A net art piece inspired by Olia Lialina’s 1996 work, My Boyfriend Came Back from the War, which utilized HTML and early default web styles to create cinematic narratives. The work inspired many new interpretations and remixes across many mediums which were collectively showcased in Lialina’s solo exhibition of the same title. ⇲
The decision to remediate a version of My Boyfriend Came Back From the War stemmed from another project of Olia Liliana’s titled Last Real Net Art Museum. It existed as another website, and opposed the idea of museums by curating her own collection of internet art pieces that were direct responses and remixes of MBCBFTW. Created four years after her publishing of MBCBFTW, Last Real Net Art Museum showcased work from 1996, the year the project was conceived, to as late as 2016. Seeing all the varied ways people had appropriated Liliana’s original piece was what inspired me to create my own. Some depict a similar labyrinth of stories embedded in a static HTML page, while others are more experimental. Everything from short films, gouache paintings, and comic books have been created in response to her work, highlighting the influence her piece had in regarding the internet as a new artistic platform.
I knew I wanted to remediate MBCBFTW, and turned to my own personal narrative to give the project new form. I began going through text messages and diaries I had from high school for content, as communication and language are vital components of Liliana’s work. After several creative writing prompts that generated a collection of ideas, I decided to focus on an internal monologue during the early stages of a relationship.
My Boyfriend Came Back Online, 2017