CLOAQUE TURNS 2
By Lars Byrresen Petersen
Anyone with a Tumblr account is familiar with the dizzying array of porn, art, photography and fashion images floating around the Yahoo owned social media site. It can be hard finding the Tumblr that speaks exactly to you, but somehow most of us have found it. Cloaque.org, one of our faves, is turning 2 years old so we caught up with co-founders Carlos Saez to hear his thoughts on internet-based art and how he and his partner Claudia Mate came up with their unique concept.
Lars Byrresen Petersen: What exactly is cloaque?
Carlos Saez: Cloaque is an online exquisite corpse. We invite artists from any discipline to continue this never-ending artwork. There is some art promotion function. Each piece is created expressly for the project and it stays named and linked to the artist’s portfolio.
LBP: On what day exactly did you make your first post?
CS: Ok, you caught us here. We uploaded our first post on January 25th, 2012. So this birthday party comes almost 2 months late. Let’s say we waited for the right weekend to celebrate it.
LBP: How many posts are there so far?
CS: 463 posts, but this will change tomorrow.
LBP: How did you and Claudia come up with the idea?
CS: Cloaque.org was originally created as a digital landfill, a place to collect and join together digital trash found online. We came up with the idea thinking about the never-ending stream of images and videos that runs through the internet. The project began to take a new path when we first invited artist Alan Schaffer to continue this column. After him, people like Lorena Prain, Hugo Scibetta,Rollin Leonard… until Cloaque.org became a 100% collaborative project.
LBP: Where do you find the artists?
CS: Sometimes they contact us and sometimes we contact them. Occasionally we found some artists in books and magazines, but mostly on the internet. There is a lot of interesting online group shows happening, this is a great source of new interesting creators.
LBP: Do you plan on expanding Cloaque into a business?
CS: Not inside the website, we enjoy Cloaque as it is now. Luckily, we both have parallel sources of income and we can keep it like that.
LBP: You presented a real life version of Cloaque at Art Basel Miami Beach, how did that come about?
CS: This came through a beautiful initiative by Art F City with Tumblr consisting in taking the archive off Tumblr, printing it in a roll and offering it as physical piece. All artists donated the right to sell their printed collaborations in benefit of digital art support.
LBP: What did you think the future for internet art is? Will it always be important to have a live version of it?
CS: We understand there can be more skeptical points of view, especially in terms of market, but we don’t think it’s strictly necessary even now. We think it’s very interesting to think about different possibilities of mutation and evolution in this way. But we also like internet art where it is now, on the internet.
LBP: Any future plans for Cloaque or other platforms you’d like to share?
CS: So many things so little time! We have lots of ideas for the future. We really enjoy exporting the idea of the project to different media. Perhaps the closest in time is the second edition of Cloaque.mov, our annual piece in audiovisual format.
This weekend, Cloaque founders celebrate its two years with a party in Madrid.