Internet Art at the ICA

Having a friend visit me over the weekend was the perfect excuse to be a tourist in Boston and do something new!

I've been dying to go to the Institute of Contemporary Art's (ICA) "First Fridays" in the summer, but their Saturday morning local vendors market* was a great reason to choose this as our culture spot for the day.

We even got the chance to play with pH paper and see the affects of acidity — a fun, but surprisingly educational reminder about how we treat our water, especially the water in the Boston harbor.

Their current exhibit, Art in the Age of the Internet, is quite the ode to the inventive, cynical, futuristic, and somewhat creepy abilities of the internet.

The technological advances that we've seen in the past 30 years are exponential, and have made a huge difference for artists.

The exhibit pulls you back into the 80s and 90s, complete with an interactive computer set up, which displays a desktop that I haven't seen since 2001.

Having just been discussing the old programs we used when we were kids at work (Wordart anyone?!), I instantly searched for Paintbrush and started playing around. Fair warning, while the ICA allows you to use the computer, you aren't allowed to navigate off of the search engine on the screen, oops!

From creepy TV screens showing SIMs-esque alternate post-apocalyptic realities (not pictured, I was honestly a bit scared by these) to commentary on our fascination with cats, this exhibit absolutely ran the gambit of internet art.

Cat, Antoine Catala (hologram of a cat head revolving around a cat body sculpture).

You'll have to forgive me for not having more pictures.

Every time I was ready to snap we stumbled across something that instantly sent us on whirlwind trip down memory lane, spitting off questions to each other: "Ooo remember that game?" "I totally forgot about this thing!" "Did you have those dolls too?!"

Gtwilst, aaajiao (commentary on state censorship in China — the printer continued to print paper that pooled at the bottom to visually display the amount of banned websites).

Complete with the option to test out a pair of AR glasses overlooking the harbor, this exhibit has everything you could think the current age of technology has created. Whether you grew up during the 80s and 90s, or were an adult who can remember it all clearly, I definitely recommend visiting the ICA! And I know I always suggest grabbing a friend, but really — grab a friend, you'll have so much to talk about the whole way through.

*I'm not sure how often the ICA hosts this market, but it was an absolute win!

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