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

The Week Ahead: Bitcoin is Burning Edition

Here are highlights of this week's events and deadlines, culled from Rhizome Announce. 

Andrew Healy, Augmented Reality Lower Receiver



Guy Debord Limited Edition Action Figure Giveaway

To mark the launch of McKenzie Wark's new book The Spectacle of DisintegrationVerso Books have offered Rhizome readers in the UK a chance to win a 3D printed Guy Debord action figure.

3D-printed Guy Debord action figures (2012). Produced by McKenzie Wark, design by Peer Hansen, with technical assistance by Rachel L.

The figure is part of a limited edition run of 200 made by Wark, who was inspired to delve into maker culture because of Debord's own investment in craft as evidenced in the twelve handcrafted issues of Internationale Situationniste. (You can read more about this in Brendan Byrne's recent interview with Wark on Rhizome). It's important to note that you can also make your own Debord figure based on Wark's 3D model, which will be released under a Creative Commons license.

The questions, which were supplied by Verso, are after the jump. They are not to be taken lightly...

The Week Ahead: Rhizome Commissions Edition

It looks a busy time out there for those interested in art and technology, with lots to do and see and apply for. Here are our picks for the week; good thing your proposal for the 2013-2014 Rhizome Commissions was finished and submitted weeks ago, right?

Rick Silva, from the series En Plein Air.

From the Mixed-Up Files: Ten Years Ago Today

From the Rhizome archives, here's a discussion that unfolded ten years ago today on our mailing list, prompted by an article in The New York Times about curator Steve Dietz' dismissal from the Walker Art Center.

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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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.


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.


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.


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.


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?