The English name of Netize.net is influenced by Western tech jargon, which originally coined the word “Netizen” in 1984. The combination of “Internet + Citizen” at the time of its creation symbolized a kind of unified Web freedom amongst users. Netize.net is therefore a direct reference to the early idea of Web freedom defined by the West in the 80’s. It also refers to how media adopted and still currently describes Chinese users online as “Chinese netizens”.
In contrast, 网友网 wǎngyǒuwǎng–the Chinese name–translates humorously to “Internet Friend Network” and is a reference to early interactions on the Web between Chinese people through chat rooms and BBS boards.
Netize.net 网友网 hopes to share the Chinese side of the Web to the rest of the World Wide Web through interviews, writings and collections in an attempt to open up new explorations of the Chinternet and technology alongside its ongoing relationship and contribution to the discourse and aesthetics of digital, Internet and Post-Internet Art.
Netize.net 网友网 works with emerging Chinese and international artists, writers, researchers and curators who are exploring or deconstructing East/West dichotomies, engaging in Sino-centric Web aesthetics, discussing human-technology interactions in China or investigating the East online. This inclusion of both Chinese and international artists and researchers will connect geographically distant creative contexts, as well as provide a greater online presence to Mainland artists working in forms of New Media, digital or Internet art inside and outside of China.