Rhizome Ghost - 24-Hour DOA
You enter a small candlelit library. A crowd of mourners mill about an open coffin in the center of the room. In the coffin rests a body wrapped in a white sheet. The sheet has two black spots painted on for eyes.
T.Whid approaches you dressed in black, two whiskeys in hand. As he offers you a drink, he begins...
T. Whid -- Hell. Glad you could make it out tonight, didn’t think you'd make it. Here, have a drink, find a place to stand. M.River is going to start soon. Lauren, Patrick and Luis are already here. I think they're over at the buffet table. Please, help yourself. Thanks again for coming out.
As you make your way through the crowd to the buffet table, M. River, dressed in a white suit with black armband, climbs onto a chair near the coffin. He raises his arms into the air and begins.
M. River -- Dearly Beloved, a few months ago Luis Silva asked T.Whid and I to participate in an email-based exhibition hosted on Rhizome. We had recently been thinking about how Rhizome has, in the past, been used not only as a place to announce and talk about art, but also as a platform to create art. We were also thinking about some MTAA projects like "firstname.lastname@example.org"
), "Endnode AKA Printer Tree" (http://endnode.net/
) and "Karaoke DeathMatch 100" (http://www.mteww.com/kdm100/
), all of which incorporated open, group interactions.
We were thinking about a key on the floor, a group identity, and an empty room. We were also thinking about, as we often do when we think about the Internet, ghosts.
We worked with Rhizome to set-up an open account using the email@example.com
email address. We then wrote this text as our work for the "FW: Re: Re:" (http://rhizome.org/editorial/fp/blog.php/908
a one-month email haunting of rhizome.org (aka firstname.lastname@example.org) user name: email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org)
password: boobooboo 11-07-2008 to 11-08-2008
Less than 24 hours after the ghost was released, it was locked down. The ghost's password was changed barring the public from interacting with the piece. The ghost's controller next bombed Rhizome with spam, racist rants and sexist screeds for a few hours then stopped.
Two options presented themselves: 1) continue the project with a smaller group of people or 2) kill the project. Of the two choices, killing the project after 24 hours seemed like the only honest thing to do.
So, here we are one week later to bid farewell to email@example.com
Now, If you would all please raise you glasses with me. A toast! To the belief that utter and complete failure is still a viable option in art. The ghost is dead. Long live the ghost!
As you file out with the sobbing crowd, you notice T.Whid preparing to pound a stake into the ghost's heart as M.River douses the sheet with gasoline, while waving a dead chicken over it.