Posts for 2014

Announcing the 5 Internet Art Microgrants Awardees

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Dear Rhizome,

Firstly, thank you for the ride everyone.

Then, a thought: There's something about the whole proposal/open call culture that doesn't feel right for art. When an idea gains too much coherence—and that's what a proposal scheme guides us to create—it's hard to see how it still can be exciting as an artistic gesture.

Bonus tip for future jurors: The decision process gets way more complicated if you end up spying on contestants' social media profiles.

#Winning

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Rhizome Today: A Snackwave History Lesson

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Jonas Lund's Paint Your Pizza (2013)

This is Rhizome Today for Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Rhizome Today is an experiment in ephemeral blogging: a series of posts that are written hastily in response to current events, and taken offline within a day or so. The latest post can always be found at http://www.rhizome.org/today.

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

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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.

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Artist Profile: Andrea Crespo

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The latest in a series of interviews with artists who have a significant body of work that makes use of or responds to network culture and digital technologies.

 

Andrea Crespo, Dialing from  the series Sis (2014).

Your work explores the ambiguities of the cyborg's promise—how it can reinforce patriarchal gender systems as well as liberating us from them. Can you talk about that specifically in relation to Eden, where "lust" appears as an apparatus, a series of luxury hi-tech prosthetics, rather than as a possible relation between bodies?

I wouldn't oppose the apparatus to a possible relation between bodies. I would say that it mediates, complicates, and likely crystallizes relations in a particular way. Pornography in general is just the technological mediation of normative desire, whether it's through dildonics or other viewing apparatuses. All these means are very much capable of re-inscribing everything in very traditional ways. But they are not irredeemable. It's not like the multiplication of desire through technological means is always conformist. It may subvert itself along the way.

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Tabularium: An exhibition with the foresight to plan its own funeral

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"Tabularium," a group exhibition curated by Alana Kushnir, runs through September 13 at Slopes in Melbourne, Australia.

"Tabularium" exhibition view. Left to right: Alana Kushnir, Tabularium Archive (2014–), Rachel de Joode, Hanging Marble (2014), Katja Novitskova, Shapeshifter X (2013) and Shapeshifter V (2013), Jon Rafman, Annals of Time Lost (2013). Photograph: Christo Crocker.

Slopes is temporary gallery, set to be demolished.

 Tabularium
 a little conceited
 becomes an introduction to post-internet, for doz dat slept

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Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: Computational Sculpture Before 3D Printing

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The latest in an ongoing series of themed collections of creative projects assembled by Prosthetic Knowledge. This edition brings together works dealing with early computational sculpture, looking at objects designed and fabricated with the computer. Add your suggested additions in the comments below.

 Isa Genzken holding one of her Hyperbolos in her studio in Düsseldorf, 1982. 

As with all fields of the arts, the role of computing in the field of sculpture and form-fabrication is rapidly growing. 3D printing is the most obvious example, with its now familiar method of taking a 3D design file and producing a physical object to match, line upon line from the supporting surface upwards. Also, with the assistance of programmable electronics, installations of arranged matter can be maneuvered into various forms and performances, receptive to local stimuli or external data, all of which is connected to an out-of-range laptop orchestrating the spectacle. 

For this submission, though, the aim is to explore some of the earliest examples of computing and sculpture, by artists who were in a position to explore the potential in an at-the-time esoteric field. These artists glimpsed the possibilities and problems that emerge when the object becomes a digital entity, long before the rise of 3d printing.

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Somebody: A New Messaging Service by Miranda July

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Miranda July's messaging service Somebody is presented as part of First Look, the New Museum's ongoing series of digital projects, now co-curated and copresented by Rhizome. Because the app relies on face-to-face interaction, the New Museum (along with other sites around the world) will serve as a "hotspot" for users of the app. 

Miranda July, Somebody, 2014 (still, featuring July). Video, dir. Miranda July. Courtesy the artist and Miu Miu.

