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

Jacob Ciocci Paints Outside of the Box

For his contribution to the ongoing online digital painting exhibition "Brushes," presented by Rhizome and the New Museum as part of the First Look series, artist Jacob Ciocci presents a series of gifs from his New Expressions series. The gifs are viewable on the front page of rhizome.org through Oct 4 and permanently on the online exhibition page. 

The gifs are made by printing material from the internet, gluing, collaging and painting it, scanning the result back into the computer, animating it digitally, and repeating. He has applied this practice to works that are shown onscreen, such as these GIFs, while also creating objects for gallery display, some of which incorporate video projection into the work.

Between 'Total War' and History Painting: Andrej Ujhazy for 'Brushes'

For his contribution to the ongoing online exhibition "Brushes," presented by Rhizome and the New Museum as part of the First Look series, artist Andrej Ujhazy presents a large-scale (70MB, 15120x7560 pixel) digital painting created in Adobe Photoshop, presented as a png file that can be viewed or downloaded here.


Detail of Andrej Ujhazy, congress of the sarmatian women by the black sea to dissolve the amazonian tribes and withdraw from history, aug1 333 (after Total War: Atilla™).png (2015), Photoshop painting, 15120 × 7560 pixels. 

Andrej Ujhazy undertook this work while playing a video game from the Total War series that features massive armies fighting in grandiose landscapes during the late Roman Empire. Ujhazy set out to make an epic historical painting in the traditional sense, drawing inspiration from the videogame and from the underlying history it represented, but working from a contemporary cultural reference point. The tribe Ujhazy was playing in the game was the Sarmatians, a central Asian people for whom women played an important role in warfare; they were described by Herodotus as the descendants of Amazon mothers. Thus, the painting was partly an intervention into the narrative of the game and into videogame culture as a whole, emphasizing the role played by women in both.

New digital paintings by Petra Cortright

For her contribution to the ongoing online exhibition "Brushes," presented by Rhizome and the New Museum as part of the First Look series, artist Petra Cortright presents two versions of a Photoshop composition titled all_gold_everything.psd: a GIF that cycles through all of its layers, and a video that uses wipes and dissolves to offer a slowly shifting view of the same imagery.

First Look: Brushes

This online exhibition features the work of eight artists who paint with the computer and show their work on the internet.

"Brushes," copresented by Rhizome and the New Museum as part of the series First Look: New Art Online, casts light on digital painting at a moment when the practice is gaining more widespread recognition. Unlike works by artists such as Albert Oehlen, who have translated digital gestures and imagery to a gallery context, the works featured in "Brushes"—by artists Laura Brothers, Jacob Ciocci, Petra Cortright, Joe Hamilton, Sara Ludy, Michael Manning, Giovanna Olmos, and Andrej Ujhazy—were created specifically for online circulation and display.

As art historian Alex Bacon writes in an essay for Rhizome, "In a sense, painting has always existed in relation to technology, when the term is understood in its broad definition as the practical application of specialized knowledge: the brush, the compass, the camera obscura, photography, or the inkjet printer." However, if painting has long involved the application of tools and techniques, it has also served another function: it makes technological conditions available for visual contemplation in the gallery. (Think, for example, of Vera Molnár's television paintings, which evoke the visual style of that technology.)

Today, many paintings that are displayed in the gallery are also contemplated online on platforms such as Instagram. This is a widely discussed phenomenon, but what is often overlooked in painting discourse is the role played by works created and experienced on the computer and the internet. This kind of digital painting has existed for decades: for example, the 1970s software SuperPaint already included many features found in modern paint applications. "Brushes" acknowledges this long history while focusing on practices that have emerged in recent years.

In particular, this exhibition highlights artworks that refer back, in some way, to a bodily gesture made by the artist: mouse movements, digitized brushstrokes, or touchscreen swipes. This leaves out the many artists who create painterly work by writing custom code—but despite their shared approach, these artists take diverse positions on questions of process and output.

As the role of painting in the gallery continues to shift, "Brushes" aims to suggest that works produced on the computer and experienced via the browser and the mobile app have an equal place in the medium's discourses, offering a space for contemplation of our technological society from within its complex apparatus.

