Community Campaign: Focus on Rhizome Editorial

Your contribution to Rhizome means continued high level discussion of art and technology provided daily on the Rhizome blog and news site. We hope you'll make a contribution today to help us meet our $25,000 goal.

As editor of Rhizome, I am fortunate to work with a gifted team of writers asking and answering tough questions about the role of technology in art and society. Rhizome writers are looking for the history and context. Our editorial team offers daily original reporting and critical writing on art and digital culture. Writers report on events like the Venice Biennale and ISEA in Instanbul. We provide in depth interviews with artists, curators, and technologists like Paul ChanPaola Antonelli, James Bridle, Martine Syms, and Nicholas Felton. Once a week we feature an essay or interview from the blog on our mailing list Rhizome News.

Rhizome News recent highlights:

Melissa Gira Grant wrote about the aesthetics of camgirls in the 90s in her essay She Was a Camera. "As an early online community, camgirls learned to both live on and produce the web together. We were our own audience. If there were people who were not camgirls watching – actual voyeurs – we could pretend not to notice them. While they watched, we taught each other CSS, compared different models of webcams, and complained about web hosts. It would be sexist to call it an endless slumber party at which presumably male viewers sat on the periphery. It was more a boot camp in How To Make the Web where you could show up sometimes in your pajamas."

Artist Jon Rafman contributed an original essay on the arcade Chinatown Fair when we debuted his short film Codes of Honor. "I spent the better part of 2009 in that dingy, dim-lit arcade at the end of Mott street, which was the battlegound for the best players in the history of pro-gaming. The first Street Fighter release in a decade —Street Fighter IV —just came out, sparking a short-lived renaissance in the fighting game community. I got to know the regulars at the arcade and began conducting daily video interviews, asking them to recall their greatest memories at the joysticks."

Adam Rothstein's essay Drone Ethnography considers "We already study the world the way a drone sees it: from above, with a dozen unblinking eyes, recording everything with the cold indecision of algorithmic commands honed over time, affecting nothing—except, perhaps, a single, momentary touch, the momentary awareness and synchronicity of a piece of information discovered at precisely the right time." Rothstein's essay City of QR Codes even inspired a QR code Tumblr. 

Staff writer Brian Droitcour wrote about ways new media artists reference antiquity in the essay It's Only Humanist. Droitcour's essay Big Reality looks at art influenced by RPGs. "Gaming...doesn’t have the same distance between medium and audience as reading or film-going – there is a constant awareness of the self’s participation in a bigger system...I think this affinity is what has prompted many artists to include allusions to RPGs in their works. Whether they adapt the forking structures or the surface details of fantasy and science fiction, whether those references are direct or oblique, references to the culture around RPGs can be shorthand for reality’s mediation by immaterial systems."

This year, we introduced Artist Profiles, an interview series looking at individual artists at various stages in their careers. Among the artists featured: Jill Magid, Jacob CiocciSimon Denny, James HowardKeren Cytter, Mendi + Keith ObadikeDaniel Bejar, Rosa Menkman, Aram Bartholl, Krist Wood, and Angelo Plessas.

In addition to long features, Rhizome's blog covers a wide range of issues at the intersection of art and technology: bitcoins, digital archivinglaw and aestheticsDwarf Fortress, craft, speculative realism, hauntology, the history of 404 pages, gadget design, architecture in videogamesskeuomorphism, Star Trek, art gamesbook publishing (and book piracy,) art and 4chan, augmented realitycopyright, and fair use.

Supporting Rhizome means continuing the conversation, understanding the context, and broadening our understanding of what it means to be digital. Any size contribution will help keep our Editorial program running, paying writers and artists, supporting research, and more. Please donate today!

Thank you for your support!