RIP Artists Space Cursor

(1)

 
artistsspace.org, as it was 

Today, storied NYC arts nonprofit Artists Space relaunched their website. Overall, it's a playful refinement, yet one that loses the old artistsspace.org's most defining feature: its oversized royal purple triangle cursor, derived from the institution's longstanding "A"-oriented visual identity. (A breezy and engaging history of which, given by Rob Giampietro in 2011, can be found here.) In fact, against the site's sparse backdrop, the cursor was, more or less, the design.[1]

Created by Studio Manuel Raeder, Artists Space's deceased cursor was hulking, distracting, so wonderfully weird. It was an input object that always left you wondering whether you'd clicked, and where. On an internet that values user comfort and control above all, the cursor asserted difference and disobedience—what we look for in art, in general. 

Here at Rhizome, we're lamenting the death of this art web icon. We loved it and now it's gone, and we feel as though we never gave it its public due. Yet as Kierkegaard reminds, life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

We'll be paying our respects at this weekend's opening.

[1] An unfortunate discovery made while writing this post: Wayback Machine doesn’t archive cursors, which means there is, as of yet, no public archive of artistsspace.org as it was.