In his work Angelo Plessas makes internet psychogeography. He names places on the web and makes interactive portraits of his friends or other versions of himself (MeLookingAtYou.com, 2001, www.plagueoffantasy.com 2010). He makes places where people can meet offline (Monument to Internet Hook-ups, 2009) and he organizes situations with internet friends in remote locations (Eternal Internet Brotherhood 2012-ongoing).
Sometimes Plessas’ websites pretend to be monuments in real cities (Every Website is a Monument, Milan 2010, Mexico City 2011, London 2012). He also registered his own foundation, The Angelo Foundation, which he uses as a vehicle for educational meditational participatory setting like the “Temple Of Play” (Frieze Projects 2013), “School of Music” (National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens 2011). Other times the foundation hosts performative works, like the auto-complete theatrical play “Fantasy Plot Generator” where actors recite dialogues produced by a web software fed character names by internet users. All these works are more or less based on the social lessons that the internet has taught us: you can say anything, be anyone, meet everybody. Nobody will know what color you are, how old you are, or if you are in fact a human or a bot. Angelo Plessas’ work revolves around these issues of internet freedom and online personality that evolves through social media.
In between all the social happenings, he keeps making the websites that started his art practice in 2000. They are in a way sketches for online personas, and their single domain-name titles make them unique internet objects.
In the last couple of years Plessas has been focusing a lot on the Eternal Internet Brotherhood, a gathering and recidency for internet artists that he organizes independently and crowdsources once a year. It has already happened in the Greek island of Anafi, in the surrealist park of Las Posas in the Mexican in the West Bank in Palestine, in Malaspina Castle in Italy, in Sri Lanka and in Dörnberg Nature Reserve, just outside the city of Kassel. It is an ephemeral exhibition where the only audience is the participating artists. Everybody is free to make what they feel like, whatever the chosen location tells them.
He is also the founder of The Experimental Education Protocol, #ExeDuPro, an alternative educational model that is structured around experiential and communal learning. It’s an ongoing navigation of opinions, personalities and approaches who would coexist and one will learn from each other. Each time the initiators will bring together ideas, fragments and considerations in order to experiment with the experiential and experience the experiment. The conditioning of the school will be open and different classrooms will be formed revolving around influences of nature, spirituality, rituals, topicalities, rethinking institutions and urban mechanisms.
Plessas tries to make work for the current time of the internet. The focus of his work is to network the offline with the online in ways that make us understand aspects of both conditions and to generate new ways of relating to both. When it’s a gathering of people who know each other online only, we observe how they react with each other, what works they make, what they won’t do. When it’s a website work projected in a real space, we observe a usually solitary internet object interacted with, in a public space. When it’s a monument generated by a website, we understand that cities are just places we scroll and click through, massive multiuser environments full of precarious information graphics.
Angelo Plessas’ work is a portrait of your online and offline self, Together.
Plessas recently presented his work in Documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel, curated by Adam Szymzyck (2017)