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


Tyler Coburn's Performances for Data Centers


Artist and erstwhile Rhizome staff writer Tyler Coburn's recent project I'm that angel includes a book and performance narrated by a fictional “content farmer,” a writer (typically freelance) who creates large amounts of text that is designed for maximum traction with search engine algorithms. The performances typically take place in data centers or spaces in which the physical infrastructure that supports "the cloud" is made manifest.  

We corresponded about the project via e-mail.


Restoring 'The World's First Collaborative Sentence'


Douglas Davis, "The World's First Collaborative Sentence" (1994). Detail.

On Monday, the New York Times ran an article describing the Whitney Museum's restoration of an early online artwork by Douglas Davis, The World’s First Collaborative Sentence (1994). 

Many of the comments posted to the article offered sage advice for the conservation team, free of charge. According to Francesco of New York, “it was probably build in java or php and they need to update the server.” VJBortolot of Guildford, CT, expressed surprise “that the Whitney didn't … use an legacy browser … and run it in a Win95 environment on a vintage computer.” E.W. Chesterton of Palm Beach simply wrote, “Oh please! It’s html!”

Expert diagnoses notwithstanding, it’s well worth delving a bit further into some of the complex issues that emerged during the Davis restoration.


The Week Ahead: Unlawful Citizens Edition


Pinar & Viola, Scandal Acqua - 2013 Surface Collection.

Today, multiple news outlets report that opposition to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan grows amidst harsh government responses to peaceful protests. Meanwhile, the man who shared previously classified information about the corruption of Middle Eastern despots, thereby helping spark the Arab Spring, goes on trial today in the United States.

Here are several of the week's listings, culled from Rhizome Announce

Maryland

June 5: CONFABULATION: Symposium on 3D in the Classroom addresses the importance of digital 3D literacy in education. 

Vilnius

June 6 & 7: We Are Museums. This 2-day conference focuses on the integration of the museum into people's daily lives and the use of digital tools to help museums become more connected and accessible. 

Zagreb

June 7: Alexandra Reill: Quoting Walter Benjamin @upgrade!zagreb is a series of real-time performances and a print compilation demonstrating the relevance of theorist Walter Benjamin's work to contemporary media technologies.

London

June 8: Opening of Glitch Moment/ums, an exhibition featuring seven artists who subvert our ordinary relationship with technology by hacking the hardware of familiar devices to disrupt their software and digital artifacts. Featuring Alma Alloro, Melissa Barron, Nick Briz, Benjamin Gaulon, José Irion Neto, Antonio Roberts and Ant Scott.

Deadlines

Artists:

June 6: Open Call: Park in Progress / City Sonic International Sound Art Festival. A one-week residency application open for European artists looking to realize  inter- or multidisciplinary work with a sound dimension. 

June 10: Call for Participation: Touch.My.Print ISSUE02. A project exploring the concept of photography as data rather than image; Participants download a photograph to use as data input for the creation of new works. 

June 10. Call for Submissions: Public Assembly: An Alternative Summer Show. In response to the extinction of Cooper Union's tuition-free ...

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Hito Steyerl's 'How Not to be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File'


GIF extract form Hito Steyerl, How Not To Be Seen. A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File , 2013. HD video file, single screen, 14min.

How Not to be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File is the title of Hito Steyerl's new work, included in the Venice Biennale exhibition Il Palazzo Enciclopedico. (It is installed at the far back corner of the Giardino delle Vergini behind the Arsenale; to reach it, Steyerl joked, one must swim two canals and climb a wall).

The video is partly inspired by the photo calibration targets in the California desert, which look like giant pixels in the ground. As described by the Center for Land Use Interpretation, these targets were used in the age of analog aerial photography to test the resolution of airborne cameras, like a kind of optometrist's chart for the ancestors of drones.

 

Three Tri-bar targets at Cuddeback Lak. Photo: CLUI.

