Posts for 2014

Rhizome Today

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Puppy, after Jeff Koons. S. Price. from Dispersion (2008)

Rhizome Today is an experiment in ephemeral blogging: a series of posts that are written hastily in response to current events, and disappeared within a day or so. At the end of each month, we'll republish highlights from the series in a more selective and polished form. The latest post can always be found at http://www.rhizome.org/today.

 

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Hypertext and Destiny: This Twine Could be Your Life

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Screen shot from Closky's Do you want love or lust?

Your lover wants to move in, and you have a choice: you can say, "ok, I'll try it for a weekend and then we'll see" or you can "threaten to break up right now."

Then, your boss gives you a compliment. You can either: "say ironically, 'soon you won't be able to afford me,'" or "mentally calculate how much more you will ask him for."

You choose, you choose again, then you choose again. Each time, you are presented with another choice, an either/or. It's impossible to predict the outcomes that either decision might yield, but you choose carefully, expecting that each choice will shape your future path.

This is the sprawling question set of Claude Closky's 1997 Do you want love or lust?, an early web-based hypertext work that draws the user/viewer/player into what seems like a CYOA (choose your own adventure narrative). By making a choice—clicking love or lust—you enter a fictional, and emotional, space where you are the protagonist of this story.

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$500 (x5) for Artworks... on the Internet

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JODI, goodtimes, 1996
 
Through August 22, we're accepting proposals for FIVE internet art microgrants (alongside, of course, nominations for the first $10k Prix Net Art).

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Containers

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Allan Sekula and Noël Burch, still from The Forgotten Space (2010).

I woke up at the chime, looked at the mobile. New work available. I clocked in, made coffee, sat at the desk. Two hours of work right away, even before Twitter. Felt accomplished. I invoiced, and collected.

I met Sandra for breakfast. She's in Miami. She had the ceiling open to let in the sun. She got into a new task queue, editorial work. It's good work, she said, even though the pay isn't quite as good as advertising. What's the difference, I said, sipping my Bloody Mary. Different algorithmic authors, same algorithmic grammar problems.

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Trailblazers 7: Notes from the Game-Master

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Game-Master Dragan Espenschied oversees surfers in this picture from competitor Arjun Srivatsa

At Trailblazers 7, surfing was all about different ways that indexes and taxonomies are created and used, and about excellent airhorn-puncutated stadium pop provided by DJ Smart & Outgoing.

The competition took place yesterday at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club; given the use of a one-button mouse, no keyboard, and no back button, qualifying surfers in the competition were asked to navigate a "trail" from one website to another, only by clicking. Without the use of search engines, browsing the web requires careful thinking about how websites are organized and interconnected. Often, successful trail blazing involved navigating to some link-rich environment. Whether surfers found this in editorial content (like M. Hipley's heavy usage of the New York Times website) or in the rather unsorted universe of user contributions (like Nick DeMarco always heading straight to forums and comments), finding these "indexes" and understanding the ordering of material there was crucial for success.

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First Look: David Kravitz & Frances Stark

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Opening the Kimono by David Kravitz and Frances Stark is now on view as part of First Look, the New Museum's ongoing series of digital projects, which will now be co-curated and co-presented by Rhizome. Click here to view work.

David Kravitz and Frances Stark, Opening the Kimono (2014). iMessage conversation.

In a recorded iMessage chat, David Kravitz and Frances Stark satirize Silicon Valley culture and sext about creative labor.

When artist Frances Stark and Snapchat developer David Kravitz discussed the idea of having sex on stage during a public presentation at the New Museum last spring, it wasn't entirely surprising. 

This proposal came as part of Rhizome's Seven on Seven Conference, which pairs artists and technologists for a one-day collaboration with the prompt to "make something" and then present it to the public the following day. During their presentation, neither of their bodies was on view on stage (Kravitz came up alone for the Q&A). Instead, they appeared onscreen via a live iMessage conversation.

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The Dark Optimism of Otto Piene and Zero

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Detail of Otto Piene's Neon Medusa (1969).

