Rhizome at SXSW


SXSW Interactive starts this weekend and both Director of Technology Nick Hasty and Senior Editor Joanne McNeil are speaking at upcoming panels.

Nick is leading the panel Preserving the Creative Culture of the Web, which will include Jason Scott and Kari Kraus.

For over 20 years the web has provided continuous deluge of cultural production. Digital artifacts such as websites, images, and videos have much to communicate about our social and cultural evolution, and yet their messages or moments can be fleeting or quickly lost. Both the accessibility and longevity of digital content are subject to a wide range of risks, from technological obsolescence to outright deletion by their creator or host. So what is being done to preserve these cultural objects for the long term? Approaching web content from a cultural and artistic perspective, this panel will convene leading writers, archivists, thinkers and technologists to discuss to the questions, challenges, and imperatives involving preserving the creative culture of the web. We'll cover topics like "what is the long-term significance of a website, and why would it be worth preserving?", "should web sites and artifacts be treated like works of art or architecture?", and "how do we go about archiving digital content to ensure its accessibility and longevity?". Example initiatives to be discussed will be the Archive Team's various projects (such as the Geocities torrent), the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, Internet Archeology, and the Rhizome ArtBase. This panel will be presented by Rhizome, an organization dedicated to the creation, presentation, preservation, and critique of emerging artistic practices that engage technology.

Joanne is appearing on the panel organized by James BridleThe New Aesthetic: Seeing Like Digital Devices

Slowly, but increasingly definitively, our technologies and our devices are learning to see, to hear, to place themselves in the world. Phones know their location by GPS. Financial algorithms read the news and feed that knowledge back into the market. Everything has a camera in it. We are becoming acquainted with new ways of seeing: the Gods-eye view of satellites, the Kinect's inside-out sense of the living room, the elevated car-sight of Google Street View, the facial obsessions of CCTV.

As a result, these new styles and senses recur in our art, our designs, and our products. The pixelation of low-resolution images, the rough yet distinct edges of 3D printing, the shifting layers of digital maps. In this session, the participants will give examples of these effects, products and artworks, and discuss the ways in which ways of seeing are increasingly transforming ways of making and doing.

Joanne will also present at SXSW Speakeasy, a free unconference event at the Gypsy Lounge on Monday. 

The Speakeasy is a day-long series of small sessions amongst makers, doers, innovators, artists, philosophers, futurist, hackers, nerds - people who love to speculate on technology, art, humanity, the future, and who don't mind whiteboards, post-it notes, sharpies, and drawing/jotting/posting.  It’s a combination of smart people and the future facing technologies, and tech theories or quandaries they’re dealing with.

Also check out our list of other SXSW panels that would be of interest to the Rhizome community!