Module Exercise #3: Internet Art

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Write an art criticism response on one of the following Internet art sites. Your response should be concise but thorough. Mark Tribe (of Brown University) has developed a handy guide for critiquing art works. While not all of the "steps" in the guide may be applicable to net-based art, many of them are. Use the guide as a helpful way to examine and consider your response to the site you critique. Finally, be sure to review your writing to make certain that it is as refined as you can make it.

The response is to be double-spaced, and typed in a 10 or 12-point Times or Arial font and saved as a single file in RTF (rich text format) or DOC (Microsoft word) file format. When submitting the file to the designated ANGEL Drop box, please identify the file in the following manner “ For example, a Microsoft Word file submitted by the instructor would be labeled “hartranft.doc”. Your response should be 600 – 700 words long. This assignment is due by 5:00 PM on February 20, 2009.

Late submission of assignments: Papers or projects that are submitted late (i.e., past their due date and time) will be subject to a 20% penalty for every 24 hours or portion thereof that they are submitted late, including weekends and holidays.

Net-based Works of Art (Choose one)

Select one of the following sites for the subject of your critique. These works are each very different and may, in some cases, challenge your concepts about what may rightfully be termed a work of art. Some of the sites may require plugins, or may work more effectively on one or another operating platform. If you encounter a site that doesn't work on your computer, move on to another or try another computer. One of the greatest challenges for artists working in this form (Internet-based art) is the rapid obsolescence of various technologies and how this impacts the functional longevity of their work.

Evaluation Criteria

The following criteria will be used in evaluating responses to this assignment.

  1. Your written response to the assignment reflects a thoughtful exploration and analysis of the selected internet art work that is the focus of your response. (25 points)
  2. Your written response to the assignment actively incorporates the principles of the “Method for Critiquing Art Works” guide available in the assignment page (see below). (30 points)
  3. Your written response to the assignment demonstrates a coherent and organized discussion that makes use of specific examples to support and/or illustrate your different points. (35 points)
  4. Your written response to the assignment met all requirements for documentation and assignment directions for submission. (10 points)

Mark Tribe’s Step-by-step Method for Critiquing Art Works

Observe & Investigate

    1. Pay close and careful attention to the work.
    2. Read artists’ statements, artists’ bios, curatorial essays, reviews, etc.


    1. What media are used? How are they used?
    2. What are the work’s formal qualities: tone, pace, style, color, composition, etc.
    3. How does the work relate to its environment? What is the context in which you encounter it?


    1. Is the work concerned primarily with materials? Ideas? Narrative? Form? Emotional expression? Politics?
    2. What is the artist appearing to trying to say or do with the work?
    3. Does it comment on or refer to other art works?
    4. How does it relate to the artist’s other work?
    5. In short: What is the work “about?”


    1. What do you like most about the work? In which ways is it most successful?
    2. What do you like least about the work? How and where is it not “working?”
    3. Does the work achieve the goals the artist seems to have set for it?


    1. Alternative ways to present or distribute work.
    2. Things the artist might change or do differently.
    3. Artists, texts, or other things the artist might investigate.

All materials copyright (2008)