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Rafaël Rozendaal

Selected Websites

Steve Turner, Los Angeles

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Rafaël Rozendaal
Selected Websites
Format & Technical

Single channel projected on screen, monitor, website

The work of Rafaël Rozendaal revolves around what Jacques Rancière called “forms of sensory experience”. He domain is the Internet: child of the digital generation, his works reflect on a series of issues that are inextricable from the Internet-based art landscape. Since the early 2000s, Rozendaal has been testing the spatial-sound sensorium that the Internet is, buying up domains that he uses as his canvas. In these standalone websites, he sets his artworks for anyone to see and for anyone to touch: most of them are interactive, as well as most are moving images. Rozendaal explores the social foundation of the Internet and leads it into a landscape that is not only usable, but also raises questions on topics such as the meaning of works –for him, works are the meaning–, the marketing of new media formats and how they are fetishized in the digital world. All Rozendaal domains are conceived to be public and they always need to remain being so. They are also instruments that function as metaphors of the activity that produces them. The fusion of sound and image form, in the websites he creates, occupies an open space in which artistic sovereignty is equal to infinite reproduction. This fusion also reconsiders the signs and messages subjected to the art system through its format and medium, the Internet, this boundaryless, vast ocean that allows the questioning of all kinds of laws: property, geography and commercial, as well as offering new productivities.

For LOOP 2017, Rozendaal composes a video featuring a selection of his websites. Those will play projected onto a large screen in the room. Opposite to this projection, a monitor displays an interactive website, for viewers to use with a mouse placed on a surface in front of the monitor. His seems to be a statement on physicality, too: in his works, space, as well as time, gets multiplied to the infinite. Browsing becomes an artistic possibility. The relevance of his websites is unquestionable as it is hard to grasp at first glance, as it defies everything that is structural, such as history, memory or order. They become abstract constructions, sources of information that take different shapes, colors, texts, sounds and forms. Usually they unfold, apparently randomly, with user interaction. Sometimes, though, the user becomes just an observer. Whatever happens in them, they challenge the roles of all agents implicated in the art system: the artist, the user, the owner, the institution, the market, the exhibition space, the collectors and functionality, whatever this may imply. Rozendaal’s artistry opens a door to a new reflection on art that is yet to be developed, or that is developing, such as our senses as we enter his creations. He makes them readable as conceptual art did in the 60s, but with other contexts, with a new language and code.

Carlota Surós


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