Peregrination means a journey, especially a long or meandering one. The theme of this pavilion alludes to the lived sense of wandering as the artist introspectively observes the subjective experience of life in a technologically mediated world.

I believe that all relevant art today is somehow linked to the computer, the network and digital culture. With this project, I wanted to share the naive excitement that I felt when I first used Gopher, an early internet protocol, to download an image of an antiquity directly from an archive in Greece. The place that I had discovered, internet, was non-hierarchical, self-organized and not owned by anyone in particular. It was where art could be experienced without first being classified and situated by a second or third parties.

Internet art has an openness that addresses the viewer subjectively and intimately. When a work is seen, you always have the option to send a note to the artist and perhaps develop a conversation. Even when you have never physically met you can develop a direct and literally virtual relationship with the artist. This connection is disembodied. There are no eyes or arm movements to relate to. There is only language and visual imagery so dialogue becomes performative, sharing, exploring, experimenting and responding to continual feedback from each other. Participation in the art process is a highly internalized subjective experience. So much so that it is often never seen outside of the interrelationship of artists on-line because it does not fit the parameters of established systems of hierarchies, institutions and commercial exchange.

Digitally networked artists are experimenting with universally accessible works in an increasingly unpredictable atmosphere of change in all aspects of culture. As a work of art goes outside and beyond language it transforms from a perceived materiality to meaning. First there is the experience, then the defining of that experience and only later, an understanding of the experience. Art is communication that is beyond what is known. It is new because it is the mutable present.

A work of art on-line is to experience visual philosophy embedded within a metaphor for what the world is now for a particular creator. The artist makes an intentional illusion of materiality that transforms into meaning. All networked digital art is conceptual because of the ephemeral nature of internet. Art seen on-line is a transient experience like disappearing ink. The works exist to grasp the fugitive moment, and to provide a memory and sense of meaning for the viewer.

Peregrination is lightly curated, in that I invited fellow artists whose work I had become acquainted with, on internet, through social media, through correspondence, and on NewHive, a community that was open to all who wished to create. Participants in this project range from young artists beginning their journey to those who have accumulated considerable years of art practice. I invited people with plenty of formal instruction as well as self-taught and outsiders.

The artists who have been generous enough to participate in this project are conscious that they are indeed living and working in a computer networked world and have chosen internet as an appropriate venue to explore, experiment, and to socialize.

This exhibition is a pavilion in the Wrong Biennale, an international showcase of digital creation. The mere idea of a recurring biennale makes internet art feel real. I wanted Peregrination to be special, to be experienced within a specific timeframe to give the momentary impression of being concrete and real, having a beginning and an end as a reflection of a physical world.

Andres Manniste, Montréal, 2019