I made $500 working from home thanks to Rhizome's Microgrants! (and lost it all on the Deep Web)

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Rhizome is accepting proposals for its $500 microgrants until July 23. Here, one of last year's awardees shares her experience.

You can tell that my hired hacker is good at computers by his effective use of Photoshop's Neon Glow filter.

To be an artist in New York is to be a brand, or at least it is if you have any hope of achieving whatever your metric for success is. (Unless your metric for success is the pure self-fulfillment that comes from creation and intellectual exploration.) I am a terrible brand; my pursuits are as scattered as my online identities, and my Klout score is currently a meager 44.11 thanks to my lackluster Twitter and Instagram offerings. To solve at least one of these problems, I submitted a proposal to Rhizome's microgrant open call for web-based projects last year in the hope of using the award money to hire a hacker to secure two abandoned accounts on Twitter and Tumblr sharing the username "everyoneisugly," a brand I have been trying to get on lock since I bought everyoneisugly.com in 2011 on a whim because I was surprised that the URL was available. I make a living as a developer and have been goofing around online for over twelve years, but my knowledge of the deep web (here I use the term to describe the hidden-but-public networks that can only be accessed via special configurations or software like TOR, although pedants insist that it has something to do with the early 2000s) was limited to a cursory understanding of encryption and an assumption of criminality. I was bluffing, I was a finalist, and I decided I had better start filling in the gaps in my knowledge. I quickly discovered that the deep web is as much of a parade of clumsily manicured personas as any comment thread on a popular art world Instagram.

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Seven Big Ideas from Seven on Seven 2014

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Frances Stark and David Kravitz during the Seven on Seven work day. Photo: Ed Singleton.

The fifth anniversary edition of Rhizome's Seven on Seven took place on Saturday. The project pairs seven leading artists with seven influential technologists in teams of two, and challenges them to develop something new–whatever they choose to imagine—over the course of a single day. The results were unveiled to the public on Saturday at the New Museum, and are recapped here.

#1. Occupy invented #normcore

In the keynote, Kate Crawford suggested that K-Hole's #normcore trend report, as well as the Snowden-leaked GCHQ Powerpoint, could be read as manifestations of the anxieties of an age of mass surveillance, those of the surveillers and those of the surveilled.

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Beware of Geeks Bearing Formulas: When property becomes smart

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From Joe Hamilton, hypergeographySources: ultrazapping and darrellg.

If you thought cryptocurrencies were hard to understand, you probably want to sit down for your first introduction to smart property.

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Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: Code and Economics

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"Joy To Ode" by Dominik Podsiadly

The latest in an ongoing series of themed collections of creative projects assembled by Prosthetic Knowledge. This edition takes a look at creative projects and cultural implications that emerge from the meeting of computing culture and economics.

It's interesting that the etymology of the word "economics" goes back to the Greek oikonomikos, meaning "practiced in the management of a household or family," "frugal" or "thrifty," especially considering the term's modern-day association with big capitalism. On a small or large scale, economics has always been concerned with the distribution of wealth and the management of resources, and its principles can therefore be applied in a range of other fields. For example: In the mid-70's, the subject entered into dialogue with the biology (such as Gary Becker's paper "Altruism, Egoism and Genetic Fitness: Economics and Sociobiology" and "Economics from a Biological Viewpoint" by Jack Hirshleifer), where resources such as fitness, energy, disease, or environment were studied in an economic framework.

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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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