Richard Rinehart
Since the beginning
Works in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania United States of America

Richard Rinehart is the Director of the Samek Art Museum at Bucknell University. Previous to holding his position at Bucknell, Richard was the Digital Media Director and Adjunct Curator at the UC Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive. Richard has taught digital art studio and theory at UC Berkeley in the Center for New Media and Art Practice departments. He has also been visiting faculty at the San Francisco Art Institute, UC Santa Cruz, San Francisco State University, Sonoma State University, and JFK University. Richard sits on the Executive Committee of the UC Berkeley Center for New Media and has served on the Board of Directors for New Langton Arts in San Francisco. Richard manages research projects in the area of digital culture, including the NEA-funded project, 'Archiving the Avant Garde', a national consortium of museums and artists distilling the essence of digital art in order to document and preserve it. Richard is a new media artist whose art works, papers, projects, and more can be found at
Discussions (29) Opportunities (4) Events (14) Jobs (8)

Re: SF Rhizomers?

Tue Jan 06, 2004 00:00 - Tue Jan 06, 2004

Daniel Schwartz wrote:

> Hi,
> I have moved out to the bay area from NYC and am looking for
> net/newmedia/computer arts activity out here. Any leads appreciated.
> Im interested in collobarting/ contributing to projects too and even
> knowing where such arts are being presented.
> cheers,
> -Daniel.

Hi Daniel,

This reply is a bit late, but there are Rhizomers and net.artists out west. The Art, Technology, and Culture series at Berkedley that Rachel refers to is at:

You also might want to check out the NetWork and packet series that I curate at New Langton Arts in SF, at

...and of course other myriad projects out here, for instance, this one endeavoring to preserve digital art that, coincidentally, partners with Rhizome and others in NYC, at

Good to meet you, welcome.
Richard Rinehart

DISCUSSION auction on eBay

hello Rhizomers,

For the first time, as part of it's annual fundraising art auction,
New Langton Arts - an experimental media artists space in San
Francisco, CA - is offering a symbolic portion of 3 works for
sale on eBay.

On the one hand; this auction follows the tradition of art
organization fundriasing auctions by selling donated art works; but
we are also updating that tradition with regards to and
commenting on present issues of how valuation happens with a
intangible art medium by not selling whole or discrete art works, but
by offering instead conceptual portions (points, pixels, chapters) of
art works. So, yes, we need to fundraise; but we're also using the
opportunity to play , just a little, with the idea of collecting
intangible art. I would like to thank all of the artists for
supporting New Langton Arts with this creative donation.

You can participate by going to the New Langton Arts website
(, or by following the links below directly to
the 3 works on eBay:

Lisa Jevbratt
1:1, 1999
1:1 was a project created in 1999 which consisted of a database that
would eventually contain the addresses of every Web site in the world
and interfaces through which to view and use the database. Crawlers
were sent out on the Web to determine whether there was a Web site at
a specific numerical address. If a site existed, whether it was
accessible to the public or not, the address was stored in the
database. Because of the interlaced nature of the search, the
database could in itself at any given point be considered a snapshot
or portrait of the Web, revealing not a slice but an image of the
Web, with increasing resolution.
eBay URL:'8449839
Your bid is for one pixel which will be identified as your own within
the database.

Sonya Rapoport
Arbor Erecta: A Botanical Concept for Masculinity, 1998
Chapter 3: Pandanus Dioecious: Male/Female Separate is an
interrelated cross-cultural and scientific botanical concepts project
the work?s intent to promote tolerance of differences. Arbor Erecta
reflects on the intangible but real communication between tribal
initiation in New Guinea, its indigenous Pandanus tree and sexual
eBay URL:'8450829
Your bid is for a single web page/chapter 3 of the project.

Richard Rinehart and Shawn Brixey
Chimera Obscura, 2002
Crossing the boundary between gallery installation and Internet art,
Chimera Obscura is constructed around a telerobotic agent that
Internet visitors use to navigate and decode a highly complex maze
designed from a human thumbprint. The project employs a mutative game
structure, allowing visitors to leave a virtual trail of media memes
(video, audio, text, etc.) behind for others to read, duplicate, or
delete in the search for a unique sequence that will decode the maze.
The ghost of the minotaur roams the maze in the form of random
mathematical algorithms that yield mutative forces to the memes in
the database, frustrating attempts at an easy, linear solution.
Visitors over the Internet break through by assuming a newer hybrid
form: that of telematic cyborgs simultaneously operating a robot in
the gallery space attached to a continuously evolving database in
virtual space.
eBay URL:'8452110
Your bid is for a single virtual point within the maze (point 2031).

