. blog —

Announcing the Internet Art Microgrants Finalists, and Guest Juror Kimmo Modig

By Rhizome

The Internet Art Microgrants Juror

Votes are tallied, and we're pleased to announce the 20 finalists voted on by you to compete for five $500 Internet Art Microgrants. Now, our guest juror, Helsinki-based artist Kimmo Modig, will choose the awardees from your selections.

We invited Kimmo to adjudicate this inaugural commissioning program for brower-based work because of his sensitivity to a wide range of artists' practices and his understanding that even when art seems really silly it still can be DEEP 4 U:

To think that art is just for lulz in a world full of unfathomable suffering and constant exploitation is hard and some might say, unethical. In order to avoid these issues, we've created these value systems, complex ever-changing hierarchies, which are ultimately ways of proving that art matters. When I work with institutions, I try to always work directly with individuals, so I know that there's someone who hopefully understands what I'm trying to do.

In keeping, we expect his selections to demonstrate breadth and creativity. For more on Kimmo's practice, see Jesse Darling's Artist Profile.

The 20 proposals Kimmo will be considering are:

A. Bill Miller, new Grid works

I propose to continue my work investigating browser-based image/text relationships with a new suite of web pages. Following my projects "Sentences on Conceptual Art in gridfont7" and "gridCycles.net" I will explore how meaning is generated through language and image within the browser. This specific work will engage with a combination of CSS animations and Javascript that uses WebGL. It will engage typographic marks as 2D and 3D assets while engaging flat and dimensional browser-based environments. Although the desired outcome hasn't yet been determined, the work will likely parallel some of my previous work aesthetically while investigating my new interests in content.


MPAC - MEME POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE MPAC will act as a radical DIY think-tank that leverages art to empower citizens with new tools and platforms of expression under a collective pseudonym that allows for greater honesty through anonymity. Borrowing the language of modern politics as taken from the arena of social media, MPAC will make public a collection of crowd-sourced memes by artists about issues important to us. We will distribute the anonymous and easily sharable text/image/gif/expanded through a dedicated MPAC website headquarters. Political Action Committees are legally anonymous and often shady organizations that donate mega-resources to politicians who share specific idealogical beliefs. Alternatively, MPAC (a non-legal PAC entity), will generate resources of text/image/gif/expanded as creative tools to spread throughout MPAC participants online networks and the organizations and groups that they support.

Andrea CrespoNous

The Nous product site is a showcase for the speculative Nous platform. Nous is a comprehensive psychosocial monitoring service for mental health professionals. Nous allows doctors to monitor emotional and affective states of their clients via content analytics. Nous analyzes patient browsing habits, social media use, and content preferences for diagnostics. Nous not only provides doctors with detailed, clinically-valuable information but also aids in assessment of patient condition. The platform provides diagnostic data via a complete DSM-V database. The corporate website will act as an exposition of near-future biopolitical horizons, in which our data trails are put to clinical use. Site will be styled and fashioned with branding saturated with calming blues and clinical skies, drawing semblance between social media sites and techno-medical visuality. Nous features will be listed, explained, and illustrated. Nous is endless potential for the future of mental health assessment, the birth of a new clinic awaits.

Andrew LymanSingle Occupancy

Single Occupancy - a website, similar in function to an airplane lavatory, which may only be visited by a single person in the world at a given time. It will display a different image/message/secret to each visitor. Those who would tell don't know, and those who know aint telling. A way to personalize the overwhelming scale of the great wide internet - to find a place where you know explicitly that you are alone and to experience the enticement that denied access inflates.

Angela WashkoBANGED

Roosh V, self-proclaimed pick-up artist and author of "BANG: The Pickup Bible" as well as "Bang Ukraine", "Don't Bang Denmark" and "Day Bang" (among countless other books that clearly start with a bang), teaches insecure "beta" men to alpha up and get laid as quickly and often as possible. Distinguishing himself from other PUAs through his globetrotting sexcapades and his Red Pill philosophy (google it), Roosh earns a living publishing his "rabid wolf" methodology - but doesn't care to provide testimonials from the women he's banging! I intend to create a platform for the women who have been on the receiving end of Roosh's dick. BANGED will be a webpage of video interviews, yelp-style text reviews of Roosh's sexual performance + pick-up game, and images and bios from the women he refuses to acknowledge beyond the notch.

