Week 11: Response to Greene (Leon & Nimrah)- Kaitlin

In Rachel Greene’s “Web Work: A History of of Internet Art,” she explores the term “net.art” and the creation of this platform. She highlights the significance of this medium as a way for individuals to artistically display and express their creativity as well as using this as a channel to “communicate on equal ground, across international boundaries, instantaneously, every day.” I found this very interesting considering the fact that many internet users these days just use the present technology, but never actually ponder at the power of the internet to allow individuals to connect with their family and friends across the world within seconds. Moreover, its fascinating to think about how this platform enabled the idea of “freedom of expression” for individuals who want their voices to be heard. Greene not only highlights the artistic elements of net.art, but also sheds light on the power of this platform to be used as a way to push for social, cultural, and political movements. In this day and age, there are many vocal individuals who want to make changes whether its through protest or through online means, so the rise of “net.art” is quite powerful as it enabled individuals the power to easily express their ideas to billions of people through the click of a button.

Increased freedom of expression gave rise to attempts to limit or silence these expressions. A quote that stood out to me in this article was “web pages, if they hoped to win any attention in this climate, came under increasing pressure that year either to contain highly volatile content.” Although we are given the freedom to expression, there are countries that place restrictions on this accessibility or prohibiting the spreading of certain content. Living in America and Shanghai has really made me question if this so called “freedom” is really “free” if certain websites are banned or essentially blocked from parts of the world where others are unable to view certain things. China’s firewall bans certain social medias like Facebook and Instagram, but this ban also¬† creates barricades for Chinese individuals to acknowledge whats going on around other parts of the world. However, viewing this situation from a different angel, the blockage or cyber laws could be viewed as a good thing in situations where copyright or privacy protection is involved. So the question I’m concerned with is to what extent should our freedom be limited or capped until it becomes a violation of individual freedom rather than an protection.

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