Rhizome Press

10 Must-Read Art Essays From August 2015

ArtNet | Wednesday, September 2nd 2015

4. “The Flash Artists Who Cybersquatted the Whitney Biennial" by Lucas G. Pinhiero, Rhizome The fascinating and fascinatingly contested tale of web art pioneer Miltos Manetas's oddball 2002 Internet response show to the Whitney Biennial, and its fallout.

Tomorrow's museums are seriously upping their game

Protein | Thursday, July 2nd 2015

“We’re not online or offline,” says Rhizome’s assistant director Zachary Kaplan of its flexible approach to exhibiting and curating art. “We have a set term programme, some of which is fully online, some of which could take place in a room or be mediated on Twitter.” When Rhizome wants to run an event in a physical space it can take advantage of its affiliation with the New Museum. When it wants to collaborate with Instagram it can do it via that platform. If it wants to respond to a specific issue, it can host a mini site.


ArtNEWS | Wednesday, June 24th 2015

“The $500 is kind of meant to buy domain names, get you a few days off work, actually have the time to make something,” Rhizome’s assistant director, Zachary Kaplan, told ARTnews. “[The money] is a push to realize a browser-based work that might not otherwise get made.”

Keeping Track of the Real Ann Hirsch

Brooklyn Quarterly | Thursday, June 11th 2015

AH: With Playground, I really call that a play, and I purposely used the theater—it’s a very traditional theater—and I was interested in comparing the “real space” with emotional space. So with that show, it begins [with the characters] just typing; that’s, in theory, the real space. And then as the show goes on, they enter theater space, emotional space, where they’re talking directly to one another and interacting with one another. But it only becomes more theatrical once the emotions [they’re expressing] are more intense. So as the emotions get more real, and the [characters] get more involved, then [what you see on stage] becomes more fake. So what I’m playing with is the question of what’s more real? The reality of them sitting at a computer typing or the emotions they’re feeling and the relationship that they’re grappling with, which, to outsiders might not seem real, might seem fake, because [they’re] just at a computer. So I was playing with the form of theater to get at those ideas and to really make true characters out of the two people.

Famous Dissidents Ai Weiwei and Jacob Applebaum Stuff Panda Bears With N.S.A. Documents

Artnet | Tuesday, June 9th 2015

Three of the world's most famous dissidents have come together on a single art project, organized by Rhizome, the non-profit organization affiliated with the New Museum.


ARTNEWS | Tuesday, June 9th 2015

The end result is a work titled Panda-To-Panda, in which 20 toy pandas are gutted and replaced with shredded Snowden documents and the contents of an unknown SD card. “To have Laura Poitras there, filming Appelbaum and Ai as they made an artwork together, was incredible,” said Heather Corcoran, the executive director of Rhizome.

Laura Poitras’ First Film Since ‘CITIZENFOUR’ is Here

Observer | Tuesday, June 9th 2015

In April, documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras was invited to Beijing to film a collaborative art project between two of the world’s most famous and controversial political dissidents: artist Ai Weiwei and activist Jacob Appelbaum. The film, titled The Art of Dissent, was created for Rhizome’s seventh edition of its annual Seven on Seven Conference in May, and premiered Tuesday online as part of The New York Times‘ Op-Docs series.

Watch: Ai Weiwei And American Hacker Stuff Pandas With Shredded Intelligence Docs

Collectively | Tuesday, June 9th 2015

Essentially, filmmaker Laura Poitras was tasked with watching the watched — artist and activist Ai Weiwei, who has been persecuted numerous times by the Chinese government and even put on house arrest because of the dissident nature of his conceptual artwork, and the American information activist and hacker Jacob Appelbaum, who is more or less living in exile in Berlin.

