The way early digital art is already hailed as nostalgia is a sure-fire mark of a culture in which everything current is already considered past. Post-Everything, we are living the the Post era. The term Post-Internet Art is one you will have most likely heard but for good reason remain uncertain about. For some, whatever it is (or was) it’s already over, for others it was a distinct shift in art-making we are still reeling from and for others still, it’s what’s happening right now.
The latest issue of Elephant magazine attempts to make sense of the Janus-faced subject of Post-Internet Art and its many contradictions. “It’s a term a lot of artists really hate and don’t want to be associated with,” editor Robert Shore told me. “That seemed quite appealing. There are multiple perspectives and everybody seems quite confused about it but of course, it’s only a label.” He explained that for Elephant Post-Internet Art “is also just a way of defining the new and the cutting-edge. What is Post-Internet is really just another way of asking what is the most exciting thing we can find?”
The quarterly magazine’s summer issue looks to the vanguard of contemporary image-making, profiling posterboy of tech-savvy Cory Arcangel, French artist Camille Henrot and Belgian photographer-turned-artist Mishka Henner. With auction houses like Christie’s, Bonham’s and Sotheby’s embracing online sales – the latter held its first live auctions on eBay this year – it also tackles art consumption in the digital age, as well as new issues surrounding the conservation of digital art in a technological landscape that can’t keep up with itself.
"What is Post-Internet is really just another way of asking what is the most exciting thing we can find?"- Robert Shore
Robert was clear that although Elephant runs with themes, the magazine never hands the entire issues over to one sole focus. Elsewhere the new issue features Petra Collins, illustrator Tomi Ungerer and encounters Elmgreen & Dragset in the men’s room of London’s Hayward Gallery.
In his editor’s letter Marc Valli writes of the difficulty in determining whether we are at the beginning or the end of something with Post-Internet Art. “But it would be a mistake, even if a typically Post-Internet kind of mistake, to dismiss it (as it has become fashionable to do) and not to give ourselves time and space to look back, and then forward, as we have tried to do in this issue.”