Michael Samyn – Love

This work is documented as one of many influential ‘net art’ pieces by the organisation Rhizome. The piece takes place online and consists of a series of seven interfaces. The work was made in 1995 and so has quite an early net aesthetic. I am interested in the content and presentation of the work, and the way these two elements interact. Particularly I think that the conversation happening in this piece between the aesthetics of the web and the concept ‘love’ is intriguing. The idea of love is broken down into quite superficial or ‘surface’ level imagery and dealt with quite instinctively, but is also translated into a digital network. The interface seems to talk about the concept of love and its many different branches, dealing with quite ‘innocent’ forms of expression to erotic forms. There is a sense in which the exploration of love relates to a ‘real world’ exploration, but simultaneously breaks the concept down to fragments of information connected by a web interface.


Much of Samyn’s other work, in which he collaborates with his wife, explores the unfolding of sex and love in the context of the internet. It offers a new platform for such expressions but I am interested in what this space both adds to this dialogue, and also what it takes away from it.

In an interview for Rhizome Samyn writes about his work:

My art is research. I don’t want to be “critical” as such. I want to
analyze things and present my results. Those results should help the
viewer to deal with contemporary society better.

A lot of my work is about this strange coexistence of natural and the
media worlds, which you can probably extend to the “real” and the
“fantasy” world. Both seem very real to me and influence each other.

In many ways I can relate to these ideas about creating art in response to the web.


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