Tiia Johannson – Netartist of the Month June 2020
In Memoriam Tiia Johannson
11 June 2002
In Memoriam – Tiia Johannson
Netartist of the Month June 2020
Tiia Johannson died today in 2002 very young of age. As tragic as her early death is, as tragic is the fact, that her artistic work can currently not reviewed any more, because the used technology is out of date, respectively no longer supported, eg. like many other artists she was using the popular technologies at that time, among others, Shockwave by Macromedia (not supported since 2017) and Quicktime by MAC/Apple which is no longer supported for Windows computer since some years. JavaMuseum which gave in 2001 the JAYA – JavaArtist of The Year 2001 Award to Tiia Johannson and hosted some of her most relevant works, for instance “XLabs”, is currently only able to make the truncated work “Xlabs” available to the viewer, but if a non-Windows computer is still using Quicktime, respectively a Quicktime Player in such case it is a lucky person because the work online should actually work. There is the hope, that some people at least belong to the lucky ones.
It is particularly tragic, that the evolution of technology, which is rooted on commercial interests, is killing the early generation of artists who were trusting in the technology, and without authorization and a lot of time and money such work can also not be reconstructed by using current technology.
Therefore it is even more important to keep vivid the memory of this talented and engaged artist – Tiia Johannson!
A Memorial for Tiia
recipient of The JavaArtist of the Year 2001 Award
A Statement onf Condolence
by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne
Life nowadays is extremely fast running. For death and memory is hardly time and space left. Out of sight, out of mind?
Tiia Johannson was indeed one of the few real netartists. She was independant as a personality, as well as an artist. She recognized that art in Internet belong to the net, to its freedom, independance from any institutionalization. Therefore her artistical presence was mostly also a virtual, immaterial one, not influenced or maniulated by mediators of any kind.
All this was certainly enforced also by the material conditions in the country where she was living, Estonia, and of course her physical condition. The Internet offered the unique chance not only to communicate with the rest of the world, but also to take part in artistic events in all parts of the globe, being a part of a community without leaving home.
Although, I did not knew Tiia physically, but only virtually via our collaboration in JavaMuseum, her work and her way of dealing with things and persons came over as authentical, honest and very human. This really manifests itself in all her net based art works, different from many other artists who see netart, as well as art, in general, mostly rather as an intellectual play.
For me, one essential for estimating art is whether it is able to touch emotionally or not. This is also good for any art in Internet. In this way, Tiia’s work has particular qualities, since her works do not stand separate from art or life, but reflecting life they represent art in its purest sense. She brought a strong human touch in the mostly technologically, code based, intellectually dominated net.art world.
The advantage of real net.art is simultaneously also its disadvantage, since its place is the Internet, not anywhere else. The virtual dimensions of the net are so gigantic, but the aspect art, and much more net.art play only a marginal, hardly recognisable role. The chance for being forgotten, in the moment when personal activity does not guarantee a continous presence any longer, is already given with a living, but even more, of course, with a dead artist.
The Memorial for Tiia Johannson, I have installed now will try to counteract to such kind of “normal” tendencies by being present and continuing promoting her art work in different ways.
No! Out of sight is not out of mind!
Wilfried Agricola de Cologne
director of JavaMuseum