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


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. 


Ana Maria Uribe, Anipoems


 Ana Maria Uribe, Escalera 3 (1999).

Ana Maria Uribe (1951-2004) was an Argentine visual poet who made work online beginning in 1997 after working in other media for many years. When she passed away in 2004, Jim Andrews (who runs Visual Poetry website vispo.com) posted a moving tribute to her work on Rhizome's mailing list, including this quote in which she recounts her formative experiences as a poetry: 

I started with visual poetry in the late 60's after seeing some of Apollinaire's poems and Morgenstern's "Night Song of the Fish". Shortly afterwards I met Edgardo Antonio Vigo, who was then editing a magazine called "Diagonal Cero", devoted to visual poetry and mail art, and other poets such as Luis Pazos and Jorge de Lujan Gutierrez. They all lived in La Plata, a town which is 50 km from Buenos Aires, where I live, and we communicated by ordinary mail, either because there was a shortage of telephones at that time or to save costs, I don't remember which. I still keep some of the letters...

At a moment when many artists are again considering the medial qualities of poetry, Uribe's work seems well worth revisiting, particularly because (as Andrews noted, of her CD-ROM works) it reflected an understanding of "the poem on the screen as a performance." In the works, text is generally used pictorially (as with the ladder made of capital H's in the Escalera series), and rotated or otherwise manipulated to introduce a sense of motion into the scene. In the Rebote series, for example, the dots of lowercase i's bounce around playfully:


Required Reading: Paul Soulellis on Experimental Publishing


Image: Scott Gelber

It may seem odd to cite a syllabus as required reading, but this RISD class on Experimental Publishing offers a cogent way of thinking about what instructor Paul Soulellis, after de Certeau, calls the "scriptural economy." 

Let's begin with the post, exposing its origins as a physical note publicly nailed to a piece of wood. Its descendants persist today, plainly visible on the wall, in the feed and in the stream as traces of a deeper history of documents — the scriptural economy. Is posting (always) publishing?


Discussions (81) Opportunities (1) Events (1) Jobs (0)
DISCUSSION

The Possibilities and Pitfalls of the Video Game Exhibition


And (also monologuing) the other question: is "firsthand gameplay of otherwise difficult to experience titles" the central attraction that an exhibition might hold for most serious gamers, or is Nicholas unique in this regard, as in so many others?

I can imagine that it is an important attraction. It seemed like he really wanted to play Quadrilateral Cowboy.

DISCUSSION

The Possibilities and Pitfalls of the Video Game Exhibition


Hi Jason, Thank you for the thoughtful responses! And thanks for making your comment here on the site. A lot of people chose to respond on twitter.com, a for-profit website that sells user data to advertisers.

I'm interested in this statement: "Just creating a space where visitors can encounter these games and be exposed to the story of the independent game is a success by those measures."

There is, for sure, some level of tension between the needs of general audiences and sophisticated visitors. But--and now I'm speaking more generally, not about your exhibition--I'm curious if this is the standard most larger-scale video game exhibitions are held to. Which video game exhibitions have worked especially well for more sophisticated gamers, like Nicholas?

And have any worked especially well for both the novices and the sophisticates? Like a Kubrick show, for video games.

DISCUSSION

CREATIVE 2 PROFESSIONAL: 7 Things to Think About


Hi Tom,

I'm going to make a note to come back and star this comment if we ever introduce that feature at some point in the future. So relieved that someone got upset by our use of a listicle.

But, I also disagree with your characterization of Mike's perspective; examples 3-7 are all focusing on companies (not users/"pathetic little people"); all of these companies want to sort of structure people's desire to express themselves in more truncated ways than those available to Scot Halpin or the punks.

I think the point of putting these two facets of amateurism (celebrated amateurs v commercial structures designed to enable amateur creation) in dialogue would be to suggest that there was some element of punk and the celebration of the amateur which has fed into the emergence of these rather depressing structures, and maybe Mike's recent practice has involved trying to identify more with the pathetic user than the Scot Halpin or the Ramones, because in our current context these kinds of figures have been so thoroughly instrumentalized in support of the creative class system of digital serfs and vassals (to borrow Jesse Darling's terms).

In contrast with Jesse, though, Mike seems more specifically interested in the implications of tools and structures offered to the "pathetic little people" rather than the people themselves.

michael

DISCUSSION

Art Criticism in the Age of Yelp


I found this comment funny and cool.

DISCUSSION

the original


I've updated its record in our Collective Access system (public launch forthcoming). Date found dead, 11/21/2013.