Agatha Appears


Olia Lialina


Agatha Appears is a work of net art displaying a story about plugging in and unplugging, communication and (digital) noise. It speaks about the meeting and the adventures of a man and a woman – an anonymous webmaster and a young lady from the countryside – in a big town.


This artwork use HTML to extend techniques of cinematic montage into an array of browser frames, generating bits of text and image that, when clicked through, offer users multiple possible pathways.

Coming from a small village, Agatha says to the admin she is lost in the city. “HA-HA-HA! Baby, have u heard of the INTERNET?” he responds, promising that she’ll be able to teleport anywhere she likes onces he shows her how.

How Agatha’s fantastical story unfolds over time is complicated, and might take a new user several attempts before they notice that Olia Lialina has employed certain browser components in highly atypical ways…

Olia Lialina is born in Moscow in 1971 and now based in Germany. She is among the best-known participants in the 1990s scene – an early – days, network-based art pioneer. Her early work had a great impact on recognizing the Internet as a medium for artistic expression and storytelling. This century, her continuous and close attention to Internet architecture, “net.language” and vernacular web – in both artistic and publishing projects – has made her an important voice in contemporary art and new media theory.

Lialina has, for the past two decades, produced many influential works of network-based art : My Boyfriend Came Back from the War (1996), Agatha Appears (1997), First Real Net Art Gallery (1998), Last Real Net Art Museum (2000), Online Newspapers (2004-2018), Summer (2013), Self-Portrait (2018), Best Effort Network (2015/2020), Hosted (2020).

Lialina is also known for using herself as a GIF model, and is credited with founding one of the earliest web galleries, Art Teleportacia. She is cofounder and keeper of One Terabyte of Kilobyte Age archive and a professor at Merz Akademie in Stuttgart, Germany.

Document(s) to download

Fiche pédagogique de l'œuvre
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