Glitchy web art on display in Amsterdam internet café

F.A.T SPEED SHOW vol.3: ‘Peace!’ in Amsterdam

Last night Aram Bartholl from F.A.T. (Free Art & Technology) organized the third edition of their ad-hoc net.art exhibition titled ‘Speed Show’ in a internet cafe in Amsterdam. The format of the Speed Show is as follows:

Hit an Internet-cafe, rent all computers they have and run a show on them for one night. All art works of the participating artists need to be on-line (not necessarily public) and are shown in a typical browser with standard plug-ins. Performance and life pieces may also use pre-installed communication programs (instant messaging, VOIP, video chat etc). Custom software (except browser add-ons) or off-line files are not permitted. Any creative physical modification to Internet cafe itself is not allowed. The show is public and takes place during normal opening hours of the Internet cafe/shop. All visitors are welcome to join the opening, enjoy the art (and to check their email.) – SPEED SHOW manifest by Aram Bartholl 2010

The evening had a feeling of nostalgia to it because of its location and the work on display. The internet café, or cybercafé, is something you – as a highly-connected Amsterdam citizen- only encounter while traveling to exotic places where internet access is rare and not ubiquitous. Visiting an internetcafé in your own city where you pay for internet access per 15 minutes is an experience in itself. The slow Windows machines where the art was on display contributed to the idea of revisiting the genre of net.art, with glitches and garbled aesthetics on display.

More photos from the F.A.T SPEED SHOW vol.3: ‘Peace!’ in Amsterdam evening on Flickr.

F.A.T SPEED SHOW vol.3: ‘Peace!’ in Amsterdam
F.A.T SPEED SHOW vol.3: ‘Peace!’ in Amsterdam
F.A.T SPEED SHOW vol.3: ‘Peace!’ in Amsterdam
F.A.T SPEED SHOW vol.3: ‘Peace!’ in Amsterdam
F.A.T SPEED SHOW vol.3: ‘Peace!’ in Amsterdam

9 Replies

  1. ThE_ED Reply

    In addition to the ‘internet café experience’ being a tourist experience, it occurred to me some time ago that they seem to disappear completely. Or at least here in the Netherlands. Sure Amsterdam is a tourist spot, so there are some, but elsewhere? Of course, not being a tourist; I never need one here so that gives some bias, but I couldn’t name one here in Rotterdam now. The ‘easy-everything’ centre here is gone, even the addition of a Subway restaurant couldn’t save it.

    With the rise of mobile internet it might well be that the ‘internet café’ will more and more become a thing of ‘exotic’ places.

  2. Anne Reply

    The era of the cybercafe indeed seems to be coming to an end. ‘Regular’ cafes offering free wifi are taking over part of their function but offering better coffee and surroundings. However, Amsterdam is still full of these exotic places, usually combined with phone stations and the ability to transfer money. An all-in-one exotic place for transactions.

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