2023 Microgrants Community Program #1 - Recap

On October 7, Rhizome held the first Microgrants Community Session for 2023 Micrograntees, who, in August, were awarded between $500-$1500 via an open call to create a browser-based project or write an article about a work of born-digital art in the Rhizome ArtBase.

Although it’s still a bit early in the program, grantees took the opportunity to introduce themselves and talk about the motivations and inspirations behind their projects. The session was open to Rhizome discord members, and three microgrants alumni were invited—manuel arturo abreu, Martha Hipley, and Cassie McQuarter ! 

The program was packed with wonderful projects, some of which sought to expand how we interact with the web, and others which used an archival lens to explore lesser-known histories of the web. Here are a few highlights from the session. 

Tanvi Mishra, Tridal: a collaborative game about land use

Tanvi Mishra is developing a multiplayer collaborative game about land use, a subject she became interested in while thinking about changing coastlines of India and a personal fear of not finding a way back home. The game uses data from sources such as the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, to map actions intended for human benefit to their environmental consequences. Tanvi ended their presentation by posing the question: “If our games inform how we tackle crises, what kinds of games should we be building?". 

Jenna deBoisblanc, publicaccessmemories

Jenna deBoisblanc is the creator of the virtual exhibition space, publicaccessmemories, originally developed as part of her MFA thesis. The Rhizome microgrant was put towards the development of  new features, such as support for spatial audio, for the platform, and to assist in the organization of a show called "Fields of You" that will feature work by 12 internet artists. Jenna is interested in creating new experiences for viewing art and interacting with other artists online. She’s interested in eventually hosting and recording artists' talks for future visitors. 

The publicaccessmemories virtual exhibition, put together as a pavillion within The Wrong Biennale,   opens November 1st. Visit their instagram for more information! 

Rodrigo Arenas Carter, Microgrant article recipient

Rodrigo Arenas Carter walked us through Dentimundo, a website by Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga, which is the focus of his article. Dentimundo is an online resource that covers American tourism to the Mexican border for dental treatment, and explores the evolution of medical tourism in Latin America and its connection to the gentrification of CDMX. The website also reflects on how Latin America builds its iconography, referencing figures like Don Francisco. In writing this article, Rodrigo hopes to explore how Latinos are shaping their iconography in the digital era. 


Irene Ruby and Cori Cannavino, Digital Domestic Work Sampler

Irene and Cori are working on a project called Digital Domestic Work Sampler, in which they’ve created an archival website to serve as a collection of research surrounding an early pixel artform, "kaoani" (顔アニ, animated face). The website will feature a cross-stitch band sampler and will explore the connection between early internet pixel art and domestic labor reflected across historical needlework. The site will also include an archive of old GeoCities websites and will delve into topics such as class dynamics, gender, and aesthetic signifiers.

Zichen Yuan, Local Wind

Local wind is an experimental project by artist and designer Zichen Yuan that explores the intersection of air, web, and images. The project aims to challenge the static nature of the web cursor through a solar-powered device that captures and streams movement from the wind. This movement is linked to mouse movement and a camera, allowing the website itself to serve as an interactive archive for the device’s geographic location. Visitors of the site are encouraged to experiment with their own movements in order to counter the forces of the wind, which may reveal certain interactive elements of the website in the process.