Before Flash Sunset

Help support ongoing access to Flash artworks with Rhizome’s year-end fundraiser!


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Donate to Rhizome’s Flash fundraiser today, or go read our article about how to preserve access to your Flash projects!

We reached our goal! Thanks to all who supported!!

Despite being 99% bad, or perhaps because of this, Flash has been a hugely important cultural software.

It offered relatively easy access to making interactive motion graphics, delivered over low bandwidth, for art and videogames and many unclassifiable experiments. Artists from Rhizome’s Net Art Anthology, from Pope.L to Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries to Yael Kanarek, worked with the software in very different ways. It was used by big-name designers in New York, powering the early years of Joshua Davis’s PrayStation website, and was embraced by poets, musicians, and artists in Latin America, with projects such as Artéria 8. It was used for videogames, such as many many of those by Molleindustria, and for moving image works, such as this artwork by Skawennati and Jason Edward Lewis.

At the end of this year, Adobe will stop supporting the proprietary Flash Player software, and it will quickly disappear from web browsers. Preserving the ability to run Flash after this point will present particular difficulties, given the large amount of uses to which it has been applied: sound and video, interactive widgets, online games, animated cartoons, and even mobile and desktop software.

Luckily, if you’ve made work in Flash, there are some solutions available, and you can read more about them below. Rhizome’s plan is to work with our partners at University of Freiburg to upgrade our Emulation as a Service infrastructure to allow for better access, with smoother response time when interacting with the emulators, and faster emulator startup.

To help remedy this, we plan to make some upgrades to our Emulation as a Service infrastructure. If we’re successful in raising the needed funds, we will present an online exhibition of selected Flash works in March 2021, followed by a wider rollout to allow broader access to Flash-based works.

Our fundraiser will culminate with a Flash Sunset telethon hosted by Lyndsey Moulds and Michael Connor on Twitch at 6pm EST on Dec 31, during which we will play and visit our favorite legacy Flash artworks and games, and speak with Flash luminaries. 

Please consider making a fully tax-deductible donation today