the concept of "connected intelligence". It is mainly expressed in two aesthetical modalities, namely webness and meta-design.
Webness emphasizes the aspect of on-line connection and diffusion. Examples of it can include works like "File-room" by Antonio Muntadas, which consists of a universal, in-progress collection of art censorship cases from the time of Homer to the present day; or "T-Vision" by the ART+Com group, in which interlocutors can choose a point of the globe and then explore it by means of orientable video-cameras (via ATM).
A characteristic of meta-design is that it does not offer contents but interactive tools to develop a communicative design. For instance, "Cyberflash Girlmonster" by Linda Dement enables interlocutors to assemble and animate the image of a female body by using the anatomical details of different bodies.
And then there is the artist Stelarc presenting a number of performances in which his movements are determined by on-line interlocutors who can stimulate him by transmitting electrodes to his muscular apparatus.
Net Art shows how free cognitive and expressive interactions take place in Cyberspace because the societal/legal constraints of corporeal and physical substance (which are so important in relations in social institutional communities) have no value. This results in individuals overcoming their identity obsessions and their inhibitions towards the imaginary.
In on-line communication, voluntary, active impulses mass together to form a common experience, thus going beyond the typical duality of the collective unconscious, which is always restrained by opposition to some hostile alterity. And so these impulses offer individuals a new existential possibility in which singularity and sharing are conjugated together creatively.
The contribution of Net Art in particular and of New Media art in general can therefore be seen as the prefiguration of people's more complex potentialities. However, the artists' different presentations also depict experiences of autism, deception and suffering in the virtual dimension and this encourages us to adopt a decidedly critical attitude. The virtual self has to realize that every human being carries within himself a "shaded area" . At the same time he also has to feel a certain responsibility for a social complexity filled with numerous points of view and contradictions.