What is happening to rhizome?

Posted by Annie Abrahams | Thu Jan 12th 2012 8:03 p.m.

For some time now the discussion thread on rhizome seems to be "dead" - hardly anyone reading, reacting. What changed ? Why? Whenever I come back to have a look it feels as a graveyard with some ghost of the past still roaming.

Where is the discussion, the excitement ... the community ?

I feel sorry for rhizome, but should I? - still affectively connected, but for the first time this year I didn't donate.
What is important for you Rhizome? What do you want to sustain?

yours
Annie
  • Michael Szpakowski | Fri Jan 13th 2012 6:27 a.m.
    absolutely. Rhizome has played a huge role in my life but I feel the same way as Annie. Although as a top down resource it remains hugely valuable, I no longer feel a part of it in the way I once did.
    Maybe I'm not the constituency that Rhizome wants to connect with anymore, I don't know.
    I can't help feeling that a return to a mailing list ( not impossible these days, Netbehaviour is thriving) for discussion would help. Some things retain their value even when they're old (!).
    Again Netbehaviour runs an integrated mailing list/forum/board very successfully, so it can be done...
    If anyone asks me, which this year no-one has, I'll give, but I'm feeling increasingly that it would simply be a donation to support yet another professionalised critical institution which, God knows , I wouldn't like to see go but which no longer ever fills me with joy and sometimes rage...
    michael
  • Michael Szpakowski | Fri Jan 13th 2012 6:36 a.m.
    PS Annie and I are both artists who exhibit nationally & internationally regularly. We're not superstars (well, Annie is but not perhaps in *that* sense). I teach at a fairly senior level in the UK and I publish writing about the art world. We're both ,I think, in our fifties and our work may not feel cutting edge but it has some, modest, significance.
    There are a lot of others like us who've simply given up on Rhizome. If you feel that our engagement and that of those like us doesn't matter then that's fine but I can't help thinking this is a mistake and it would be worth taking a slightly longer view.
  • Kimberly Kradel | Fri Jan 13th 2012 12:53 p.m.
    This was this first year that I actually supported Rhizome with a donation. Prior to this, I thought that Rhizome was interesting, but it didn't really fit with my work. But now my work has, or one of my series has, moved into the digital realm, albeit conservatively, and I find that there is a lot of information on the site that interests me.

    I don't feel connected to it in a community way, and sometimes I don't get the editorial concepts, but I do feel it has value.
  • Zoë Salditch | Fri Jan 13th 2012 2 p.m.
    Hi Annie and Michael,

    Those are good questions – and ones I ask myself, as Program Manager, regularly.

    It's true, the community evolved over the last 16 years. Rhizome grew to become a much larger organization with many more programs than just a mailing list. But while the organization has grown, we haven't forgotten about where and how we started: as an email with artists like you participating! You've made and continue to make valuable contributions to the community.

    Today, I feel that the conversation has moved to the social media sphere, like Twitter and Facebook, and onto dedicated listservs like nettime and Netbehaviour. Nick Hasty put in a great effort to improve the Discussion section of the site when we revamped last year, but we have noticed a thinning out of activity, though once in a while we do get great heated conversations. We're examining these trends as well.

    Netbehavior and nettime has a fantastically active community – but they don't also run a website, a blog, and year round programming like Rhizome does. Perhaps the conversation has died down on the website because we have so many other programs? Maybe people feel less inclined to speak up on the website now that there are dedicated arenas for conversation?

    You both value conversation on Rhizome, and I as well! I appreciate your candor – It's honesty like this that will help spark conversation here again.

    Best,
    Zoë
    • marc garrett | Sun Jan 15th 2012 9:20 a.m.
      Hi Zoe,

      I thought it best to mention a couple of things regarding the current conversation.

      >Netbehavior and nettime has a fantastically active community –
      >but they don't also run a website, a blog, and year round programming like Rhizome does.

      At this point, it's important to let people know that Netbehaviour (itself) like Rhizome, has an extended set of different commmunities on line and off-line. The Netbehaviour list is run by Furtherfield www.furtherfield.org which is a large, international arts collective, and Furtherfield also has a gallery in London http://www.furtherfield.org/gallery - not only that, we all share have different communities connected to this ever expansive and dynamic media art releated community such as www.furthernoise.org and www.visitorsstudio.org and the list goes on...

      wishing you well.

      marc garrett
      • Zoë Salditch | Tue Jan 17th 2012 11:42 a.m.
        Hi Marc,

        Thanks for the clarification - I didn't realized Furtherfield and Netbehaviour were connected. We're big fans of both, and really enjoying the Women, Art, and Technology series.

