Petra Cortright: Post-Internet Art in the Social Media Age / KCET Artbound LA


Petra Cortright was raised in Santa Barbara, but she grew up on the Internet. The Los Angeles-based artist’s work is often typified as “post-Internet art,” which roughly translates to art that uses the Internet as its medium, source, context and place where it is performed, all at once. It’s a mirror and a mindbender. Curators Karen Archey and Robin Peckham define it as: “art, consciously created in a milieu that assumes the centrality of the network, and that often takes everything from the physical bits to the social ramifications of the Internet as fodder… This understanding of the post-Internet refers not to a time ‘after’ the Internet, but rather to an Internet state of mind — to think in the fashion of the network.”

Oftentimes, Cortright is in her own videos, doing something, but not in a particularly active way. In “snow2???” (2011), the artist sits in her bedroom in front of the webcam, not really doing much. Then hazy glitchy “snow” effects appear on the screen, making this work something between a vlog entry and an experiment with the manipulation options offered by YouTube. Cortright’s work is self-conscious, socially anxious, and rather sensitive. It is feminist, without being overtly so, and social, without being extroverted. If we quantified this using a Myers-Briggs pop psychology acronym, it might be something like INFP or INFJ.

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