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

the original


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

DISCUSSION

Video of Post Net Aesthetics is Now Online


This era is too much defined by people trying to define this era!"

I like that.

About time to get that intergenerational interview series going... I'll email you!

DISCUSSION

Video of Post Net Aesthetics is Now Online


Point of clarification, she doesn't say it's the first material engagement of this kind for all artists everywhere, she says it's the first material engagement of this kind for many of the specific artists connected with what she describes as "the postinternet movement.

DISCUSSION

Video of Post Net Aesthetics is Now Online


For the most part, I thought Ben made some excellent points, although this was not one of them.

In the video, you can see that he used air quotes when referring to "contemporary art," so it comes across a bit differently than it does in the text. I take contemporary art-in-air quotes to refer to a generally non-tech savvy, moneyed group that self-identify as the mainstream of "contemporary art," as in, for example, Bishop's "Digital Divide," where she defines the mainstream as the larger art fairs and the national Biennale pavilions. So, I would characterize Ben's statement as an exaggeration, not a misrepresentation of the work that has been done on this topic for a long time, mostly outside of this self-identified group.

But to address your larger point, that was definitely not the broader idea behind this panel, nor can Rhizome be expected to stand behind every assertion made by the panelists.

Although, it would be an interesting thought experiment to try to believe in every conflicting assertion made at our events.

DISCUSSION

Video of Post Net Aesthetics is Now Online


The statement is obviously exaggerated, but I would offer a slightly different argument: VVORK was incredibly influential in demonstrating that online viewing of non-born digital artwork could be experientially rich while reaching a wide audience.

To put you back in the headspace, here's a comment by Sally McKay on digitalmediatree from 2007:

"VVork is popular because they show lots and lots of pictures of art from around the world without a bunch of commentary. I love that! It's kind of weird how rare it is."

It was rare, and that was weird. And it ain't rare anymore.

As a side note, check out how few references to the internet are in this Whitechapel book titled "A Manual for the 21st Century Art Institution," published in...2010.

http://www.amazon.com/Manual-21st-Century-Art-Institution/dp/3865606180