Martine Syms and Gina Trapani at the 7th edition of Seven on Seven. Photo: Madison McGaw/BFA
On Saturday, the seventh edition of Rhizome’s Seven on Seven conference took place at the New Museum. For the conference, Rhizome pairs up seven artists and seven technologists and gives them a simple assignment: make something in twenty-four hours, and present the results the following day in a public conference. In the past, participants have launched artworks and startup companies; the potential risk and reward involved in these encounters between leading figures in distinct but overlapping fields is what lends Seven on Seven its particular drama. Whatever the results, the conference is always a fascinating look at the process of collaboration and a snapshot of contemporary concerns in the discourse around art and technology. The theme of Empathy & Disgust ran throughout this edition; as a point of departure, it allowed participants a starting point around which to structure their collaborations; in particular, it seemed to point many participants toward the problem of having to relate to the computer, whether it treats as data points or patients, consumers or targets. Without further ado, here are the big ideas to emerge from this edition!