Rafaël Rozendaal

Abstract Browsing 20 06 02 (Cnet), 2020 
Textile (acrylic wool) 
144 x 90 cm  

The Dutch-Brazilian artist Rafaël Rozendaal (*1980, NL) is well known as a pioneer of Net Art. Rozendaal’s Abstract Browsing series of tapestries is based on the output of a web browser plug-in that he developed. The plug-in transforms website images, text fields and advertisements into brightly coloured geometric elements. The New York-based artist then collects thousands of screenshots of these elements before making a final selection for his tapestries.  

Rozendaal is renowned for translating the digital realm into a physical one, often using the internet as his canvas. His versatility in exploring and creating new, multimedia user experience continues to grow, resulting in a tremendous range of hybrid works that combine the long-established practices of classical fine art with more experimental approaches to new media. At the 59th Venice Biennale in spring 2022, he unveiled a new work entitled Observation. In a room inside the city’s Navy Officers’ Club, an entire wall of screens projected intense, pulsating, colours out into an exhibition space where the floor, ceiling and remaining walls were clad in mirrors. The effect: a little like finding oneself inside an electric kaleidoscope, programmed especially by the artist. Whether weaving fluid screentime into lush new fabrics or immersing viewers in luminous colour by having the screens themselves completely transform a space from another tradition altogether, Rozendaal reflects tirelessly on how the use of colour and digital technologies can alter our everyday experience. 

© Rafaël Rozendaal