Thanks very much,

Richard Rinehart
New Langton Arts, Board Member and Curator


Day Jobs exhibition announcement

Day Jobs

Net.Work Exhibition at New Langton Arts in San Francisco (follow link to Day Jobs)

Wednesday, 18 Sep 2002 to Saturday, 19 Oct 2002
Opening Reception: Thursday, Sep 19, 6-8 pm

Artists: Maya Kalogera, Valery Grancher, Mark Tribe, and Jody Zellen
Curated by Richard Rinehart

Day Jobs explores the relationship between international net art and
its social and economic context through case studies of individual
net artists' day jobs in relation to their art. Rather than take the
more common art-historical or museological approach, this exhibition
examines the conditions of practice as a way into a genre. In
contrast to traditional media artists, digital media artists have
less of an economic base in art sales, and often work in the same
digital media by day for income as well as by night as an artist.
This situates digital artists between art and a relatively new
industry, as well as between their eerily similar day and night
activities, creating a kind of interference pattern that is largely

Richard Rinehart
Digital Media Director, Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
Instructor, Department of Art Practice
University of California, Berkeley


call for exhibition proposals

Thu Jun 20, 2002 01:00

Hello folks,

I'm putting together an exhibition of for New Langton Arts,
an experimental art gallery in San Francisco, CA, for Fall 2002. This
exhibition, 'Day Jobs', is described below and explores the
relationship between a net.artist's digital day job to their
art-making activities.
A NetWork exhibition at New Langton Arts

This exhibition explores the relationship between and its
social and economic context through case studies of individual
net.artists' day jobs in relation to their art, rather than the more
common art-historical or museological approach. This exhibition
examines the conditions of practice as a way into a genre. Digital
media artists have less of an economic base in art sales, and often
work in the same digital media by day for income as well as by night
as an artist. This situates digital artists between art and a
relatively new industry, as well as between their eerily similar day
and night activities, creating a kind of interference pattern that is
largely unexplored. This pattern is reflected in the art works, but
also, just as interestingly, in the day job projects of these
curators, programmers, and web-designers, often quite consciously.
This exhibition will look at a few of the more interesting cases,
taken from varied environments, and line up the art next to the day
job project as a way of uncovering how these new social,
intellectual, or economic patterns are influencing our art and the
rest of our lives.
I have a couple of people in mind for this show, but I'm writing to
you all to ask if you know of other artists who may present good
examples in this area - or if you yourself find yourself working in
this way. Ideally I would like to be able to exhibit an artist's next to projects they work on at their day job, and with the
help of the artist, try to make clear how themes, rebellions, or even
subconscious aesthetic decisions about information architecture or
programming may cross-over between the two. They need not be new

I'm preferentially looking for artists working in California; but
that's not an unbreakable rule. So, if you are working in this area
or know of others who are, please contact me at this email address
within the next week or so. Thank you very much,

Richard Rinehart
Digital Media Director, Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
Instructor, Department of Art Practice
University of California, Berkeley


Re: RHIZOME_RARE announcing digital art preservation project

Hi G.H.

Thanks for your comments on the project to preserve digital and
variable media art. I'm cc'ing the Rhizome list in my reply because I
found your comments interesting and the whole topic might be of
interest to the larger group for discussion (actually; it has been
before, so perhaps we're just reviving the topic).

Your last comment (below) was that you believe it important for us to
put our resources toward presenting new media art rather than
preserving it for the time being. My question would be; then when is
is appropriate to start putting resources toward preserving such
work? The work has already entered the collections of public museums
and private collectors. The problem of preservation already exists.
My feeling is that the longer we ignore the problem the harder it
will be to fix with regard to currently collected works. The rate of
deteriorization on new media works is incredibly compressed compared
to painting or even works on paper.

Your other point about preservation of new media art being expensive
is well-taken; but preservation of art in any media is expensive;
painting included. The fact that it's a huge and difficult problem
should not deter us from facing it. Of course museums don't have
limitless resources to bring to bear on the problem; but on the other
hand, this is one of the reasons why museums have developed as social
institutions in the first place, and taken together instead of
separately, and when brought together with the rest of the art world
of artists, scholars, galleries, etc., museums do indeed have
significant resources to bear on the problem. But that's why no one
museum can solve this one alone.

There is a point underlying your argument that is especially
well-taken; and that is 'preservation' in the traditional sense is
perhaps antithetic to these new media/experimental works in the first
place. The spirit of such work is to be alive and to emphasize the
process not the product. As another artist; I agree completely. So,
maybe it's not the artists' job to preserve such work - but instead
to create new works? Museums on the other hand are in part by
definition charged with such preservation as well as presentation.
Museums (along with Libraries and Archives) often called "Memory
institutions" act to do just that - remember what society did way
back when. Aside from our cultural obsession with classifying, and
censoring (all freely admitted problems with the current art/museum
world), I feel it a worthwhile mission - in fact; one essential to a
democracy (that we're aiming for, if not enjoying currently) in that
an accurate historical record is always one form of protection
against historical revisionism as a tool of tyranny. Having said that
- the approach to preserving new media works cannot be a traditional
museum conservation approach. That would tip the balance between
preservation and presentation too far in the former direction. This
prospect prompted me to ask Jon Ippolito in one of our email
conversations whether we propose to act as "museums of art" or
"museums of art history". I think everyone involved in this project
and others like it would agree with you that it's very difficult
because of the needed resources, and the need to emphasize process
over product even in preservation, but they might disagree on the one
point of whether it's worth it or not.

