Michael Connor
Since 2002
Works in Brooklyn, New York United States of America



Caitlyn Jenner and the Facebook Real Name Policy


 

Protesters in Menlo Park yesterday. (Photo by Gareth Gooch).

Yesterday, Caitlyn Jenner introduced herself to an eager public via a magazine cover, a Twitter account, and a Facebook page. The Twitter account gained a million followers faster than the previous record-holder, Barack Obama, and the Facebook page garnered hundreds of thousands of likes in its first day. Coming a week after the news that IMG had signed Hari Nef (onetime host of Ed Fornieles's NY NY HP HP for Rhizome), the news heralded a new level of public visibility and acceptance for transgender people.


The irony of Caitlyn Jenner's Facebook popularity is that the social media site has such an unsupportive official stance toward name changes in general. The policy not only forbids creating profiles under stage names or personas or alter egos, it forbids profiles under any name that can't be backed up by a legal document, such as identification or a piece of mail. (The rules are different for Pages, such as Jenner's). Facebook is like the right-wing uncle who deliberately misgenders you, on principle. 


Now you can finally experience what it's like to commodify yourself on the internet


Last year, Rhizome awarded a $500 microgrant to Lena NW and Costcodreamgurl to create a game "that parodies celebrity status games (i.e. Kim Kardashian: Hollywood... but focuses on the concept of becoming an internet celebrity via social media." Their game is now here, and it carries with it one hell of a trigger warning: "graphic sexual violence, cultural appropriation, scat, bestiality, feminism, patriarchy, sexualization of school shooters, inconsistant use of fonts." Click here to play.

From the artists' statement:


Required Reading: Empathy & Disgust


 

Distaste or disgust involves a rejection of an idea that has been offered for enjoyment.

—Immanuel Kant, Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View, 1798

For the first time, this year's Seven on Seven will have an overarching theme offered to participants as a provocation: Empathy & Disgust.

Scene from Her

We chose this theme partly because of recent discussions about "affective computing," which aims to detect and respond appropriately to users' emotions. The field gained some visibility after the release of Spike Jonze's Her; writing for Rhizome, Martine Syms argued that the film could be read as "an elaborate product spec" for intelligent agents that can replace human relationships. Recently, a new crop of apps that function as "Intelligent Personal Agents" bring us a step closer to this future, while a more speculative app from Blast Theory offers a fully-fledged emotional relationship with a virtual character who gradually reveals herself to be "needy, sloppy, piteous, and desperate."

Some of the real-world research underpinning emotional analysis was discussed in New Yorker piece earlier this year, focusing on the work of Affectiva and scientist Rana el Kaliouby. The company is developing a tool called Affdex that can "make relable interences about people's emotions" based on video monitoring:

During the 2012 Presidential elections, Kaliouby’s team used Affdex to track more than two hundred people watching clips of the Obama-Romney debates, and concluded that the software was able to predict voting preference with seventy-three-per-cent accuracy.


Grappling with complexity, women in tech, and Leonard Nimoy: Perry Chen's Y2K


Screenshot of Leonard Nimoy in Y2K Family Survival Guide (1999). 

In December, Perry Chen organized a panel discussion at the New Museum (copresented with Rhizome and Creative Time Reports) exploring the phenomenon and legacy of the Y2K bug, as part of his ongoing project Computers in Crisis. Along with a presentation of books and video clips from the time, he assembled three Y2K experts to share their own experiences of preparing for 1/1/00, at which point many computer systems were expected to interpret the two-digit date as "1900" rather than "2000," with harrowing results. 



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DISCUSSION

Culturehall Spring 2013 New Artists Feature Application Call


So for $35, artists get...what exactly?

DISCUSSION

Commissions Deadline Extended to May 15


Hi Vic, It's definitely not required to have a partner confirmed - although your proposal would be that much stronger if you did.

One clarification: there WILL be commissions given to non-New York projects as well!

DISCUSSION

Commissions Deadline Extended to May 15


Yes! One person needs to be main point of contact but you can have multiple collaborators.

DISCUSSION

Breaking the Ice


Here is what Daniel's original comment - the one that Rob quoted prior to his IQ comment - made me think: "That's interesting; maybe archiving discussions is one of the things that is increasing the potential reputation cost of posting for many people." There are very interesting examples (such as 4Chan) where the lack of archiving encourages certain kinds of participation.

I can tell you from our brief collaboration so far that Daniel O'Rourke is a very perceptive individual, and he is definitely someone I would like to have as an active participant here. I don't really agree that Rob's reply was a passionate defense of a specific idea nor a step towards greater clarity. It did slightly come off as hazing. In fact, this is an example of the difficulties with the claim that listserves are inherently democratic - in fact, as with any social gathering, they have certain hierarchies and power dynamics that are carefully negotiated, and regulated through acts like firing a few warning shots across the bow of a newcomer.

(Sorry, Rob, now you're caught in the crossfire... I know we're blowing your comment out of all proportion now.)

DISCUSSION

Breaking the Ice


We won't really do that. It would be a terrible idea.

The Readers Survey does reflect the fact that Rhizome has a blog on its front page, and that website content is less horizontal than it once was.

Plenty of food for thought.