Posted On: March 25, 2008

Olia Lialina & Dragan Espenschied

Olia Lialina & Dragan Espenschied’s Online Newspapers: New York Edition is an Internet-based installation created from the front pages of four local daily newspapers: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Post, and New York Daily News. The installation appears daily, from 11 A.M. to 5 P.M., on four outdoor video screens.

For Online Newspapers: New York Edition, artists Olia Lialina and Dragan Espenschied revive the amateur aesthetic of the early Internet–a time when hobbyists and amateur journalists harnessed the  new technology to disseminate personal opinion. A myriad of quirky styles defined the homegrown aesthetic of the Internet’s beginnings: brightly-colored, animated GIFs and sparkling clip art. As major media outlets and corporations moved online, they changed the dominant Web aesthetic to one that was standardized, professionalized, and matched the design of print newspapers.

In Online Newspapers: New York Edition, Lialina and Espenschied pair early Internet aesthetics with mainstream press content, imagining how news sites might look were they developed by the lay journalists whose visual choices defined early Web culture. The pieces of the final result are incongruous: print pages, subsequently scanned, and finally illuminated by low-res, glittery, and jittery graphics. By using a cross-section of New York City papers, the artists subtly point to the qualitative assumptions we make about information we read and the significant role that design plays in these impressions. Creating a faux precedent to today’s Web news, Online Newspapers also alludes to the perpetual obsolescence of technology and style.

About the Artists

Russian-born artist Olia Lialina currently teaches at the Merz Academie in Germany. Originally a film critic, for the past decade she has produced influential works of network-based art and art criticism. Dragan Espenschied, born in Germany, has received international acclaim for his online art and music, and is a lecturer at Merz Academie in Germany. Individually and as collaborative partners, the work of both artists has been exhibited extensively online and at venues including Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria; Deitch Projects, New York; New Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany.


Mad. Sq. Art is made possible by Founding Partners: Agnes Gund & Daniel Shapiro, Jill & Peter Kraus, and Anonymous. Major support is provided by Donald R. Mullen Family Foundation, Leucadia Foundation, Toby D. Lewis Trust, and Henry Luce Foundation. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.


New York Times


Zing Magazine

Further Information

Olia Lialina

Dragan Espenschied