The Web Biennial aims at serving as a portal for experimental and non-representational electronic art. It focuses on web-based alternative art practices. It was founded by artist and theoretician Genco Gulan in 2003. The project is hosted by the Istanbul Contemporary Art Museum.
Since the first online exhibition Reload as its unofficial kick-off in 2002, and then the Web Biennial in 2003, the project has continued to contribute visibility to pioneering media arts and has become a promising model for participatory creative content.
The Web Biennial was established earlier than many other popular portals (applications) based on user content, such as Facebook (2004), YouTube (2005) and Instagram (2010), for which it may have also constituted a model. So far, the Web Biennial has organized six online editions, namely in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2014 (we also did have an unsuccesfull try in 2017). Most editions have featured the works of hundreds of artists from all over the world. Particularly, the open calls for the early editions were voluntarily translated into many different languages. The event was addressed at academic conferences such as “Refresh”; publications like Milliyet Sanat magazine and featured in physical exhibitions such as “Regeneration.011” (2011) hosted by Plato Art Center.
The Web Biennial has also made collaborations with curators and art managers such as Marcus Graf, Bengu Gun, Andrej Tisma, and Dimitris Fotiou who has exhibited a selection from the biennial in Athens.
Having emerged as a festival without a sponsor, curator, main theme or even a city, the event with
its ‘open exhibition’ format has constituted an alternative model for other large-scale exhibitions and biennials. We are always open to new ideas, technologies and collaboration.
This year we are planning to initiate two awards: The Web Art Award and Web Design Award.