A footsoldier in the battle between network and hierarchic culture, Jon Ippolito is an artist, curator, and co-founder of Still Water at the University of Maine.
Jon Ippolito hopes building networks will help keep digital culture alive and kicking--but he has his hands full in today's climate of unfettered media monopolies, accelerated obsolescence, and looming co-optation by academia. He is the digital doyen of The Variable Media Network, an international consortium of museums and archives that devises medium-independent strategies to preserve new media art. As grand vizier of The Open Art Network, Ippolito works with a growing number of prominent digital artists to promote an open architecture for the Internet and digital media. As chief constable of the Still Water lab at the University of Maine, he works with Co-director Joline Blais to enforce an expansive definition of networked art in the academia and the art world, as argued in their 2006 book At the Edge of Art. The recipient of Tiffany, Lannan, and American Foundation awards, he has exhibited artwork with collaborative teammates Janet Cohen and Keith Frank at the Walker Art Center, ZKM/Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Harvard's Carpenter Center, and the Yale Art and Architecture Gallery. As Associate Curator of Media Arts at the Guggenheim Museum, he has curated Virtual Reality: An Emerging Medium and, with John G. Hanhardt, The Worlds of Nam June Paik. Ippolito's critical writing has appeared in periodicals such as the Art Journal, Artforum, Flash Art, the Washington Post, and in his regular column for ArtByte magazine. He and his work have been cited in eleven New York Times articles and eleven Wired articles, but that didn't stop his tenure committee from asking why he hadn't published in more academic journals.