Millie Niss

Posted by Myron Turner | Tue Dec 1st 2009 7:24 p.m.

I'm sad to be the one to report this but I didn't find anything else about it on Rhizome. Millie Niss, a member of and contributor to Rhizome, died of H1N1 a few days ago. She was the editor of Sporkworld and participated in collaborations with a number of other Rhizomers. She was 36.

  • marc garrett | Tue Dec 1st 2009 8:56 p.m.
    Hi Myron and all,

    I heard about this earlier today and feel a deep sadness regarding her death. I met her a couple of times and collaborated on a net art project with her and others a while back. Millie had been ill for a while, and I only knew her whilst she was not well, it is a big shame.

    Selection of some of her work that I value:

    Oulipoems - a series of six interactive poetry works - http://collection.eliterature.org/1/works/niss__oulipoems.html excellent electronic poems by Millie Niss with Martha Deed. Web-works by Millie Niss can be seen here http://www.sporkworld.org/webpub.html

    "That his humor didn't save him (and that his real death was so similar to the one in this poem) is an argument against the value of art in fighting suicide, but the idea is to stay alive as long as one can and to create as much art as one can - about other things as well as despair. Moreover, human despair is a constant element in life and should be reflected in art, and these damaged artists who have fought it or given into it themselves are our best chance at reflecting that aspect of life in art." Suicide, Art, and Humor. Millie Niss
    http://www.somedancersandmusicians.com/essays/millie.html

    Sheep Apnea - Martha Deed and Millie Niss with Graphics by Muriel Frega.
    http://www.arteonline.arq.br/blog/mixes/niss_deed/

    A Hecatomb in Cheektowaga - Video created by Millie Niss and Martha Deed, in the style of a public service announcement or political ad, featuring recent (Summer 2005) events in the town of Cheektowaga, New York, USA.
    http://tinyurl.com/yen6727

    Millie's work for me, has always reached beyond the surface of things. Somehow in her work, she has managed to communicate an essence of her character and her varied intentions very successfully. There is a unique sense of humour in much of her work, even when dealing with dark themes. A surreal edge, is informed by her view on humanity and all of its, seemingly perpetual absurdities. Mixed with a playful and open spirit, and a twist of simplicity. Millie's work may have fooled those lost and caught up in the consumer'ish, lust for one liner prose or sudo-designer art. Her work was more for those who were not bound by such distracting trends, it was and still is open for all. Often beguiling one with a presence of childishness, then as you live with it longer and feel its grace and power as it touches inside, a contextual knowing unfolds - levelling it all out with a wisdom that dares not to fall for show or spectacle to justify its true, authentic voice.

    Good bye Millie...

    marc
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