What do others think?


Richard Rinehart
Digital Media Director, Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
Instructor, Department of Art Practice
University of California, Berkeley

>GH Replies:
>Your proposal is a laudable idea but I assume that it will not do
>what it intends to do. Variable media, cross media , new media
>etc.. Takes quite a bit of money to preserve. Its not the same as
>taking a bunch of paintings and storing them someplace for 50 years.
>Since that is the case the most experimental works will not be
>preserved because they are not as well funded as works being backed
>by one institution or another. One of the interesting things about
>the internet and digital art is that the production, distribution,
>and discourse can occur quite inexpensively as opposed to standard
>art world mechanisms. This engenders freedom and experimentation.
>The preservation part is another matter. There are quite a number of
>discussions by curators about the fact that digital works use
>equipments and technologies that often become obsolete or outmoded.
>This means you have to maintain the equipment as well as the "code".
>It's a quandry.
>As an artist working in digital media I believe that there must be a
>shift away from the notion of object preservation albeit virtual
>objects. Most digital artists work in ongoing themes and build on
>their own code structures. There are spikes or points of resolve
>when the research may be presented to the public. What form this
>takes depends on the research, the moment. the funds available etc..
>The residue of such a presentation should not in my opinion be
>reified. If that occurs then you are simply reproducing the art
>world system that already exists. What is important about making
>art is the creative process not the presentation vehicle. There is
>not enough funding for the development and research of variable
>media here in the US. This is because there is a basic disregard
>for any artistic practice and in particular anything experimental
>works. I truly believe that it is more important to focus on
>enlarging the funding and presenting of new works by digital artists
>in an ongoing manner in front of the public's eye. This can occur
>in a workshop media lab, digital festival type environment.
>Presentation is more important than presevation at this juncture.
>>From: Richard Rinehart <>
>>Reply-To: Richard Rinehart <>
>>Subject: RHIZOME_RARE announcing digital art preservation project
>>Date: Mon, 6 May 2002 10:37:11 -0700
>>Hello fellow Rhizomatics,
>>I'm writing to announce a new consortium project aimed at the
>>problems of collecting, documenting, and preserving digital art,
>>, and other variable media art forms. Details on this project,
>>"Archiving the Avant Garde: Documenting and Preserving Variable Media
>>Art" can be found at:
>>A general summary of the project is included below. I'm writing in
>>particular because this project is consortial in nature; and thus
>>includes mechanisms for broad input from artists and other
>>professionals (those on this list for instance). I would also be very
>>curious to hear of other current efforts relating to these same
>>problems that anyone on this list may be engaged in or know about.
>>Thanks for sharing any feedback or information you may have to share;
>>and we hope to engage this community further with this project as it
>>Works of variable media art, such as performance, installation,
>>conceptual, and digital art, represent some of the most compelling
>>and significant artistic creation of our time. These works are key to
>>understanding contemporary art practice and scholarship, but because
>>of their ephemeral, technical, multimedia, or otherwise variable
>>natures, they also present significant obstacles to accurate
>>documentation, access, and preservation. The works were in many cases
>>created to challenge traditional methods of art description and
>>preservation, but now, lacking such description, they often comprise
>>the more obscure aspects of institutional collections, virtually
>>inaccessible to present day researchers. Without strategies for
>>cataloging and preservation, many of these vital works will
>>eventually be lost to art history. Description of and access to art
>>collections promote new scholarship and artistic production. By
>>developing ways to catalog and preserve these collections, we will
>>both provide current and future generations the opportunity to learn
>>from and be inspired by the works and ensure the perpetuation and
>>accuracy of art historical records. It is to achieve these goals that
>>we are initiating the consortium project Archiving the Avant Garde:
>>Documenting and Preserving Variable Media Art. The collaboration
>>includes of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
>>(BAM/PFA), the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Walker Art Center,
>>, the Franklin Furnace Archive, and the Cleveland
>>Performance Art Festival and Archive.
>>Richard Rinehart
>>Digital Media Director, Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
>>Instructor, Department of Art Practice
>>University of California, Berkeley
>>+ between the woods and frozen lake / the darkest evening...
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>G.H. Hovagimyan
>Experimental Digital Art
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