Working with the internet since the 90s, Shu Lea Cheang and Mark Amerika have seen the world wide web develop, shift and change into what it is today. As so-called ‘net natives’ Cheang and Amerika share many of the concerns of artists evolving with the WWW, from its emergence in the late-80s/early 90s, to the dot-com bubble, its burst, and now Web 2.0.
Cheang, a multimedia artist and punk at heart has been working with net-based installation, social interface and film production since her early days with open media collective Paper Tiger Television, living as a nomad in New York until finally settling in Paris, and is possibly best known for her work with the Guggenheim’s first web commissions BRANDON in 1998. Amerika is a media artist, novelist and theorist of Internet and remix culture, was named a ‘Time Magazine 100 Innovator’ and his immeasurable influence continues most recently with his theory of remix art publication remixthebook.
Both artists present some of their most recent work, side by side for the first time in a joint exhibition, self-titled Shu Lea Cheang & Mark Amerika, and featuring viral performance, virtual compost and artworks intentionally corrupted by technological processes across sound, electronic literature, comedy and more.
In this interview at Furtherfield Gallery before the launch of their exhibition, running August 31 to October 20, Amerika and Cheang kindly shared their thoughts on data collection, gentrification of the internet and the artist 2.0 commodified. **