Chris Collins, Infinite Judd (2010)

Over on the art21 blog I’ve posted some thoughts about the work of netartists based in the Midwest and how they possible share common ideas and themes. I asked a handful of makers what their thoughts on how living on the third coast has effected their practice. Here is a short excerpt:

Since moving away from Chicago this past summer, I’ve seen how Chicago and the Midwest have influenced my work, as well as my work ethic. The spirit of experimentation and collaboration run very deep within Chicago’s art veins, and I’ve seen how Midwest hospitality has infiltrated even the toughest skinned “coastal imports.” With these in mind, I’m curious how artists working online – in a non-specific spatial setting – have either engaged or adjusted their Midwest sentiments (if any) within a global network.

I asked several net artists if their practice has been influenced by living in the Midwest, and I received a wonderful variety of responses. Although working online has “freed” several artists from the limitations of a bloated or overcrowded art market found on the coasts, some argued that this liberation is not unique to the Midwest and that artists internationally are finding ways to create and distribute their work without the cumbersome (and what some would call slow) commercial gallery system.

Read the rest of the piece here.

Nicholas O'Brien

Nicholas O'Brien is a new media artist, curator/organizer, and academic living and working in Chicago. Since getting his BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Nicholas work has been included in multiple national and international venues including The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, The Xth Biennial in Lyon net art project, Lampo,, and the Centro Multimedia in Mexico City. He has also curated many screenings and live audio-visual performances within the Chicago area under many different projects including co-founding an alternative artist-run space called BUSKER which operated between 2005 and 2007. Currently, Nicholas is an adjunct faculty in the Department of Interactive Art and Media at Columbia College teaching media theory. More information about his work can be found at