Instead of opening a satellite branch in Berlin or Beijing, Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery is taking the relatively economical route of setting up shop online. Founded by Rob Hult and Duncan Malashock, klausgallery.net launches Nov. 1 and will host a series of solo online shows; all projects will be about the ideas and tools unique to the Internet. First up is Michelle Ceja, a young artist from Los Angeles, whose work, according to Malashock, explores the relationship between virtual and physical space.
Malashock (an artist and programmer who was previously webmaster at the New Museum) and Hult (one of Klaus von Nichtssagend’s three co-owners) came up with the idea for klausgallery.net last spring after meeting at the Brooklyn nonprofit gallery Nuture Art. Malashock had a video in the gallery’s group show, “Soft Power,” and gave a talk about the history of Internet art since the ’90s, which Hult attended. The initial idea for the website was to feature work on the gallery’s Facebook page, but Malashock had a more “permanent” idea in mind. He started building klausgallery.net and planning the approximately two-week-long shows. Several of the artists—Krist Wood, Sarah Ludy and Nicolas Sassoon—are involved with the online art collective Computers Club, as is Malashock; the others he had worked with at Rhizome, the new-media art organization affiliated with the New Museum.
Both Hult and Malashock struggled to explain what, exactly, klausgallery.net will look like, since the artists are all creating new work for the site. They expect to see a combination of animation, video and interactive programs that look at how people use the Internet. “The connection for me,” explained Malashock, “is that each person has their own ways of negotiating tools [the Internet] that are available to everyone, without art school training.”
A couple of weeks before klausgallery.net goes live, Hult and Malashock are still mulling over different ways to monetize the project. Hult ran off a list of ideas, depending on what kind of work the artists end up contributing: selling USB drives with jpegs or gifs, providing a collector with the means of hosting a website, offering limited-edition downloads, or even designing and selling an app. “It’s Wild West territory, and we’re still feeling it out,” Hult said.
Photo Andrew Russeth.