Jan Robert Leegte
The installation Scrollbars (Floor Piece) was a sculptural version of the online work untitled[scrollbars] made in 1997. As from the very first time I started working in the browser-based context, I regarded it as a spatial platform. The works felt like installations. Working with user interface elements like frame borders and scrollbars to make compositions to me felt identical to making gallery based installations. Two years later, I presented the scrollbars work as a physical installation. Aiming to emphasize and communicate the apparent physicality of this new digital material, I casually lay the computer on the floor presenting its scrollbars.
As an artist Jan Robert Leegte researches the phenomenology and conceptual understanding of digital materiality introduced by the arrival of the computer and the Internet. Fascinated by the world behind the computer screen, Leegte explored the sculptural possibilities of the Internet as from 1997, working together with the likes of Peter Luining, Pavu, jodi and Mouchette. In 2002 he shifted his main focus to implementing the digital materials in the context of the gallery space aiming to bridge the online art with the gallery art world. Also he explored more "embedded" possibilities out of the gallery space in the contexts of the outside world; from urban postering in Alexandria, EG to ornamenting ceilings in Brussels, BE. Influenced by the new generation of surfing club artists like Constant Dullaart and Harm van den Dorpel, and as member of Nasty Nets, he strongly started refocusing on the internet again. Interestingly, where the Post-Internet movement started to move out of the net to the galleries, he started to move back in again, inspired by the dramatic shift in online culture and technologies.
His work has been exhibited at a widespread selection of international shows and festivals, with a continuing central presence on the net. Jan Robert Leegte (1973) studied Fine Arts at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam after having studied Architecture at the University of Delft. He is professor in Internet related art at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, ArtEZ in Arnhem and the KABK in The Hague. Also he cofounded BrowserBased, a research platform for Internet related art. He lives and works in Amsterdam.