May 15th, 2003

pinhole camera

abbreviated abstract

Clashing and Converging:
Effects of the Internet on the Correspondence Art Network 1999-2001

Dissertation by Madelyn Starbuck (also known as Honoria)

Abstract

The study examines the effects of the Internet on the Correspondence Art Network, an international community of artists who have exchanged art through postal systems for 40 years. The study analyzes interviews with artists who have experience in both electronic and traditional network environments. In addition to interviews, examples of artworks made by artists express visual and poetic responses to the Internet. The study reveals ways in which global electronic networks contribute to technological change in artists’ communications and aesthetic shifts in their art. Because of these changes, artists voice concerns about shifting structures in their social networks and perceive threats, both to their traditions and to the relics of their shared history. Research into the archives of the correspondence art movement, especially in relation to emerging networked art, is essential to understanding evolving international networks of art exchange.