Posts for 2008

Final Appeal

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Dear Readers: This is it! There is one day left in our Community Campaign and we are so close to our goal. Please help us close the gap by making a contribution now! Your support will help ensure that we continue to further this important field of artistic practice in 09.

SUPPORT RHIZOME TODAY!

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Repackaging Nature

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It's easy to see Philip Ross as a recent embodiment of an age-old spirit of inquiry, where aesthetics, personal discovery, and scientific knowledge are linked, and all seem to tap into the fertile edges of local industry. In San Francisco that means computing and biotechnology, and Ross's work makes use of both. The transplanted New Yorker has a body of artwork that centers around human interaction with biological materials like fungus, plants, and mollusks. Ross was also curator of the BioTechnique exhibit at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and frequently teaches classes and gives lectures, such as one he delivered December 2 to amateur mycologists at the Oakland Museum of California.

His current projects include a long-term effort to grow a large building out of mushrooms, and a new, ongoing salon ("Critter") at the Studio for Urban Projects, a unique cultural center opened in 2008 by Alison Sant and Marina MacDougal. Ross describes the studio as "a collective of collectives," with about five or six contributing programmers, all similarly interested in ecology, education, technology and other related fields. - John Alderman

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Good Morning Mr. Orwell (1984) - Nam June Paik et al.

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Excerpts from the first international satellite "installation" which was broadcast on New Years Day 1984

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The Horror! The Horror! (.info) (2008) - Jon Rafman

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LAUNCH

More work by Jon Rafman

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Living Inside (1989) - Sadie Benning

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Made at the age of 16.

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This is Not a Liquor Store Bag

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Do you know what a $1000 contribution to Rhizome's Community Campaign will get you? A Liquor Store Bag. This not any ordinary Liquor Store Bag, mind you, but an an original laser cut drawing by artist Michael Mandiberg. The work is part of a series that explores lines, algorithms, and instructions -- and recalls both Sol LeWitt and John F. Simon Jr. The subdued diagonal lines of Liquor Store Bag need to be on your wall, now.

That's not all! Council members also receive a number of additional benefits, including:

* Two complementary VIP tickets to Rhizome 2008 Benefit

* Special curators tour of Rhizome Exhibitions

* Two additional Council events/ per year, including studio visits with artists and conversations with leading technologists and entrepreneurs

SUPPORT RHIZOME AT THE COUNCIL LEVEL, RECEIVE LIQUOR STORE BAG AND EXTRA BENEFITS TODAY!

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Reenacting Objects

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In an essay hoisted upon every media studies student ever, Walter Benjamin argues that the mechanical reproduction of art works separates the viewer from the original object and therefore diminishes that object's "ritual value." Strangely enough, Stephanie Syjuco's work takes a different approach. She gives us all reproductions, all the time. From paper TV's to faux designer furniture, these readily-reproduced images and things comment on the importance of the originals in our daily lives and the cultural value we've built-up around the notion of originality. Her current solo exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, entitled "Stephanie Syjuco: Total Fabrications," is full of fake design objects pulled from circulation within the mainstream -- or culturally specific niches therein -- and recreated in a way that references their genesis as well as the contextual implications (or even clichés) of reproduction. In fact, Syjuco's work further delves into the processes of production itself, and it's ritualization. Her reconstructions comment on the origin of materials, their high and low statuses within culture, the technologies through which they operate, and their impacts on systems ranging from the environment to the visual vocabulary of the zeitgeist. This is highly manifest in her ongoing project, The Berlin Wall, in which she pulls what she calls "proxy chunks" of the famous wall out of spaces around the world. These are not souvenirs from the wall, but rather a different kind of facsimile, which Syjuco feels approximates the political and architectural situation of the wall and the promises offered in its deconstruction. The proxy chunks have embarked on their own roadshow, exhibiting in new cities under plaque-capped vitrines, so as to however-falsely invoke the aura of the wall and the hope its demolishedness represents. Her Towards a New Theory of Color Reading takes ...

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Video Game Soundtracks 1983-1987 (2001) - Seth Price

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"Video Game Soundtracks 1983-1987" is from the "Title Variable" (2001-) series and was originally released as a CD-R. These compilations researched "the ways that digital technologies have effected music production, both in popular forms as well as in more rarified modern composition" and were each accompanied by an essay. This particular installment assembled video game soundtracks found on the internet. Link to an mp3 of the compilation and the original essay below.

Video Game Soundtracks 1983-1987


Excerpt from the accompanying text: "Until now, these songs have existed solely as digital information: programmed, encoded, extracted, sometimes going through MIDI translation, uploaded and downloaded, finally burned to compact disc; all the while passing through numerous data compressions and file formats. The album release wraps them in plastic and cuts them loose from their origins. In a sense, the shift of context is a liberation; on the other hand, they are stamped with the authenticity accorded to genuine cultural articles (as opposed to mere electronic data)-- and this raises the question of how much an authentic article of culture depends on legitmization by packaging and distribution system of the market."

FULL TEXT

(Via UbuWeb)

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Last Days of 2008

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Thanks to the generosity of artists, readers, curators, critics and all those who rely on Rhizome, we are now $2,500 away from meeting our goal of raising $30,000 by midnight December 31st. All Campaign supporters are listed here; we hope you'll join the ranks today!

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Comma, Pregnant Pause (2004) - Oliver Payne and Nick Relph

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Excerpt from text accompanying Comma, Pregnant Pause:

A comma indicates a pause or break between parts of a sentence; in spoken communication, a pregnant pause is one that is full of meaning - significant - suggestive. This video features mobile phones, in whose text messages commas are seldom used. There are often, however, pregnant pauses during the wait for a reply. This work starts with the commentary:

'I want to be the best there ever was, to beat all the best that's my cause.'

The video is dominated by two seated people dressed as mobile phones. Their costumes are based on 'Mowbli', the ubiquitous mobile phone logo from Carphone Warehouse, and their faces are covered by scary-looking masks, taken from the popular series of films Scream, 1996, 1997, 2000, and Scary Movie, 2000, 2001, 2003, but originating in Edward Munch's painting, The Scream, 1893. Their conversation is indicated by two different text alerts - '1,2,3,4' and a musical sound, like a guitar or harp - whilst each text message appears as a series of subtitles. The conversations are fractured, featuring messages such as, 'the newest thing is now wearing the word'. Young people are part of a texting culture in which messages sometimes go astray, so spoken conversation would often be more efficient.

FULL TEXT

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