Posts for December 2009

Required Reading



Thirty-two academics, critics and curators weigh in on the category of "contemporary art" in the new issue of October. Each respondent was asked to reply to a prompt, penned by Hal Foster, which suggests that contemporary art's distinction lies in its "very heterogeneity" where practice "seems to float free of historical determination, conceptual definition, and critical judgment." Foster argues that the institutionalization of contemporary art, through the creation of university programs, professorships, etc. devoted to the subject, as well as the dwindling relevancy of terms like "the neo-avant-garde" and "postmodernism" play a role in creating this entity known as "contemporary art." Quite a few of the replies really take Foster to task and it's an excellent read. The only voice missing is that of artists themselves, which I feel could have rounded out the discussion in an interesting way. Free pdf available through the link below.


Independent Art Schools in Latin and South America


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Beta-Local's site (Screengrab)

Pablo of the blog Centre For the Aesthetic Revolution put together a nice list of independent art schools in Latin and South America, you can read it here. I thought his list could be a useful resource for our readers. If there are other programs in the region missing from his list, feel free to post them below in the comments section.


Essential Repertoire Festival Kicks Off Tonight at Issue Project Room


Connie Beckley, Sound Split, 1975

Don't have access to a time machine, but want a taste of the Kitchen's programming during the late 1970s? Look no further than the Essential Repertoire Festival, which begins tonight and runs through the weekend at Issue Project Room. Organized by the experimental music series Darmstadt, the festival will restage works originally performed at the Kitchen's New Music New York concerts from 1979, curated by Rhys Chatham. Composers slated to present their 1970s-era work at Essential Repertoire include “Blue” Gene Tyranny, Connie Beckley, David Van Tieghem, Jill Kroesen, Jon Gibson, Ned Sublette, Peter Gordon, Peter Zummo, Petr Kotik, Phill Niblock, and a special performance of Meredith Monk's Dolmen Music by the M6. Check the full schedule here.


Support Rhizome and get a hot new ringtone!


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Step it up from Fur Elise, Calypso, and Cricket. Rhizome is offering four new tones designed especially for donors who contribute $50 to our annual Community Campaign. Chose from one of four selections by 386DX (Alexei Shulgin), TANLINES, Travis Hallenbeck, and Lucky Dragons. You won't put that ringer on silent again.



Arts Writers Grant Program 2009 Grantees Announced


The Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation's Arts Writers Grant Program just announced the grantees for 2009. Three of the twenty-six writers selected for the 2009 grant cycle have participated in Rhizome's Writers Initiative program - Gene McHugh, Ed Halter, and Geeta Dayal. Congratulations to them and the other winners this year! Awards are distributed across five categories—articles, blogs, books, new and alternative media, and short-form writing. You can read about individual projects here. I usually repost the call for the Arts Writers Grant Program to the blog each year, so stay tuned for more information regarding the 2010 cycle.


The Wrap-Up


Image Courtesy of La Superette

If you live in the New York area, there are a few temporary markets for artist-made gifts and multiples popping up this month. Check below for some pointers.

❄ La Superette ❄

Now 11 years old, La Superette has become the go-to spot for inexpensive DIY accessories and projects by independent artists and designers. Shop for hacked clothes, crafty housewares, and handmade accessories amid temporary art installations and live music. Go here for the full list of participating artists and a performance schedule, admission is free.

❄ Don't flee the art market! ❄

From December 11th through the 23rd, Postmasters Gallery will give their space over to "bright young artists" to sell their work. The press release promises "perfect gifts" like a treasure map, a coyote tail, a breast mountain, a set of wooden blocks, and a paper lion coming out of a paper captain's beard. Not exactly the commemorative plates Grandma wanted, but at least you'll make it a holiday to remember.

❄ Eyebeam's Holiday Hackshop ❄

If you want to make hack-tastic gifts yourself, attend one of Eyebeam's Holiday Hackshop workshops on December 12th from 1-6pm. Brighten your bike, make a Sno Globe, create an interactive DJ Station, or laser cut your own ornaments.

