Always Evolving, Historically Rooted — Rhizome Needs Your Support

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Still frame from Cory Arcangel, Various Self Playing Bowling Games (2011), as featured in Cory Arcangel: Pro Tools, curated by Christiane Paul for the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Rhizome puts the future of new media art in dialogue with its past — support the conversation, donate today.

Rhizome has been online since 1996 and I have been lucky enough to witness its growth from an informal email list to the organization it is today.

What I appreciate about Rhizome is that even as it continues to evolve and reinvent itself year after year, seeking out emerging ideas, artists, and areas of practice, it remains firmly rooted in a historical context. This can be seen not only in its pioneering work in the field of digital preservation, but also in programming and writing that finds contemporary relevance in media archives and brings different generations into dialogue.

Rhizome is a vital link between the past, present, and future of art and technology.

Support them, as I do. Give today.

— Christiane Paul, curator and scholar

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Bitcoin and the Speculative Anarchist

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Kari Altmann, image from Soft Mobility Abstracts (2014). 

When I tell my close friends—who know of, and share, my anti-capitalist anarchist views—that I own some cryptocurrency (my current holdings equal something under 10 USD) I get the same sort of looks that I did when I told them in 2009 that I used Twitter. "How can you support that libertarian bullshit?"

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Artists in the C A S C A D E: Kari Altmann and Rhizome's Insta

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#softcontrolabstracts 2012-ongoing @softmobility @karialtmann

In recent years, a central challenge for Rhizome as an internet-based organization has been adjusting to the C A S C A D E (to expand on a phrase coined by Gawker Deputy Editor Max Read), the torrent of feeds that more or less constitute the contemporary (though rapidly changing) internet. Most of our traffic comes to Rhizome via these feeds—Facebook and Twitter, of course, and the new ones that are angel-invested into reality every day. Still, we don't jump onto every rapidly popularizing forum; we have one of our own to cultivate.

All of this is all to say that we never had a compelling reason to start an Instagram account, or, let's say, a compelling way in which to use the platform. But this changed last fall, when artist Ed Fornieles suggested that he launch and operate an account on our behalf as a way of layering up the "character" of Rhizome for his LARPesque gala, New York New York Happy Happy. In the weeks leading up to the event, his posts staged a descent into moneyed debauchery (champagne, neoclassical painting, Macklemore) and creepy biotechnologies (cloning, intense photos of eyes). It was an oddly charged experience for us at IRL Rhizome, at times agonistic: one image was taken down for infringing Insta’s Terms of Service (it was a guy’s bethonged butt with the text "Believe in the Booty") and we asked Ed to take one or two down for broaching our (flexible to a point!) sense of institutional responsibility.

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Shia LaBeouf: Is there genius in his endgame?

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Hollywood has come to regard the likes of LaBeouf as disposable freelancers: cheap relative to more established stars, there to fill space between the explosions the summer audience really wants to see. In December, LaBeouf used work, without giving credit, by the illustrator Daniel Clowes in his short film, "HowardCantour.com." LaBeouf is currently sitting in a Los Angeles art gallery wearing a paper bag over his head that says “I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE,” and while you could quibble with that statement based on all the press he’s been getting, there's one sense in which it's true: LaBeouf has now become infamous.

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TEDxVaduz: Towards a new future through a moribund format

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Femke Herregraven speaks at TEDxVaduz, Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Dec 2013. Via DIS.

TEDxVaduz was held at Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein in December of 2013. Designed and organized by artists Simon Denny and Daniel Keller, the event seemed, at first glance, like a well-organized parody. But the list of speakers included an array of legitimately exciting artists and thinkers—Peter Fend, Andi Götz, Femke Herregraven, Michaela Hogenboom Kindle, Michael Littger, Michel André Maréchal, Katja Novitskova, Emily Segal, and Regula Stämpfli—convened under a relevant theme, "Radically Open."

From the outset, it was clear that TEDxVaduz aimed to work both within and against the context provided by the TED brand. Denny opened the event by giving a brief history of TED and the TEDx conferences. Keller provided the current context of TED, its format and the recent criticism due to presentations that relied on pseudo-science. Denny highlighted the elements of the TED brand that match his and Keller's interests, such as Silicon Valley and tech entrepreneurialism. Denny also noted that the backdrop, a tag cloud comprised of most used words in TED talks and the floor graphic of an island shaped like Vaduz, was a collaborative design by the two.

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Dating Advice Needed

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For the past few days, using a special algorithm we call "first come, first served," we at Rhizome HQ have been busily setting up blind dates (or trying to). This is not only because we want our community to have love and be happy; it's also a way to celebrate the launch of Lauren McCarthy's Rhizome-commissioned iOS app Crowdpilot

Crowdpilot lets you "crowdsource your social interactions" by audio-streaming them and soliciting advice from your friends, or from total strangers, online. You can download Crowdpilot for free on your iPhone, or you can listen to others' dates, and offer advice to them, by logging in to the project website.

Tonight, from 6:30pm-8:30pm EST, we'll be presenting Crowdpilot as Rhizome's third fullscreen frontpage exhibition (following Vince McKelvie and Molly Crabapple). Visitors to rhizome.org will have the opportunity to listen to, and advise on, any ongoing Crowdpilot sessions that are in progress at that time. We arranged two blind dates, but you can also join in as a dater: just run the app during that time, and it will show up on our front page.

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Community Campaign 2014 — Donate to Sustain Commissions to Artists

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Ann Hirsch, Playground (2013). Photo: Oresti Tsonopoulos

Your Gift Means Rhizome Can Commission Artists - Donate Today?

A message from Ann Hirsch, 2012-13 Commissions Awardee:

When I received a Rhizome commission, it gave me what it has given so many others: a truly unique opportunity to realize an otherwise-unlikely, ambitious artwork. Donating to Rhizome during its community campaign sustains its commitment to emerging artists, ensuring that others will find meaningful support for their work when it matters most.

New York City can be a challenging home for an artist. There's a lot of competition, exorbitant living expenses, and hardship. For me, financial pressures meant that I could only afford to do small scale projects, essentially making work at the same level at which I had been operating since receiving my MFA.

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Getty Images: Still Kinda Sexist?

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Portrait of a confident businesswoman

This week, LeanIn.org and Getty teamed up to release a new collection of 2,500 stock photos that aim to "represent women and families in more empowering ways." The need to do this was quite clear; stock photographs had become something of an internet sensation for their lingering embrace of a range of visual clichés, many of them sexist, such as the notorious "Woman Laughing Alone With Salad." As depictions of broadly-applicable situations and people that could be used in a wide variety of publications, particularly for marketing purposes, stock photographs claim to represent generic ideals for easy illustration. Their effect is, in fact, the inverse—it is specific ideologies they illustrate, in order to continue their reproduction.

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