Notes on a definition of Net Art based on what I remember from a borrowed copy of Nettitudes



Lately, I've been feeling a sense of inhibition relating to Josephine Bosma's book Nettitudes, which I've had checked out from the library for the past six months. I started getting emails a few weeks ago that the book had to be returned, each one charting a steadily increasing overdue fine. (Update: the book is now being billed as lost.) The idea of returning the book became a source of anxiety, because even though I could make a copy or buy another one, I've become attached to it. Also, I don't quite remember where I put it.

This is relevant to my job because the Prix Net Art announcement, which went up earlier this week, had to of course include a definition of net art. And as with last year, this definition was something Chronus and TASML curator and Prix instigator and co-organizer Zhang Ga and I discussed intently. As Zhang has argued from the beginning, one signficant motivation for this prize was to publicly discuss and debate the definition of net art.

Discussions (92) Opportunities (1) Events (1) Jobs (0)

Should we be capitalizing Internet?

The Rhizome style guide calls for the word "internet" to be written in lower case, but I have been continuing my normal practice of capitalizing it, maverick that I am.

To not capitalize it is more post-internet and cool. It suggests that the internet is not monolithic, but is many things; it suggests that it is an institution (like cinema or television) rather than a technical infrastructure. Heather is convinced that we should continue to not capitalize it.

I feel like capitalizing Internet is more techie and old-school, because in the 1980s there were other proposed "internets" that didn't really take off. So the Internet we use is a proper noun, referring to one possible network of many.

More context: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalization_of_%22Internet%22



Internet Real Estate, Art and Power: The cases of Artsy and .art

Hi Tom, I did read all of those posts while this article was in process, thank you for sharing them here. I think Orit added something new to the discussion through her bringing together of these two examples as indicative of a growing awareness of the underlying political structures behind the URL,

The article does indeed say "whoa, wait a minute." For example:
"But it also presents the organization with the opportunity to wield a kind of centralized power that seems incongruous not only with the egalitarian politics advanced through e-flux’s editorial, but also with the concept of the Internet as a shared resource."

Also: dotorg for life baby. I am, like you, skeptical that the GTLDs will change the face of the internet, but I don't think the article advances the ICANN party line. The point of Orit's Zola flourish was to suggest that there is serious money involved, a point I think you'd agree with.

Finally, the question of a gatekeeper vs curator is quite a tricky one. While I wanted to support Orit in asking critical questions about e-flux' stewardship of the .art domain, I am happy this didn't turn into a straightforward argument on behalf of deviantart's bid, which raises its own kind of issues.

A few years ago I wrote a text 'A Manual for the Twenty-First Century Gatekeeper' ... I admit that I was guilty of imprecisely defining my terms, but I would also argue that this follows common usage; the word 'curate' is now often used to refer to the act of selecting content.

One idea that came out of my research was that democracy tends not to be the most interesting process for the selection of artwork. The reason for this is that the selection or inclusion of an artwork typically tells an audience more about the selector than it does about the work. Selections made by large groups cannot be said to be more or less valid than those made by individuals or small groups, and they lack any sense of personal risk, of a passionate commitment made by an advocate on behalf of the work.

While I share your worry about the centralization of online art power in e-flux's hands, I also admire and enjoy their curatorial voice, and I'm not quite ready to throw my support behind deviantart...

In your post on the topic, your contrast between "web-based art culture" and the "gallery-based power structure" does elide some of these complexities. Granted, it was a short blog post, and I don't mean to nit-pick. But I'm glad that Orit chose not to offer up an easy resolution, because I don't think one exists.



Definition I: Low-Res (Palazzo Peckham)

Thu May 30, 2013 16:00 - Thu May 30, 2013

Venice, Italy

Rhizome's Michael Connor moderates a conversation with Hito Steyerl and Oliver Laric at Palazzo Peckham.

(The last bridge on the left at the end of the Garibaldi (the road between the Arsenale and Giardini!)


Jack Goldstein, GIF Artist?

Sounds like a great event..