Ringing out our 20th: Martine Syms & Josh Wolfe join the Board, Digital Social Memory + new staff

2016 was Rhizome's 20th anniversary year, and it was a transformative one for the organization—from the launch of our Webrecorder initiative and its later public release, to one of our best editions of Seven on Seven yet, to the inauguration of Net Art Anthology, an exhibition to retell the history of net art. This anniversary year is coming to a close, but not before three final major institutional announcements. 

A Major Grant from Knight Foundation
The first is that the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has just awarded Rhizome a major grant to support Webrecorder pilot-testing and outreach and a new "Digital Social Memory" conference, which follows our sold-out event on the subject last February. We were given this award alongside two great organizations: Bay Area Video Coalition and One Degree, both in San Francisco.

For the pilot-testing and outreach, we are partnering with a cohort of individuals and groups to seed our tools for preservation and to gather findings on privacy, security, and copyright. The new conferences will be held in February 2017 and 2018—at each, Rhizome will bring together practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds (archivists, developers, artists, curators, researchers, and others) to discuss the importance and implications of creating decentralized, dynamic web archives. We'll share further information on both come January. 

Martine Syms and Josh Wolfe Join the Rhizome Board
Our second announcement is made on behalf of the Rhizome Board. I'm excited to announce today that artist Martine Syms and Josh Wolfe, Lux Capital cofounder and managing partner, have been elected to our governance body.

New to the Rhizome Board of Directors: Martine Syms & Josh Wolfe

For the Board, welcoming Martine and Josh represents a recommitment to core values, as well as an investment in what's next for Rhizome.

This is an artist-founded organization, and adding Martine will enhance the cultural perspective in our governance. Additionally, her work as a 'conceptual entrepreneur' points to the practical vision and ability she will bring to the Board. Previously, Syms participated in Rhizome's Seven on Seven in 2015, and her work was included in New Museum's 2015 Triennial: Surround Audience, cocurated by Lauren Cornell, former Rhizome executive director and current curator and associate director, technology initiatives at New Museum.

As Rhizome was founded to explore the cultural impact of technological innovation, Josh will prove an important addition. As cofounder of Lux, his professional mission has been to find what's next in tech and to connect the pieces to realize inherent potential. Already Josh is bringing his extensive experience and broad ambition to Rhizome's governance and long-range thinking.

On behalf of the staff, we're excited to have Martine and Josh on board. And I look forward to collaborating closely with them to grow Rhizome and make the most of my colleaugues' field-leading work.

Welcoming New Staff
We've grown our team alongside our program in 2016. We're thrilled to have Aria Dean and Ilya Kreymer, who we've written about before, but I'd also like to acknowledge our other amazing recent hires: Lyndsey Jane Moulds, our new software curator, who will be researching what's next in emulation; Mark Beasley, our Webrecorder developer, who is doing incredible work building out this important tool; and Lozana Rossenova, a PhD researcher for Rhizome and London South Bank University, who is studying and articulating best practices in digital art curation. Welcome all!

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once owned newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy.
Martine Syms is a "conceptual entrepreneur" based in Los Angeles. Her artwork—video, performance, web, and print—has been exhibited and screened extensively, including current and recent presentations at Astrup Fearnley Museet, International Center of Photography, SFU Galleries, Artspace, Karma International, Bridget Donahue Gallery, New Museum, Kunsthalle Bern, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Index Stockholm, MOCA Los Angeles, MCA Chicago. She has lectured at Yale University, SXSW, California Institute of the Arts, University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins University, and MoMA PS1, among other venues. From 2007–11, she directed Golden Age, a project space focused on printed matter, and she is the founder of Dominica, an independent publishing company.

Josh Wolfe co-founded Lux Capital to support scientists and entrepreneurs who pursue counter-conventional solutions to the most vexing puzzles of our time in order to lead us into a brighter future. Wolfe is a Director at Shapeways, 3Scan, Lux Research, and Kallyope, and helped lead Lux's investments in Planet, Echodyne, Clarifai, and Authorea. He is a columnist with Forbes and Editor for the Forbes/Wolfe Emerging Tech Report. Wolfe has been invited to the White House and Capitol Hill to advise on nanotechnology and emerging technologies, and a lecturer at MIT, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, and NYU. He is a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Chairman of Coney Island Prep charter school, where he grew up in Brooklyn. He graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Economics and Finance.

(photo credit Martine Syms portrait: Marco Braunschweiller)