The Internet, Then and Now: An Interview with Olia Lialina

Olia Lialina (photo credit: Boudewijn Bollmann)

Olia Lialina (photo credit: Boudewijn Bollmann)

Olia Lialina, a Russian born German-based internet artist and media-art theorist, has been creating internet art since back in the days of HTML frames, most notably with her 1996 web art project “My Boyfriend Came Back From the War,” which has inspired many remixes by other artists, and is cited in academic textbooks. Other notable projects by Lialina include the “Digitale Folklore Reader” (2010), Once Upon” (2011), “Animated GIF Model” (2005–2012), and the beautifully simple “Midnight” (2006).

Lialina’s practice has explored many creative processes across digital platforms. She was an early member of the Blingee community, she remains fascinated with animated gifs and many elements of the ‘Old Internet,’ and currently she has pursued an extensive archival project titled “One Terabyte of Kilobyteage,” a project in which Lialina and collaborator Dragan Espenschied continue to meticulously unwrap a 900 GB torrent archive of nearly all former GeoCities websites, taking screenshots of each website and uploading to Tumblr to create a visual snapshot of GeoCities.

Continue Reading