Ben GrosserMusic Obfuscator

At the behest of corporate copyright holders, media sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo have implemented listening algorithms designed to identify uploaded music. However, these "Content ID" systems are designed to presume all use is illegal use; every match is automatically flagged, muted, and/or removed. The Music Obfuscator will enable users to hide music from Content ID. Each audio track submitted to the Obfuscator will be altered using a variety of signal processing techniques. The degree of alteration will be adjustable in order to accommodate changes in detection systems over time. How drastic will the changes need to be to evade detection? What kind of an aural world can exist on the edges of computational listening? The Music Obfuscator will help us understand the answers to these questions. The system will be web-based, allowing easy drag-and-drop of audio files, and—with permission—will archive obfuscated results for others to browse. 

Christophe BarbeauInternet's White Cube

Internet's White Cube The White Cube is an important structure in contemporary art. It is hard to deny the efficiency of this kind of context for presenting art. The White Cube is also an excellent adjuvant in our cognitive process of recognizing what we call Art. Even the institutional critique needs the Withe Cube as a symbol for the demonization of the institution. But what is the counterpart of the White Cube in the Internet ? Or in other words, what are the most common ways of entering into relation with art on the World Wide Web ? What are the specific strategies of artists creating internet-based artwork ? How is internet shaping what we are calling ART ? With my project, Internet's White Cube, I'm hoping to work on a structure for encountering Internet-based Art Work. No documentation of exhibition. The real deal on the Internet !

Deanna & JackWell, Actually: a journal of vernacular criticism!

Well, Actually: a journal of vernacular criticism! PDF based quarterly open to criticism as it exists in the field, nuance welcomed but not required! Available online for download. H/t to Brian Droitcour Edited by Deanna Havas & Jack Kahn

Emilie GervaisFlying Toasters

I'm gonna make a website to fall asleep on & to, a website that says sweet dreams with flying toasters.

Eva and Franco MattesBucket Salute

We will commission ten new performances called "Bucket Salute": you must be in the water, with a bucket on your head, a can in your hand, saluting. The performances will be part of our ongoing project BEFNOED: By Everyone, For No One, Every Day. The actions are carried out by anonymous workers we hire through crowdsourcing services, so we do not know who they are, where they are, or even their motivations. The resulting videos will be dispersed on social networks you may never have heard of, in Cambodia, Russia, China, South Africa… Links to new videos will be posted daily at http://befnoed.tumblr.com

Faith HollandPorn Interventions

Porn Interventions is a series of site-specific videos made for RedTube. The works invoke pornographic tropes but defy porn viewers' expectations. The videos are uploaded to RedTube using the site's own vernacular clickbait, with tags such as "solo girl," "BBW," "amateur," etc. I plan to produce a series for RedTube that explores the idea of technoeroticism. For example, several pieces will portray female anatomy grafted onto hardware. In an homage to Deep Throat, in which a woman's clitoris is displaced into her throat, I will "discover" that my audio jack has a clitoris and then fuck it with a microphone. I will also "masturbate" my webcam, treating it as a clit that comes to orgasm, but the image onscreen will be an abstraction produced by my fingers blocking the camera. Instead of the free flow of sexualized bodies, porn surfers are confronted with something critical, strange, and not very sexy.

Lena NW and Julia KunbergerViral

"Viral" is a game that parodies celebrity status games (i.e. Kim Kardashian: Hollywood (app), The Urbz (PS2)) but focuses on the concept of becoming an Internet celebrity via social media. "Viral" hybridizes different types of gameplays: a quest/adventure, photography interface, dress-up, dating simulation, and personality quiz. The player can achieve 5 different levels of fame: gutterslut, troll, meme, "yumblr" famous, and viral. Through customizable performance identities, users have control over the "production" of their medias. For example, a user can choose to post a trendy chain video (i.e. cinnamon challenge), shock video, vlog, fake suicide video, etc. Each decision determines whether celebrity status points are increased or deducted. To boost status points, the user may also go on dates via the app "Cinder," post photos on "instacam", and upload videos to "glutube." "Viral" comments on status, performance, identity, and the narcissistic underpinnings of online personas.

Martha Hipley, untitled Twitter hack

Some asshole is squatting on https://twitter.com/everyoneisugly which is really maddening since I own everyoneisugly.com and have http://instagram.com/everyoneisugly. Someone is also squatting on http://everyoneisugly.tumblr.com/. I have tried to contact both account owners politely so I can just buy the usernames, but whoever made them probably doesn't even have access to them anymore. It is super goofy that Twitter and Tumblr won't just free up dead accounts so I can have unified personal branding. I would use the Rhizome grant to hire someone to hack both accounts so I can delete them and have those usernames for myself. I would also do my best to document this as obnoxiously as possible so that I can likely get in trouble with both Twitter and Tumblr.

