The New

Dear Rhizome Community,

As you may have noticed, re-launched this week and I’m truly thrilled to share the new website with you firsthand.

We didn’t just re-design the website; we re-built it entirely from the ground up and reverse-engineered fifteen years of content—a massive task that unfolded just under two full years. Our goal for the new website was three-fold: First, we felt it was a priority to upgrade Rhizome’s archive of art—the ArtBase—and make it a better platform for participating artists, as well as curators, students, and everyone who wants to learn about this field. Second, we wanted to improve the overall website, by making it more rich, dynamic and browseable, especially our community-centered sections such as “Announce” and “Discuss”. Finally, we wanted to adjust our membership policy, shifting it away from granting access (now, all art works in the ArtBase are free to view) and onto advanced features. Developing the site was a major undertaking, and involved late nights and weekends on the part of a small team for nearly a year.

I’d like to highlight a few significant new features to you:

§ The ArtBase now allows artists to represent their work in much greater detail, thanks to a more elaborate metadata schema, greater storage possibilities, and the ability to upload bigger and better images.

§ We created more and better ways for our community to interact with ArtBase works, like leaving comments, "favorite-ing" works, curating them into exhibitions, and sharing them online via other platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

§ Last, we upgraded all sections of the site, from portfolios, to discussion, to announcement. We took in feedback we got from you, and tried to make each better.

We did it for you, Rhizome’s community, and we really hope you enjoy it. Please take a look, give us feedback, and help us make this new platform continue to grow.

I'd like to thank everyone involved with the creation of this new site:

David Nolen, who's programming wizardry runs the new ArtBase and who went truly above and beyond in helping me develop the site.

Mushon Zer-Aviv, who, along with Ed Nacional, designed the new Rhizome with tremendous vision and care.

Ward Smith, who helped design the new ArtBase database and who 's research and consultation in the field of digital art preservation helped us get this project off the ground.

And current and former Rhizome staff members, such as John Michael Boling, who worked with me many late hours on designs and planning, Jason Huff, who contributed designs and to our migration, and Zoe Salditch, who compiled our new list of technologies in the ArtBase.

Our annual Community Campaign ends tonight. I send this letter in the hopes that you will show support for our efforts and our future by renewing your membership to Rhizome today. Our goal is to reach $35,000 by tonight, January 21st, at midnight, and we are just $2,000 shy of reaching it. Please, take a moment and contribute here:

This new website lays a solid foundation for Rhizome’s for many years to come, cementing our commitment to openness, experimentation and innovation, and taking our operation from a grassroots model to one that’s more sustainable and solid.

With the new website up, I am now focused on fixing bugs and preparing to launch our annual Commissions Program, through which we administer grants to emerging artists internationally. I’d love to hear from you in terms of what you think of the new site, and what you’d like to see it do.

Thank you so much for your participation in Rhizome.


Nick Hasty