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


The Greatest Hits of Rhizome April 2013


In April 2013, the most viewed article on Rhizome was Daniel Rourke's richly illustrated interview with David OReilly, animator and director of a recent episode of Cartoon Network's series Adventure Time. The most commented-upon thread was, of course, Breaking the Ice, in which generational differences emerged, future directions were debated, pasts relived, and present staff members reminded of founding ideals.

We added Oliver Laric's "An Incomplete Timeline of Online Exhibitions and Biennials" to the ArtBase following Laric's decision to withdraw from BiennaleOnline. Later, organizer David Dehaeck fired back in the pages of El País, saying "The BiennaleOnline is about art and not bits and bytes." Got that?

In the month's longreads, Tom McCormack probed the links between ASCII art and Apollinaire, and Part 3 of Jacob Gaboury's well-researched 'Queer History of Computing' series continued to bring sexual politics into technology history. 

Daniel Rourke profiled Alex Myers and Emilie Gervais, Megan Heuer delved into Peggy Ahwesh and Sadie Benning's use of Pixelvision, I wrote about Ryder Rypps' Red Bull-fueled endurance performance Hyper Current Living and visited Eyebeam's F.A.T. retrospective, and Alexander Keefe dug up screeds by occultist techno-utopian Xul Solar.

Our Seven on Seven conference was always on our minds; in case you missed it, check out the videos of all presentations, my recap, Giampaolo Bianconi's remarkably lucid live blog, and profiles of participants Jill MagidFatima Al QadiriJeremy BaileyCameron Martin and Harper Reed

 

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Notes on ASMR, Massumi and the Joy of Digital Painting


When I first came across ASMR, it struck me as an Internet meme that bordered on a vast consensual hallucination, like the stories of fainting spells that sweep village schools.


The Week Ahead: Bloc Party Edition


Events and deadlines that are on our radar this week: 

Montréal

The fifth annual Sight & Sound festival hits town this week, marking the fifth anniversary of the artist-run new media venue Eastern Bloc.  


"Art and Not Bits and Bytes"


Last Friday, Rhizome published a new artwork by Oliver Laric that was originally made for BiennaleOnline, but which could not be shown because HTML code and outgoing links were (surprisingly, for an online biennial) proscribed. Today, BiennaleOnline organizer David Dehaeck fires back in the pages of El País, saying "The BiennaleOnline is about art and not bits and bytes."

 

READ ON »


Commissions Deadline Extended to May 15


Over the past couple days, my inbox has been filled with pleas for deadline leniency from bleary-eyed artists around the world who, presumably upon stumbling from their beds after several weeks of napping, suddenly realized that proposals for Rhizome commissions were due imminently. Never fear: we hear your pleas. You now have until May 15. Get cracking!

I would like to remind you of several salient facts. Awards are typically between $1,000 and $5,000. Four of the awards will be given to artists from New York. One of the commissions will go to an artist (from anywhere) with a proposal for a socially-engaged project to take place in New York. Three commissions will be given to projects that engage with Tumblr. I'm not sure of the math, but some grants will also go to artists who are not from New York and engaged neither socially nor with Tumblr.

As always, members will vote for one of the commissions; voting will now open on May 16. 



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DISCUSSION

Feed my Feed: Radical publishing in Facebook Groups


Not really - but I'm using the term public utility in the usual sense of a body that provides something like water or gas to the public, but may be privately or publicly owned. (A NYC example: Con Ed).

If we're talking about publicly owned utilities, then yes, that is something different. I am really interested in the idea of software as publicly owned utility--this is something that was discussed at our recent event with Airbnb Pavilion.

It would be great to see more sharing "economy platforms" run as public utilities, since those often have a very direct economic impact on a city. My sense is that Facebook would be kind of a poor use case for public ownership - but it is interesting to think of as a public utility in the sense of a private company that provides public infrastructure & service and therefore has some level of public accountability.

DISCUSSION

Feed my Feed: Radical publishing in Facebook Groups


The other consideration I raised was whether the profile was being used for publicity purposes. The larger point there is that not all contexts are created equal, and so violating their integrity can be more or less justifiable.

Again, not commenting on the specific situation but rather the general case: there is a difference between communication that takes place via a profile that is only shared with close friends and the communication that takes place via a profile that is shared with journalists and used for publicity purposes. In the latter case, the contextual integrity violation could be much easier to justify even if the public interest case is relatively weak.

DISCUSSION

Feed my Feed: Radical publishing in Facebook Groups


It is a mistake to rely too much on what is technically public or private to guide decision-making about whether to respect the contextual integrity of any communication. Hilary Clinton's emails as Secretary of State are technically private, but have no legitimate claim to remaining so. Many Facebook users might accidentally set posts to "public," without intending for them to be shared widely. And even users on the very public Twitter have felt violated, and perhaps rightfully so, when their posts were shared onto other platforms.

Another term I like, since public and private get quite fuzzy, is "contextual integrity," as articulated by Nissenbaum. The idea there is that communication is often intended for a specific context, and when it remains only in that context, then it has integrity. When it is moved to a different context, that integrity has been violated.

A blog posting a screenshot of an artist's Facebook post would certainly be a violation of the artist's contextual integrity--but that doesn't mean it's always indefensible. There might be a strong public interest argument to share the post, and blogs have a responsibility to their publics which might outweigh this consideration. If an artist uses social media as part of the publicity surrounding a work, that might even be crucial for understanding the work, then that also could make it more OK to share.

These questions are very important for our current dynamic web archiving efforts...very tricky stuff.

DISCUSSION

Feed my Feed: Radical publishing in Facebook Groups


Your examples of the "missing" sense of the term public are all spaces. A more apt analogy for Facebook would be a public utility. Public utilities can be privately owned or publicly owned, they are not necessarily characterized by "mutual ownership" - only by public oversight. And such oversight is only likely to emerge through the organization of users themselves, very possibly with the platform itself as an organizing tool.

DISCUSSION

Feed my Feed: Radical publishing in Facebook Groups


Thank you for doing such a good job illustrating the impoverishment of commenting culture outside of Facebook! You really captured the patronizing tone of a commenting demographic that feels its relevance waning in the age of social media. What were your inspirations for this pastiche?