Petra Cortright is a Santa Barbara, California based Internet artist. She studied at Parsons The New School for Design in New York and California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Her work has been shown at the New Museum in New York,Rhizome, the Venice Biennale, and the 2010 01SJ Biennial in San Jose, California.
Petra Cortright makes, “Pulverizingly effective works of Internet art. Clear-eyed, dainty, and intuitive, they’re weird in a way that Net art has never been weird before”.
Webcam (2007) which is one of here first works, is about watching video’s online. Instead of being a simple consumer of YouTube, Cortright films herself while weaving into her video animations that both interrupt the experience of watching and question the entire physical process of sitting on front of a monitor.
On Saturday December 10th 2011, vvebcam (2007) was removed by YouTube because of Cortright’s large use of “offensive” words. “vvebcam”, now archived in Rhizome ArtBase, has been exhibited greatly and is widely discussed in critical and academic groups.
Petra Cortright uses a range of mediums, both digital and analog, to explore the aesthetics and performative cultures of online consumption.
She is predominantly interested in video-sharing sites like Youtube: in (2007), for example, she recorded herself on a webcam inactively scrolling through different effects on the recording device, while a monotonous trance beat played in the background.
Her work is promoting a rough home-video aesthetic, Cortright often records herself performing a simple act, such as kicking a football, towing at a tree branch, or dancing around a bedroom. Her works, which frequently engage effects, filters, or computer graphics, highlight video memes and behaviors common to sites like Youtube.