Wolfgang Staehle (*1950) is a media artist and the founder and executive director of THE THING, an independent media project and one of the seminal on-line and off-line forums for net art. THE THING began as a Bulletin Board System focusing on contemporary art and cultural theory in 1991 and moved its wares onto the Web in 1995.
Staehle was born in Stuttgart and has been living in New York since 1976. He is widely recognized as a pioneer of the Internet art scene, and his video and new media works have been exhibited world-wide. His work “Empire 24/7”, a live image of the Empire State Building in New York, was included in the “net_condition” show at ZKM Center in Karlsruhe (1999) and in “Loans from the Invisible Museum” at Yerba Buena Arts Center in San Francisco (2000). He had solo exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou, Paris (1993) and Marimura Art Museum, Tokyo (1990). His exhibition “2001” (Postmasters Gallery, September 2001) consisted of three Web-transmissions: the television tower in Berlin, the Comburg monastery, and a panoramic view of lower Manhattan, offering an instantaneous compression of time and space.