Partly shot on location at one of these disused targets, How Not to be Seen begins as an instructional video informing viewers how to remain invisible in an age of image proliferation. Various possible strategies are outlined. One suggestion is to camouflage oneself (to demonstrate, Steyerl smears green paint on her face and is chroma-keyed into invisibility). Another suggested tactic is to be smaller than the size of a pixel. For this demonstration, several people appear on camera wearing pixel-like boxes on their heads. Wearing a box on one's head may seem unpleasant, but in Steyerl's video it seems quite fun, imbued with some of the techno-human spirit of Bauhaus theater costumes.

After these tactics are outlined, the film crew making this educational video also disappears. In their absence, happy low-resolution pixels take over the production. Digital rendering ghosts dance in the desert landscape as The Three ...

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The Week Ahead: Acqua Alta Edition



Jon Rafman at Palazzo Peckham, Venice Biennale

This week, I am in Venice for the opening of the Biennale and its satellite program. If you are also here, please join us on Thursday 5/30 at 4 PM for Definition I: Low-Res, a conversation between Hito Steyerl and Oliver Laric, moderated by Yours Truly.

If you aren't in Venice (or if you are!), we will also be hosting a massive "surf party" for people to try out Jonas Lund's collaborative Web browser, We See In Every Direction. Click here for more info.

Without further ado, here are the week's events and deadlines, culled from Rhizome Announce.



Discussions (67) Opportunities (0) Events (1) Jobs (0)
DISCUSSION

Rhizome Today


Hey Charles! It will be interesting to see if this comment will stay on your profile after the post disappears, and if the link to it will work, and if some kind of vortex will open.

DISCUSSION

July 2: NYC poetry event with Kev, Bunny Rogers, and Brigid Mason


Hi Tom,

I feel really good about the event. I'm not really ready to write about it, but I feel like I have to say something...

You used the word "ironic," which means saying one thing while meaning another. But Kev often said one thing while *also* meaning the opposite, which is something different. You call it confusion, I call it an interest in paradox.

I wrote of the spiritual dimension of Kev's work that "Taoism is as much an aspect of contemporary culture as it an ancient philosophy, translated and refracted as it is through the Transcendentalists and the 60s counterculture and numerous scholars. Thus, Kev, who has always played the role of the quintessential American, does so even in his seemingly un-American disavowal of the consumer internet." In other words, a "mishmash" sounds about right.

DISCUSSION

July 2: NYC poetry event with Kev, Bunny Rogers, and Brigid Mason


In summary, I think it's OK for Kev to think about Taoism and the internet, even though I'm not interested in that in particular. But I am interested in his gesture of radical semi-refusal and its limits, and where he will go next.

DISCUSSION

July 2: NYC poetry event with Kev, Bunny Rogers, and Brigid Mason


I'm not particularly interested in the spiritual aspect of digital art, hence our recent emphasis on infrastructure and labor and materialism, mundane afrofuturism and internet realism...

It strikes me as patently ridiculous to disallow the possibility of "spiritualized computer art." Sure, that's a premise that has been used in lots of dubious ways, and maybe you don't buy Kev's version of it, which is fine. But that doesn't make the premise itself categorically doubtful. No aspect of our lives can really be considered outside of the digital, spirituality included.

I am interested in Kev's ideas, because he has spent the last five years thinking deeply about the internet while attempting to stake a position outside of this. I think others are interested in his thoughts on this, and his reasons for finding this untenable.

Tbh I have no real idea what Kev is going to do tonight, which is scary, but I certainly don't think that Rhizome should only stage events the outcome of which is known in advance.

DISCUSSION

Solidarity after "Sharing:" Notes on Internet Subjects #1


Hi Abe, thanks for your feedback. Our intent with this particular panel was to articulate a position that we felt was missing from the media narrative around the sharing economy. To this end, we felt that including a sharing economy proponent would stall the discussion before any first principles could be established. I did feel, in the end, that Rob Horning's polemical skill in particular was a bit wasted without a real opponent to wield it against...

As you may know, Rhizome works quite closely with many individuals in the tech business sector; in fact, my co-organizers Nathan Jurgenson and Kate Crawford are both researchers with roles in the tech industry. I'd imagine that future Internet Subjects panels will be structured more as debates, when that seems most appropriate, and will feature not just researchers, writers, and scholars, but business people and artists as well.