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About the work
“It started in Milan - for me - in 1994. Then in New York in 1998. In 1994 I got married - sooner or later we all did - to laptops and in 1998 with the Internet. Married? If that's the case, a divorce would be possible. Indeed recently, most of us left the 1994 laptop - wife for a smartphone lover. But internet is here to stay. More than our spouse, the internet is our kid, the child we have with... hardware. We try hard to forget this unappealing fact. The Gospel of the "network” speaks to us about wireless, data clouds, connected magic.
In 1998 - the year that Google was founded - our Odyssey of fingers begun. We used to touch computers through their mouse, then through their little pussy (touchpad), now we are shamelessly touching the screens of our tablets. Our eyes are hooked but our mind escapes through our fingers. All that would not be possible if some kind of "skin-of-reality" was not involved. That's exactly where oil on canvas meets the eye: on the depiction of that skin... Interesting isn't it? Because to be sure that something exists, a painter needs to represent it.
In some way, the world was already wireless when in 1998, I decided to start painting its cables! 1998 was the year the “theatre of reality” was hiring new actors and I tried to introduce them all: video game gear, external hard drives, joysticks and digital cameras. All that was already around but it was in 1998 that everybody acknowledge living among them. But something else - very important - start happening in 1998. "Real" space start multiplying... We began register dotcom / dotnet / dotorg... Words never felt so fascinating! Even our own name became a better name (on May 25th, 1998 I registered Manetas.com). Art.com and Love.com were also registered that year while War and Sex were already a dotcom from 1995. It was from 1998 we all started becoming "Citizens of the Internet" and if today there's an Internet Pavilion to represent our art at the Venice Biennial, it is because of the spirit of 1998.”
About the artist
Born in 1964 in Athens, Greece. Lives and works in Bogotá, Colombia.
Miltos Manetas is a painter and multimedia artist. Manetas has produced oil paintings of wires, cables and computer hardware, created short looped fragments of video games such as "Tomb Raider," and exhibited computer-generated vibracolour prints among other things. But he was impatient with critics and curators who had yet to come up with a really good "-ism" for this new generation of creativity.After securing financial assistance from a nonprofit called the Art Production Fund, Manetas went out and hired Lexicon Branding, a California firm responsible for creating such product names as Powerbook, Pentium, Zima, Swiffer and Dasani. Lexicon's assignment was to create a name for this new movement.
In May 2000, during a packed press conference at the Gagosian Gallery in Manhattan - and a panel of people like Harvard cognitive scientist Steven Pinker ready to provide analysis of the term -- Manetas unveiled a new word for an art movement. Actually, it was the squeaky, synthetic voice of a Sony Vaio that made the announcement. The word was "NEEN."
About the gallery
Opened in 1985, the gallery aims to expose and promote international contemporary art. In 2006 Eric Hussenot took the direction of the gallery and since then he has expanded the artist base with young artists from around the world.
5 bis, rue des Haudriettes
75003 Paris, France