"Texting is tacky. Calling is awkward. Email is old." —Miranda July

In Miranda July's 1998 experimental video The Amateurist, a young woman with a jet-black pixie haircut in a stiff professional dress (played by July) studies a TV set displaying a fuzzy surveillance feed of a blonde woman (also played by July), who is squirming in the corner of a small cell. While speaking to the camera, the pixied professional reels off all sorts of absurd quantifications and explanations of the surveilled woman's movements. She maps her emotions to a numbered grid, psychoanalyzes her behavior, quips about her habits, and consistently runs roughshod across boundaries between doctor and patient, subject and object, viewer and viewed, public and private, in what is ultimately an excessive examination without any apparent justification. Since the video was produced, July's body of work has expanded from video and performance to include online works, novels, and feature films—all of which attempt to dissolve boundaries between fictionalized personae, or between the artist and her audience. It's significant to note that July started out in the experimental-video scene of the '90s, since so much of her work is about how the adaptation of new technologies affects us on a very personal level. Regardless of medium, her works reflect how broad social changes inflect our most intimate relations.

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Vote Now for the Internet Art Microgrants

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Classic browser-based work Agatha Appears (1997) by Olia Lialina

Voting for the five $500 internet art microgrants begins today.

Rhizome community members (you'll need to log in to vote) will narrow the 140+ proposals to a list of 20, from which our (to be announced soon) special guest juror will award five microgrants. Each voter will have three votes to be apportioned to three separate projects — once you vote for something, it disappears from the list. The proposals are spread out over 19 pages, but their order randomizes with each voter.

As we've noted before, the proposals were beyond heartening. In particular, the diversity of projects — from a parody celebrity game, to a weblog for a cooling tower sculpture, to gifs, to culture jamming — illustrates the richness of browser-based work in 2014.

So, go vote! And, best of luck to the entrants.

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Artist Profile: Femke Herregraven

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The latest in a series of interviews with artists who have a significant body of work that makes use of or responds to network culture and digital technologies.

Screen capture from Femke Herregraven, Taxodus (video game, 2013).

LC: The most publicized of your works is Taxodus, a online game for tax evasion. At the time, you made the game as a way to materialize and map out what you call "a geography of avoidance"—a study of the obfuscatory strategies used by the finance industry that emphasizes their reshaping of space, place and nationhood. Is the game a realistic simulation? Is it important that it is realistic? Might it also be a valuable tool for people who work in finance?

FH: In Taxodus players are "acting" on behalf of multinationals and have to dodge paying as much tax as they can. By setting up intermediate holdings globally, players reveal potential routes through which multinationals in reality can "neutralize" their tax burdens. Players that escape the most tax rank high in the high scores.

The data in the game—national corporate tax rates, withholding taxes and treaties from countries worldwide—is realistic but the mechanisms to set up companies and calculate income and tax are simplified. In reality there are many more parameters involved on a corporate, national and international level; it would be impossible to incorporate them all in a game. I know some big accountancy firms have tried to develop software that basically cough up a fiscal advice, but it failed because it was too complex and expensive. In reality, fiscal structures are highly customized per company and it seems impossible to make a 1:1 simulation of this tax planning industry.

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NewHive: A "Blank Canvas" for the Super-Feed

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Screenshot of booty by ana carrete from NewHive.

NewHive is a new service for creative expression online. Founded by Zach Verdin, Cara Buccifero, Andrew Sorkin (who later left the company), and Abram Clark in Seattle, the company launched in private beta in November 2011 with the public launch in 2012. The website describes itself as a "blank canvas" for expression on the web, offering users a drag-and-drop interface to construct anything they like, within the confines of a browser. 

This year has seen certain communities gravitate towards the site, with the new issue of poetry journal Pop Serial being built entirely on NewHive, and a visual mixtape featuring original tracks from a number of musicians launching in September. I'm interested in NewHive, and I like a lot of things that are made on it. I'm particularly interested in the alt lit community's attraction to it, perhaps because it is a convenient platform for people working with text to explore their practice in increasingly visual or hybrid ways. At the same time, I'm skeptical of its claim to be a "blank canvas," which obfuscates the aesthetic and political assumptions that it—that any cultural interface—reproduces.

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