Rhizome Writing Tree

Marisa Olson:


I'm writing because we're currently preparing a "Writing Tree," which will be part of our 10th Anniversary season. Below is an initial description of the project and a call for your input.

Each branch of this tree will cover an issue related to the history, theory, and practice of new media art. We settled upon this model, in part, because we wanted to avoid any singular definitions of the field and its practices, but instead to reveal the diversity of ideas embodied by the community. We are presently inviting members of the greater new media community to write thematic essays that will become a "seed" for a "writing tree" --an idea I must admit to having borrowed largely from MTAA's "To Be Listened To" project. After the initial seeds are planted, anyone can post their own essays or comments, in response to the same prompt. We truly hope it will become an active, broad, and non-hierarchical platform for meaningful discussion.

If you have ideas for seed topics, or if you would like to initiate one yourself, please let me know. The seeds would need to be 600-800 word essays, and they would be due in two weeks, on July 15. We are trying to keep things contained to about 8-12 broader threads, which will eventually branch off in whatever direction the readers decide to take. If you don't think you have time to contribute a seed but would like to be involved, please start prepping your thoughts now and consider posting your own essay after the initial seeds are planted. The conversation will be ongoing.

Elements of this project will undoubtedly touch on Rhizome's history, while much of it will consider technology in its broader cultural contexts. Rhizome's staff feels that these are very important conversations to be having at this time, and we value your contributions to the discussion.

All the best,

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Marisa Olson
Editor & Curator,
Rhizome.org at the
New Museum of Contemporary Art