Yes, I dream of a better world.

Should I dream of a worse?

 

Yes, I desire a wider world.

Should I desire a narrower? 

- Otto Piene, 1961

A dark gallery space is illuminated by a single ochre neon bulb, which initiates a choreographed lighting sequence comprising 449 additional bulbs, each attached with metallic arms to a central chrome orb. Neon Medusa (1969) by Otto Piene (1928-2014) evokes Sputnik and networks of cables, Cold War technological development and military communication and control, while also calling to mind constellations, Vegas casinos, and illuminated communities dotting a shiny globe. Its seeming exuberance seems incongruous with the anxieties of the nuclear age, and with the title—Medusa being the famously hideous woman of myth, who turned onlookers to stone if they stared into her face. Where the Medusa of Greek myth is the terrifying, deadly Other, Piene's piece is a different kind of Other, a technological Other, that invites our steady gaze.

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August 10 in Rockaway: Trailblazers, a Web Surfing Competition

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Sunday, August 10, 1pm
Rockaway Beach Surf Club
302 Beach 87th Street, Rockaway Beach (Subway: Beach 90th)

Surf the classic way
From Amazon to Piratebay

Eight of New York's web surfers will find out who can surf best!

On August 10, Rhizome will host the city's first Trailblazers web surfing competition at Rockaway's premier wave surfing club, hosted by Dragan Espenschied and the whole Rhizome crew.

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Artist Profile: Heather Phillipson

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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.

Heather Phillipson, immediately and for a short time balloons weapons too-tight clothing worries of all kinds (2014). Image courtesy the artist and Bunker259.

When I saw your recent solo exhibition, immediately and for a short time balloons weapons too-tight clothing worries of all kinds, at Bunker259, I curled up in an inflatable birthing pool to watch a video suspended from an engine hoist. The video depicted a series of domestic, public, and online spaces, with a voiceover from you. At one point, you leaned over the camera and appeared to give me a facial. I broke down in laughter because it suddenly became clear that I had become a participant. When you show Zero-Point Garbage Matte, you use a similar strategy: the viewer climbs up a ladder and looks down on the monitor to view the video, a position that is reflected in its content. Which idea comes first, the video or the physical participation of the viewer?

The video usually precedes its final sculptural form, but not always. With the video suite I'm working on at the moment, for example, I have a really clear idea of what will be going on around it. Regardless, I produce multiple "versions" of each installation, so the video ends up inhabiting quite different physical structures at different times. It's like a built-in contrariness mechanism—the capacity to change the context, and therefore the work, and my mind. But, in general, the one constant is how the viewer is con/figured in relation to the video. So, with immediately and for a short time balloons weapons too-tight clothing worries of all kinds, as you mention, the viewer is recumbent with the video overhead. The video deploys regular POV shots alongside dispassionate observations, and mixes interior monologue with direct address, so there are these shifting perspectives. You're the eye/I of the camera, or its eye is turned on you…positions get conflated. For me, the physical relationship between body and screen is crucial to this formulation, although the rationale might only be revealed sporadically. It's a bastardised literary device, that semblance of inhabitation and activation—one minute you're in first person then second person or third person, then slapped back into first.

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At Our Expense: Harun Farocki's Images at War

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Still from Serious Games I: Watson is Down (2010)

To question the point of view from which a war is narrated or fought, or to say that our image of war is reshaped by imaging technologies, implies that media represents something outside of itself. That it, as McKenzie Wark writes, the media appears to be "merely reflecting 'naturally occurring' moments outside all such apparatus.”

HARUN FAROCKI. SERIOUS GAMESon view through January 18, 2015 at Hamburger Bahnhof, puts forward an alternative topology of media. Events of violence and war and revolution are not naturally occurring; they are produced, in part, by the apparatus of media. More precisely, these events are produced by workers acting on instruction, who are allowed (by the distancing effects of images, in part) to understand themselves as external observers rather than implicated parties.

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