Alexei Shulgin
Guy Lochhead, 08/10/10
Russian net.artist probably best known for his 386DX music project, in which he uses old Microsoft Windows 3.1 software on an Intel 386 to perform MIDI versions of popular songs. His websites are labyrinths of antiquated internet aesthetic, recalling a time of less accessibility and contrasting that with the reality of what new user-friendliness and accessibility, and the resultant social networking and online relationships, mean. He’s also explored consumerism and created fake product websites advertising anti-advertising solutions. His work is chararacterised by a simultaneously critical and celebratory approach to new technologies, and a dry humour. I find Shulgin’s work pretty funny in a sort of Beavis-and-Butthead-laugh kind of way, and I’ve used his music on a few compilations and radio shows, but I don’t really see any reason to include it. It’s mostly internet art jokes – funny if you “get it”, and inconsequential. I love the internet and the possibilities it gives art – “net.art” (or, as he called it, wwwart) and otherwise – but Shulgin’s take on it isn’t to be included.

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