        Best,
        Zoë
  • curt cloninger | Sat Jan 14th 2012 9:58 p.m.
    the spam filter queue went a long way toward killing many-to-many conversation. posting used to be instantaneous. now it is a bit faster than a lantern signal chain; a bit slower than a message in a bottle. so The Medium Forerly Known As Rhizome Raw (d)evolved into a few-to-many (group blog) broadcast model (at least in practice). Rhizome editorial staff posts find their way back to the discussion forum and are occasionally footnoted with facebook-esque thumbs-up banality ("rad post, bro").

    http://youtu.be/rq2s4WFThSM

    my children went to web 2.0 and all i got was this stupid vacuum,
    curt

    [tosses bottle into sea]
    • Annie Abrahams | Sun Jan 15th 2012 4:24 p.m.
      thanks Curt, this makes sense and this shows where to go if Rhizome wants to REdiscuss

      btw Furtherfield also has a website with interesting articles published regularly for instance : Woman, Art & Technology: Interview with Lynn Hershman Leeson By Rachel Beth Egenhoefer the first in a series of article about Woman, Art & Technology (06 / 01 / 2011)
    • Nick Hasty | Tue Jan 17th 2012 11:20 a.m.
      Hi Curt, All,

      I truly wish we didn't have to moderate discussion as well. Ideally this would be an open forum, but spammers prey upon sites with strong page ranks and solid traffic in order to push their SEO, and unfortunately there's an unavoidable delay involved in keeping the boards spam free.

      The new site, however, is built so that posts by community members with a history of activity, such as yourself and the others in this thread, should automatically bypass moderation and go directly to the site and mailing list.

      All the best,

      Nick
  • MARIJA VAUDA PILIPOVIC | Thu Jan 26th 2012 4:53 a.m.
    ...WHEN DREAM BECAME 'REALITY' TROUBLE BECAME VISIBLE...BEGINNING OF RHIZOME MAILING WAS EXCITING BUT PRESENT IS SAD...IT'S NOT BECAUSE PEOPLE/NOW AN HERE/ HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO...IT'S BECAUSE PEOPLE HAVE NO SLIGHTEST IDEA 'HOW TO DO'...IT WAS SO MUCH DREAM IN RHIZOME_RAW TEEN YEARS AGO AND IT'S SO MUCH BAD 'REALITY' IN IT IN THIS DAYS...BTW.MANIK FIND THAT SOFTWARE CONCEPT MAKE DISTANCE BETWEEN ONE WHO WRITE AND ONE WHO RECEIVE MESSAGE...CONTACT MUST BE DIRECT IN MEASURE THAT NET IDEOLOGY CAN GIVE-MAXIMUM...MANIK...JANUARY...2012...
    • ui uuii | Thu Jan 26th 2012 9:46 a.m.
      MANK ALWAYYYS CORRECTOR. DREAM WAS BAD TO BEGINZ WITH, TO MAKE SOCIETY BETTER BY PUTTING WALLS BETWEEN US & DE-EMPHASIZE ACTUAL PEOPLE NOW/NOW & HERE/NW RR TREATED TO SPAMS & LOOKS LIKE ADS FOR COMPUTER COS NEW TOOLS MOSTLY, -ART ANNOUNCEMENTS STILL OK. SAD. HOW DID PRO-ART BECOME PRO-NET-IDEOLOGY. HOW DID WE BECOME ADS FOR BODY AUGMENTATION, ANTI-AGING CREAMZ, NO BODY ANTI BODY. FIX
  • MARIJA VAUDA PILIPOVIC | Thu Jan 26th 2012 7:43 p.m.
    ...MANIK LIVE IN ENVIRONMENT WHERE NET REMIND ON RHIZOME BEFORE 7-8 YEARS...I NOTICED THAT MY SPACE FOR MOWING GET BIGGER BECAUSE OF EXPERIENCE I PICK ON RHIZOME_RAW...THAT MEAN WE /ON NET/ LEARN HOW TO INDUCE POWER/IN SOCIAL,SKILL....OR WHATEVER SENSE/... AND HOW TO USE THAT POWER/KNOWLEDGE/FOR MANIPULATIONS OR FOR BUILD SOCIETY WITH ETHIC BASE ...IT'S LIKE NEW SHAPE OF EDUCATION...HEURISTIC...ADVENTURE FOR SURE...MAYBE SOMEBODY WHO KNOW MORE THAN MANIK HAVE RIGHT ANSWER/?/...I DEEPLY DOUBT...BUT ONE'S ONE'S FOR SURE-RHIZOME SHOULD BE MORE CAREFULE TOWARD MAILING BECAUSE THERE'S PLENTY INTERESTING POSSIBILITY TO EXPLORE...MANIK...JANUARY...2012...
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