Jan Robert started exploring the sculptural properties of internet browsers and software in general in 1997, using buttons, scrollbars, and table borders in online installations; in earlier sculptural works he used unusual materials, for instance creating walls from sheets of Xerox copy paper or large slabs of brown packing paper. The various elements of the browser window appear to have a striking physical reality, gained through user familiarity, interactivity and animation. […]
The exhibition site links an interview with the artist. Here’s the line that resonated with me:
Peter Luining: You started as a sculptor doing installations. What brought you to the internet? Jan Robert Leegte: The world behind the computer screen has always fascinated me. (Probably since my dad occasionally brought a primal desktop computer home from the office back around 1980, shortly afterwards followed by the inevitable Commodore 64.)
Ah, the world behind the computer screen. For me, glowing pixels seemed alive and wild with possibility. These days we have so many of them that I forget what it was like when every one was precious.
Leegte is also curating a show, The Anatomy of the Now, which looks like an interesting marriage of digital computer concepts and perception.