Watch: Ai Wei Wei and Jacob Appelbaum Rebel in Laura Poitras' 'The Art of Dissent'

IndieWire | Tuesday, June 9th 2015

If there's anyone who's proven the immense power of documentary, it's Laura Poitras, the director and producer of the Oscar-winning documentary "Citizenfour." Her film shook new ground when it exposed the whereabouts of Edward Snowden, the elusive ex-NSA employee behind the infamous 2013 Wikileaks, as well as the invasive wiretapping practices of the NSA. Poitras' commitment to truth and storytelling didn't stop there, however, as she was invited to film Chinese artist and activist Ai Wei Wei and computer researcher and confidant to Edward Snowden, Jacob Appelbaum, in their first collaboration for a powerful art-tech piece entitled "Panda to Panda."

Ideas City: New York festival considers the way we fill space

The Guardian | Wednesday, June 3rd 2015

Toward the end of Ideas City, I visited a rented Airbnb apartment on Elizabeth Street for the third of three salon-style discussions hosted by art collective AIRBNB Pavilion, presented by New Museum affiliate Rhizome. Crowded onto a bed for a panel titled Hospitality, a group of artists and architects, moderated by sociologist Karen Gregory, discussed the implications and impact of making one’s private space public. The panelists were largely in agreement – on the apparent necessity of Airbnb to offset their living as artists and on the contradictions of monetizing the “personal” – prompting one of them to comment that the conversation was “almost disgustingly hospitable”.

"It’s easy to laugh at Y2K now, but what are we laughing at?"

BOMB | Tuesday, June 2nd 2015

I am interested in how we deal with uncertainty, and technology intersects with uncertainty in particular ways that have drawn me in. But I’m more interested in us—our humanity, our biases—than I am in technology itself.

Theresa Duncan's Feminist Video Games Are Everything That's Right About The '90s

Huffington Post | Wednesday, May 13th 2015

The eloquence of this sentence is no anomaly; the entire game follows suit. Players can amble around a coffee shop, a pet store, and a carnival where strange happenings arise. "I mean, these games are not technically amazing, they don't feature any classic game logic, like scores, levels or puzzles with items, there is not even a consistent story that has to be 'completed' by the player," Espenschied said. "The value is really something different here."

The Anxiety of Being Watched by Machines: There's an App for That

Vice Motherboard | Tuesday, May 12th 2015

As if we all weren’t anxious enough already, a panel of federal judges recently deemed the National Security Agency’s indiscriminate collection of telephone metadata totally illegal. It’s just the latest reminder of how widespread systemic surveillance and its seemingly innocuous cousin, data collection, have become. And because we can’t quite know how much the machines "see," more and more we internalize the effect of being watched as if it’s happening at all times, which it very might well be. At least it can feel that way. That anxiety was a recurring theme at this year's "Seven on Seven," in which the New Museum's new media wing Rhizome pairs seven artists and seven technologists, imposing on them the reality TV-style challenge of making something in 24 hours and presenting it the next day.

Art 2.0

W Magazine | Thursday, May 7th 2015

Today, it seems as if the possibilities for digital art’s second wave are as boundless as the Internet itself, as artists from the broadband generation create work containing some of the DNA of traditional mediums like painting, photography, and performance—entirely on their computers. But less than a decade ago, digital art was still in desperate need of what Silicon Valley would refer to as “angels”: patrons with influence, access, and resources to lend it an air of legitimacy. Its start-up practitioners huddled on the fringes of the art world in Web “surf clubs” like Nasty Nets (alumni: Kari Altmann, Jordan Wolfson, Cortright), talking avidly to one another but not so much to the art world at large.

The Terror and Thrill of Potential at Rhizome’s Seven on Seven

Art F City | Wednesday, May 6th 2015

I know it sounds a little over the top, but the results made me proud to even be a witness.* Applebaum brought the trove of classified documents Snowden released to the press, revealing global surveillance programs, which the two then shredded. The paper was used to stuff toy pandas—also the name for undercover police in China—which would also contain a small SD card with the same documents. Rhizome’s Executive Director Heather Corcoran then took the bears back to the United States where they were displayed for us, before their distribution to other similar-minded dissidents.