//OG flowers// (2022), nag_NFTs
//OG flowers// is a rare collection of early net.art. The 100 imgs were created by an anonymous user of the net.art generator exactly on 22 May 2010, a historical date in the genesis of crypto currency. They belong to the on-going artistic research project “this is not by me” (since 2004) in which the artist explores questions of digital authorship, originality, copyright and ownership exemplified by the iconic Warhol flowers.
Having achieved the status of a legendary project, the net.art generator has proven its ability to connect itself again and again to ever-new discourses and thus to constantly update itself. Therefore, is no surprise that one of its most famous outcomes, the notorious anonymous-warhol_flowers, finally do the honors to appear in at the semiotic carnival of crypto art. Having their origin in the unoriginal genius of a machine, their NFTs create the aura that has been missing: the aura of the digital copy. And while their author elegantly remains in the gray area of copyright, a new social fiction grants certainty: ownership of an – original. To ensure this, the blockchain relentlessly computes. The net.art generator reaches a new level: that of speculation in a new sort of commodity that only the discourse on NFTs has generated.
Basically, the net.art generator (nag) is a computer program that interactively collects and recombines material from the internet to create collages. The easy-to-use software requires the user to enter a title which then functions as the search term, and to enter a name as author. The resulting images and websites are stored online in an archive where recent results can be downloaded.
These beautiful flower images have been made with the net.art generator, a computer program that interactively collects and recombines material from the internet to create collages. The easy-to-use software requires the user to enter a title which then functions as the search term, and to enter a name as author. The resulting images and websites are stored online in an archive where recent results can be downloaded.
Conceived by Cornelia Sollfrank in 1998, the nag has created endless texts, websites, and images, and also has generated a number of discourses – most notable in the context of digital authorship, originality, copyright and ownership. As one of the first works of emerging net art, it was the basis for a number of spectacular interventions that often centered on Warhol’s Flowers. In his discussion of the nag, Danish curator Jacob Lillemose has suggested the term “conceptual tool” to characterize the workings of such networked production: “Sollfrank directly invites us to continue using the tool, to continue generating images and discourse, and to realize that the tool is about generating open-ended processes, not about the production of specific objects.”  The processes of creation involve various human and nonhuman actors, and they crystallize around the issues that capture the most energy, that is, attention at the very moment. And given the long-standing history of the nag and its involvement with so many different discourses, it could almost be thought of as “timeless,” or more adequately, as equipped with a special sensor for the contemporary moment.
 „Jacob Lillemose, “Keep on Generating: On Cornelia Sollfrank’s Multiple Authorships, in Sollfrank, Expanded Original, 46.“
nag_Bash (2021), Winnie Soon and Cornelia Sollfrank
nag_Bash is written in a Bash script, developed in 1989, which is a piece of free software with the type of Unix Shell for GNU platforms. The shell script nag_Bash.sh is a plain text file that contains a series of command.
1st line: `#!` is often referred to as “hashbang” or “shebang”. It points to the specific path of the shell program (Bash interpreter) to execute the bash script.
2nd line: Declare the variable (`site`) and store the nag’s URL.
3rd line: Specify the request of images, including the parameters of action (ac), query type (query), number of composition (comp), width and file type extension (ext). This line also sends the specified data in an (HTTP) post request to the nag server and returns the result (`request`).
4th line: Parse the content from the result (`request`) and look for the path of the newly generated collage in the jpg file format. This requires the matching pattern of the folder name (gen) and the file name (anonymous-warhol_flowers).
5th line: Retrieve and save the identified image file.
The script automatically runs every day at Hong Kong time 15.00 / Hamburg time 09.00 / California time 00.00 with the cron job set up on the server for scheduling daily tasks repeatedly: `0 15 * * * /usr/bin/bash path/nag_Bash.sh`
gallery.php ist eine Erweiterung des originalen nag_05-Codes und wurde anlässlich der Ausstellung "Berlin, Zentrum der Netzkunst damals und heute" in der panke.gallery Berlin entwickelt. Zum Ausstellungskonzept für den nag_05 gehörte, für die Dauer der Ausstellung (4.10.-23.11.2018) den Online-Zugang zum nag_05 (http://nag.iap.de) zu sperren und den Netzkunstgenerator exklusiv im Raum der Galerie zugänglich zu machen. Die von den Galeriebesuchern generierten Bilder sicherte gallery.php in einen eigens dafür erstellten Bilderordner von dem aus sie mit Hilfe des Scripts in ein vorgefertigtes Grid an die Wand projiziert wurden. Die beiden Features des Konzeptes "begrenzte Zugänglichkeit im Galerieraum" und "Bilder an der Wand" thematisieren auf ironische Weise die Konflikte zwischen Galeriekunst und netzbasierter Kunst.
Die von Gerrit Ché Boelz verfassten Scripts sind unter einer freien Lizenz hier zugänglich: https://lab.madbox.synology.me/nag_extensions/gallery/tree/master
gallery.php is an extension of the original nag_05 code and was developed on the occasion of the exhibition "Berlin, Zentrum der Netzkunst damals und heute" at panke.gallery, Berlin. The concept for the presentation of nag_05 included blocking the online access to nag_05 (http://nag.iap.de) for the duration of the exhibition (4.10.-23.11.2018) and making the net.art generator exclusively accessible in the gallery room. The images generated by the gallery visitors were saved by gallery.php in a specially created image folder, and from there they were projected onto the wall in a prefabricated grid with the help of the script. The two features of the concept "limited accessibility in the gallery space" and "pictures on the wall" ironically address the conflicts between gallery art and net-based art.
The scripts written by Gerrit Ché Boelz are available under a free license here: https://lab.madbox.synology.me/nag_extensions/gallery/tree/master
nag_machine, installation, fully functional internet server in wooden box with nag_software (since 2008)
Collection: ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien, Karlsruhe
Currently on display in the exhibition Writing the History of the Future, ZKM
Fotos © Nina Pieroth Frankfurt