Networked image-generating software. Presentation format: Image generated with the software by the artist and the video I Don’t Know (2009).
The net.art generator is an easy-to-use, multi-layered tool for making artistic images with networked material. By typing in “artist name,” “work title” and specifying width (400–1000 pixels), composition (2–8 images) and file extension (gif, jpeg, or png), anyone can create an infinite number of images by clicking on an icon. Cornelia Sollfrank conceived the general concept of the generator, but others did the programming. The material found on the web is not by Sollfrank either. Although the user specifies the parameters, the machine effectuates the actual creation of the images. With this distributed form, the work questions notions of authorship (who is the artist?), copyright (is it legal to use the material?), and creativity (who creates and how?). It develops further the machine aesthetics Andy Warhol introduced by engaging with the complexities of image making in the age of the Internet as a radically new condition for art. This development results from staging an ambiguous encounter between the artistic possibilities and legal restrictions that this condition presents.