Copy, paste, enter: it appears a corner of a room, a basket and a crumpled paper left on the ground. Trash is one of the net art interventions of Rafaël Rozendaal in which through the domain of a website, he gives the chance to access a work of art from the computer or smartphone screen.

Is Trash a still image or something is about to happen in this noir room? Rozendaal, by creating a suspended dimension in the digital space of websites, leads to assume a new gaze and towards the screen. The mouse goes around the digital room, click madly left and right. The discovery is the interaction: the paper left on the floor can be taken and thrown in the trash. What a satisfaction to see the clean screen, a virtual ‘desk’ and a main basket free from ‘garbage’. The place that previously aroused suspicion is now more familiar and the user feels overwhelmed by satisfaction with the new cleaning. After a few seconds, however, a noise reactivates our attention: the trash can spit the waste onto the pixel floor as if it were a disobedient animal. The game then repeats itself, finds new movements and new interactions: the mouse runs through the room, discovers new angles and new throws of the paper ball.

The Internet is often the place where users searche for information about the real world but with this work the artist explores specific contexts and potentials, not recognizable in other media. Trash proposes a new relationship and interaction with the image and encourages the adoption of a new type of gaze. Inside the room the eyes assumes an almost physical movement that is coinciding with the one of the cursor: the gaze becomes active when the paper is taken and thrown into the trash. In this work, it can be said that a classic and substantial theme of Net Art emerges to propose new ways of using the image and, at the same time, push towards a questioning of the status of the art system. The title of the work coincides with the domain of the site for Rozendaal this action represents the final step of his practice. Chosing the title and the domain in addition to be a sort of statement, coincides with the conclusion of the creative process. It is almost like putting a frame. The result is a web page, that assumes the characteristic of an object to which it is difficult to apply the traditional categories of use and interaction. This subversive action goes together with the playful aspect that characterizes the works of Rozendaal, who searches the web not only for a space of artistic creativity but also for playing and experimenting with different levels of freedom.

The freedom achieved in Trash is not only that of the observer but also that of the computer which in this case has the chance to choose many aspect while activating and bringing the work to life, either as a result of a specific interaction or by random chaining of actions. The paper continues to wander around the room until the cursor is positioned on the X botton, the room door closes. End of the game.


Rafaël Rozendaal, Trash, 2015
Dimensions Variable, Duration Infinite
© Klinkhamer Family Collection


The artist Rafaël Rozendaal will be a guest on IMPAKT TV on March 3, further info and booking on the following link: