“The Thing” by Wolfgang Staehle

“Consensus has it that the artist Wolfgang Staehle was the first net host to sponsor an artsite online when he founded The Thing in 1991 in New York. Although it’s capacity was limited to that of a bulletin board system (BBS), Staehle had a vision that the net would become something of a production, conferencing, and distribution platform for artists and art cognoscenti–in essence a net art world for the conceptual artist. He went on to establish The Thing Cologne in 1992, and The Thing Vienna in 1993. From there, other artists and curators entered the art net frey as the net became increasingly capacious. äda’web, curated by Benjamin Weil, went online in 1994, as did Plexusunder Stephen Pusey’s administration, Antonio Muntadas’ comprehensive online archive of censorship cases known as The File Room and net.art, which under Vuk Ćosić became a hub for European artists, also appeared in 1994.”



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