Petra Cortright

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Petra Cortright
Petra Cortright.jpg
Born July 19, 1986
Occupation Artist
Spouse(s) Marc Horowitz

Petra Cortright (July 19, 1986) is a Los Angeles, California based Internet artist and Postinternet artist.


Petra Cortright was born in Santa Barbara, California. She studied at Parsons The New School for Design in New York and California College of the Arts in San Francisco.


Petra Cortright makes "pulverizingly effective works of Net art. Clear-eyed, dainty, and intuitive, they’re weird in a way that Net art has never been weird before."[1] vvebcam (2007), one of her early works, relates to the activity of looking at a video online. Instead of being a simple consumer of YouTube, Cortright films herself while weaving into her video animations that both interrupt the experience of watching and question the entire physical process of sitting on front of a monitor. She refers to the physical nature of the computing experience in her blog piece, slecht-lands. Like Nam June Paik's TV Buddha (1974), in vvebcam the viewer is both producer and subject. Cortright gazes at the webcam, on which she sees an image of herself punctuated by random computer generated objects. The entire YouTube experience is transformed into a succinct synthesis of her personal experience and that of a someone anonymous drawn to the video by keywords. In 2011 she collaborated with Ilia Ovechkin to create Video Catalog, a work where the monetary value of her videos is determined by an algorithm based on YouTube views.[2] On Saturday, December 10, 2011, vvebcam (2007) was removed by YouTube because of Cortright's extensive use of "offensive" key words. "vvebcam", now archived in Rhizome ArtBase, has been exhibited extensively and is widely discussed in critical and academic circles.[3]

With Vicky Deep in Spring Valley (2012), Cortright explores the nature of the computer interface by presenting a fantasy assembled layer on layer with video composition tools. The end result is a film that is about user interaction with the internet rather than a cinematic narrative. Cortright was selected to participate in the Frieze Art Fair in London where she produced her self-portrait, "Bridal Shower (2013)",[4] a film where she experiments with the physical qualities of a production studio.[5] The film was subsequently broadcast on British public television station Channel 4.

In 2014, Cortright began a collaboration with fashion designer Stella McCartney, creating a series of videos where Cortright uses glitches and video manipulation to showcase and contrast patterns on the garments designed by McCartney that she models.[6]

Her works have been shown at the New Museum in New York,[7] Rhizome, the Venice Biennale.,[8] the 2010 01SJ Biennial in San Jose, California,[9] and the 12ième Biennale d'art contemporain de Lyon.[10]


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Further reading[edit]

Williams, Maxwell (November 8, 2013) "For Petra Cortright, the Web Is the Ultimate Canvas." ‘’T Magazine, ‘’New York Times. [1]
Sterling, Bruce (February 2, 2010) "Petra Cortright is an Internet artist born in 1986 in Santa Barbara, California." Beyond the beyond, Wired Magazine. [2]
Capps, Kriston (January 20, 2009) "New-media artist Petra Cortright explores digital artwork in Dallas exhibit" Dallas Morning News. [3]
McKay, Sally (2009) "The Affect of Animated GIFs (Tom Moody, Petra Cortright, Lorna Mills)" art&education papers. [4]
Troudaire, Gregoire (August 27, 2008) "Petra-sans-effet" [5]
DeNorch, Dan (August 25, 2008) "Young Curators, New Ideas" ARTCAL The Zine.[6]
Johnson, Paddy (March 27, 2007) "Petra Cortright's Webcam Video" artfagcity [7] Sterling, Bruce. (2013). "Close Up: Data Mine on Petra Cortright’s Hell_Treee of 2012." Artforum's+HELL_TREE,+2012.-a0303014351

External links[edit]