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Levi Thornton


The subject of my research is conceptual art—specifically, reformulating it for new technologies available today. Conceptual art is a movement with definitions, boundaries, and intents tenuous enough to permit a work from the present to fit the ideals set by its predecessors in the 1960s. My research will draw heavily on the four discrete lineages of conceptual art outlined in Alexander Alberro's "Reconsidering Conceptual Art," which enables a close connection between my own work and that of a specific conceptual artist, such as Sol LeWitt.

The work I am constructing, ArtWeb, brings together conceptual art and the information age. Using the connective power of the Internet, ArtWeb provides the unifying concept of the work to all willing participants who can, in turn, contribute their own input into the project. With the work of numerous individuals stored in its database, the piece then presents all of its given inputs on a digital canvas. It is at this point that contributors can see that the given concept that guided their creation was in place to unify their work with the greater work of art.

The complex technological feat that went into the production of ArtWeb launches the genre of conceptual art into its next century. Using the Internet allows the project to span an infinite amount of space in its viewership. Using the processing power of a computer allows a seemingly infinite number of possible inputs and outputs. Like predecessors in its genre, this work will entirely remove the hand of the artist from the production, transforming the viewers into participants who must decide how the final object will be perceived.

SECTOR C: Art Practice and Technologies 

ADVISERS: Orkan Telhan (FNAR) | Andreas Haeberlen (CIS) | Gregory Tentler (ARTH)