• About JavaMuseum

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As a corporate part of
The New Museum of Networked Art

JavaMuseum – Forum for Internet Technologies in Contemporary Art

The 1st virtual museum for virtual art (JAVA= Joint Advanced Virtual Affairs)
20 years – JavaMuseum – 2000-2020

An introduction
What is netart?


Founded in 2000 by Agricola de Cologne, JavaMuseum is focussing on net based art as a virtual museum, a specific form of digital art based on technologies used in Internet.
In 2001, JavaMuseum started an annual program consisting of a competition and showcase, giving the JavaArtist-of-the-Year-Award to outstanding artists in the fields of net based art and some featured exhibitions with changing subjects.

Until 2005, JavaMuseum organized meanwhile more than 20 showcases of “netart” in a global context, three competitions and many features including more than 1000 art works by 350 artists from 40 countries which form a unique and most comprehensive collection of net based art worldwide and in Internet.

JavaMuseum recognized quickly the necessity of collaborations on different levels and started in 2002 a collaboration in concern of the annual competition with University of Manila and Digital Art Festival Manila/Philippines, in 2003 JavaMuseum cooperated with Computer Space Festival Sofia and Goethe-Institute Sofia/Bulgaria.

In 2004, JavaMuseum launched the collaboration with [R][R][F]2004–>XP- global networking project and several features of net based art in this framework.
Although all these activities were very successful and JavaMuseum got an excellent reputation through these activities, it became evident, that not only the online environment of the Internet, but also the entire global “netart” scene changed during the years.  An important aspect represents also that “netart” did not emancipate and is still in a kind of ghetto, not widely accepted as serious form of contemporary art. But also many of the once active artists retired, but new artist generations were not able to replace them in quantity and quality.

During 2004, JavaMuseum decided therefore to stop continuing its previous kind of activities by the end of 2004 and complete them by organizing a final show, to be launched in a physical presentations series in Palestine, Israel and Germany in February 2005.

JavaMuseum named these activities between 2000 and 2005 the “1st phase”, which will manifest themselves as a project environment encompassing the 18 showcases remaining online for permanent as a documentation of net art 2000-2004.
But this extraordinary collection and the involved artists and artworks will also form in future the basis for organizing showcases in physical space in collaboration with physical institutions, as museums or galleries.

What is netart?
As the term “netart” has no binding definition, it is good to know, how JavaMuseum is defining this term and its net based activities, thus.
Netart is in first place art, a specific form of digital art using specific programming languages/technologies used in Internet. “netart” is not only related to this aspect, but mainly that net based art has to be located in Internet on an URL (Internet address) of itsown, and is this wayit has to be available online to the user at any time . In principle, all technologies/programming languages can be used for artistic creation by programming, but not all technologies are predestined for artists use. Not each artist is a good programmer, and not each programmer is an artist. In this way, many artists use pre-formatted software applications in order to create net based works. There are no general aesthetic criteria, as each technology/programming language has its own specific aesthetics, in addition offer the communicating technologies new options and new and unexpected kinds of aesthetics. But technology represents just a tool, and it is the contents which are as relevant transported and transmitted by using the tool.

By defining “netart”, JavaMuseum does not follow any ideology, and is therefore also not restricted concerning contents or technology and open for all subjects and topics artists are working on. “netart” as it understood and featured by JavaMuseum shows in the global context an unusual variety of presentations and artistic positions and adds a lot of new aspects to the spectrum and general definition of contemporary art.
Since 2002, JavaMuseum started a series of neart art features from different cultural regions around the globe and succeeded in presenting many artists who were not in the spotlight before, and gave an idea what could “netart” represent in a global context.

From the beginning, JavaMuseum was a piece of “netart” itself, as well as all platforms realized by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne online were “Internet basedf art”, they were located on the net using therefore related communication technology for the creation. Platforms like JavaMuseum, A Virtual Memorial Foundation, New Media Fest or Engaged Arts Directory were additionally networked art on different levels, which did not only include subordinated projects, incorporated artists and curators, but also physical venues and associated cultural institutions – simulating the structures of physical institutions via artistic concepts – allowing an exchange between virtual and physical space in a worldwide collaboration – starting already in 2000.


Agricola de Cologne (Cologne/Germany)
is a multidisciplinary media artist and curator living and working in Cologne/Germany .
He had more than 100 solo exhibitions in cooperation with 80 museums in Europe, South America and USA, he is participating since 2000 in more than 500 media exhibitions and festivals around the globe. His media art works received numerous prizes and awards.

JavaMuseum –
Forum for Internet Technologies in Contemporary Art
[JAVA=Joint Advanced Virtual Affairs] Director and curator:
Wilfried Agricola de Cologne

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