Martine SymsLessons

"Lessons" are an ongoing series of 30-sec videos that I refer to as "commercials." Watch here: https://vimeo.com/103862088. Each spot advertises a lesson I've learned from the tradition. Inspired by Fred Moten's writings on the musical break, the videos apply his ideas to the commercial break. The lessons resist the dominant logics of the cut, the figure, the voiceover, the frame. My goal is to create 180 videos in total. I'd like to present them as a continuous stream of full-screen videos at http://l-e-s-s-o-n-s.com. The videos will play in random order in an endless loop—an improvised edit, if you will. I will use the $500 micogrant to offset the costs of development and hosting.

Melanie Clemmons, preservation support

The pace of technology's rapid fire progression causes a premature shift away from older versions of software/hardware. These pioneering technologies still haven’t been exhausted and hold merit in further exploration. The Media Archaeology Lab (MAL) in Boulder, CO claims similar logic, as their mission is to collect obsolete yet functional hardware and software. This past summer Zak Loyd and I have had the pleasure of working as artists in residence at the MAL. We giddily explored various computers/programs, realizing we weren't done with this technology before the newer forms became available. In an effort to document our work and to create a net art video-installation, we would greatly appreciate funding from the microgrant committee. We believe the internet is the right venue for our installation because we want to encourage the international community to revisit their older technologies with a creative and playful mindset. Thank you, Melanie Clemmons


I aim to make a suite of static and animated screen works entitled CAVE EXITS. The series explores visual forms and psychological metaphors of the labyrinth, particularly highlighting the effects of using recursive feedback systems in the production of an image such as this: http://these.electricobjects.com/objects/2274. Rendered all in black and white, this series takes inspiration from a variety of sources including imaginary prisons of Giovanni Piranesi, Bridget Riley's early Op art paintings, and the framework of early computer graphics which necessitated a minimalist pixel-based approach towards their design.  CAVE EXITS will launch as its own labyrinth in 2015 through an expanding website to be navigated hyperlink by hyperlink.

Robyn BontempoEvery Ad on the Internet

In 1985, the UK House of Lords recommended that all public advertising be banned, with reference to “the manipulation of the human psyche within a functioning democracy." Every possible attempt will be made to collect and embed every-single-ad that has ever been, or will be placed on the Internet. The resulting immense single-page site will function as a constantly growing and endless design museum with millions of entries. Visually, you could think of something like "Million Dollar Homepage," except this frontier keeps growing, and most importantly, this one is for the people. The ads will be monetized: either per-click or per-view. The site is a gallery, a protest against visual pollution, and a monetized redistribution network against the concept of advertising itself. Hundreds of thousands of people will be employed to click through this universe, and the surplus profit will be distributed equally amongst all, handsomely-compensated, users.

Scott GelberFoundations

"Foundations" is a project that pays tribute to early internet GIFs. I will solicit from artists and personally create updated versions of pixel GIFs from the early internet to be recreated with the latest digital tools. The project will show appreciation for early internet art pioneers and introduce & hopefully instill appreciation in generations that did not experience these works in their original context. I have created one of these already and if given this grant I would create a new site to showcase and share the original & recreated works http://time-cop.tumblr.com/post/53544947843/scott-gelber-unknown-skeleton-catching-e-mail

Silvio LorussoKickended

"Kickended" is a website that randomly displays Kickstarter's $0.00-funded campaigns. Kickended is the place where unsuccessful campaigns with no backers can live a second life which is free from the pressure of money collection and has the purity of abstract ideas.

Sterling CrispinPlein Air 002

This work is a web-based continuation of Plein Air 001, a project I completed in 2012, and these works are both sketches for a more active and alive algorithmic landscape I'd like to create. In this work I'm reimagining the ongoing contemporary expansion into cyberspace in the context of the colonization and expansion into the American West, and its depiction by the Hudson River School of painters, as well as the sublime as addressed by Romanticism. The land was a vast rugged territory waiting to be colonized.This raw expansiveness and infinite nature of reality in relation to the human body colors this sublime experience with terror and awe. In many ways cyberspace has already been colonized. Large multinational corporate entities have won, constructing vast architectures of information and light. Yet unlike the American West the frontier and wilderness of cyberspace is infinite, and itself expands with every boundary crossing.


— Share this Article —