❄ The Degenerate Craft Fair ❄

From the description, the Degenerate Craft Fair sounds like a smaller and punker version of the Renegade Craft Fair. The DCF is in its first year, and it will jump locations from Bushwick to Williamsburg to Chelsea over the next three weeks, might be worth checking out?


Miami Picks


Pae White, The Oceanfront, 2009

Miami art fair season is in full force. Projects falling into the art and technology category are somewhat slim this year, but here are a few things to check out:

► Open-air theater for Art Video by Pae White

Art Basel Miami Beach premiers the Oceanfront this year, a new space on the beach that will serve as the platform for Art Video, Art Film, Art Perform, and Art Basel Conversation. West Coast artist Pae White was commissioned by Creative Time and ABMB to design the space. She produced an ambitious interactive cityscape of large color blocks made from scaffolding and printed fabric. Comfy seating and spaces for eating add to the communal atmosphere of the installation.

► The Watcher and the Watched: Jill Magid and Kon Trubkovich

On Saturday, December 5th from 7 - 8:30pm, curator Meredith Johnson presents video works by Jill Magid and Kon Trubkovich that explore issues of surveillance and control. Magid’s show "Authority to Remove" is currently on view at the Tate Modern.

► SCOPE Film Program

This year the SCOPE art fair commissioned a handful of curators to select a single work to screen at the SCOPE theater. Below are the four remaining screenings:

Friday, December 4 | 11am-7pm
Kate Macnamara (curator)
Edgar Arceneaux, An Arrangement without Tormentors, 2004

Saturday, December 5 | 11am-7pm
David Hunt (curator)
Robert Boyd, Conspiracy Theory, 2008

Sunday, December 6 | 11am-6pm
Benjamin Godsill (curator)
Kon Trubkovich, Double Entrance/Double Exit, 2009

► Art Basel Conversations: The Future of the Museum: The Portable Museum

A panel considers future models for exhibition-making, with artists Raphael Montanez Ortiz, Pedro Reyes, Peter Saville and Katerina Seda. Moderated by Hans Ulrich Obrist. Speakers available for informal discussion after the panel. 10-11 a.m.

Jenny Jaskey is Rhizome's Curatorial Fellow


Vote for Rhizome on Facebook


Chase Community Giving on Facebook is awarding grants to non-profit organizations. Please, if you have a Facebook account and 25 seconds to spare--vote for us at the link below. (Note that Rhizome is listed under our legal name 'Rhizome Communications, Inc.')

To vote, go here:

The deadline for voting is next Friday Dec. 11, 2009, so vote now! This could potentially mean tremendous support for our programs in 2010! Thank you for your time.

Rhizome staff


Magnetic Movie (2007) - Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt)


Since 1999 UK artists Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt have worked with digital animation to transcend the constraints of time, scale and natural forces; they explore the world beyond human experience, questioning our very existence.

The secret lives of invisible magnetic fields are revealed as chaotic ever-changing geometries. All action takes place around NASA's Space Sciences Laboratories, UC Berkeley, set to recordings of space scientists excitedly describing their visualization techniques. Magnetic Movie delves into Earth's inaudible surroundings, revealing recurrent 'whistlers' produced by fleeting electrons. Are we observing a series of scientific experiments, the universe in flux, or a documentary of a fictional world?



Relationship Amplifier (2008) - Max Lawrence



Max Lawrence's installations incorporate a device he refers to as a "relationship amplifier", based on the electronic principle of a Darlington Pair (in electrical science, a set of two transistors that amplify weak signals into stronger and sharper signals for both audio and microprocessing). Lawrence theorizes: "The relationship amplifier is based on the principle that a pair of people can amplify each other's strengths, weakness, and in some cases, create a net result much greater - as if created out of nothing - then the product of the pair by themselves."