Posts for June 2011

Bre Pettis on The Colbert Report


Bre Pettis, part of this year's Seven on Seven, appeared on The Colbert Report last night, presenting a 3D printing of Stephen Colbert's head:

The Colbert Report


Repairing the ArtBase


Travess Smalley, Neon Hi Life (2011)

One of the challenges of maintaining the Rhizome ArtBase is the ongoing maintenance and repair of technically outdated or non-functioning artworks. Some of the web-based materials employed by net artists at earlier moments, such as browser plug-ins like Director and Flash or in-browser applets like Java, have been rendered obsolete by newer versions of these technologies.

It is our goal to make sure art from earlier Internet eras is not lost to technological obsolescence. We have begun to inventory the ArtBase, and to repair works. In some cases, replacing outdated HTML within the artwork's code can make it accessible on currently supported technologies while keeping the conceptual framework of the artwork firmly intact. While some repairs can be executed by reinterpreting code, others require translating data to current formats or building emulators to run obsolete software. Once an artwork is repaired, we then host an updated copy of the artwork on the Rhizome server so that the artwork can be experienced via contemporary browsers, and preserve the original code for posterity.

Repairing and hosting these artworks is a service that Rhizome will now more actively provide, as we want to make a robust history of the field available and feel that artists should not have their practices slowed by continually updating their previous works, but rather focus on developing new works. As well, artists involved in the ArtBase should have the satisfaction of knowing their work is always available and secure on the Rhizome website.

Check out our list of recently repaired works from the ArtBase and see preservation in action!

Support the Preservation Initiative and help us to continue offering this unique resource to artists.

Donate today!

Donations made by Saturday June 11th will receive limited-edition ...


Samuel Beckett in 3-D


"...Abode where lost bodies roam each searching for its lost one. Vast enough for search to be in vain. Narrow enough for light to be in vain. Inside a flattened cylinder fifty metres round and sixteen high for the sake of harmony..." Samuel Beckett, The Lost Ones, 1972

UNMAKEABLELOVE is a revisioning of Becketts initial investigation that focuses and makes interactively tangible, a state of confrontation and interpolation between our selves and another society that is operating in a severe state of physical and psychological entropy. UNMAKEABLELOVE advances the practices of algorithmic agency, artificial life, virtual communities, human computer interaction, augmented virtuality, mixed reality and multimedia performance to engage the bodys primordial inscriptions. It locates Becketts society of lost ones in a virtual space that represents a severe state of physical confinement, evoking perhaps a prison, an asylum, a detention camp, or even a reality TV show.

While in UNMAKEABLELOVE the inhabitants of the cylinder remain oblivious in their condition, and we the viewers of their world, with our probing torch lights and prying gaze, are positioned as the ‘other’, forced to experience the anomalies of a perceptual disequilibrium that implicates us in this alienated narrative. The resulting ambiguity and complicit agency in UNMAKEABLELOVE reinforces a perceptual and psychological tension between ‘self’ and ‘other’ generated by the works’ mixed reality strategies of embodied simulation.

New Scientist takes a look at the performance staged at this year's Hong Kong Art Fair.

via Open Culture


Speculative at LACE


Xarene Eskandar, Other Earth Artifacts II / HVAC, 2008

Christopher O'Leary, Blocking the Exits, 2011

Images from "Speculative" at LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions) curated by Christopher O’Leary and Zach Blas:

Today, we see the world we live in as an inviable world, and yet a world poised for radical reconfiguration. From global economic crises to pandemic panics to burgeoning forms of hatred and control to the ravaging of our earth, new borders and quarantines haunt and terrorize the world at stochastic levels of the global, nation-state, informatics, and the biological. Indeed, our world presents to us the seemingly complete commodification of life, culture, the body, the planet. Yet, we find within these very inviabilities the kernels of potential to enact and push forward new ways, worlds, and lives. In fact, we see many up-risings emerging everywhere: from the calls to action of militant groups like The Invisible Committee to the UC student protests to the insurrections of the Middle East to the digital activisims of WikiLeaks and Anonymous. These all point toward living and existing in the world another way. We see the SPECULATIVE as the uniting force in our artwork that conjures forth the potential of the world we want, in political, cultural, social, sexual, technological, biological, economic, and ecological dimensions...


Two More Days of Approval Voting for Rhizome Commissions


In this funding cycle, Rhizome will award ten grants: eight grants will be determined by a jury of experts in the field, and two will be determined by Rhizome’s membership through an open vote.

The commission awards will be determined by a jury consisting of Tina Kukelski, formerly of the Whitney Museum of American Art, currently one of the curators for the Carnegie International 2012; Candice Madey, founder of On Stellar Rays gallery, and Domenico Quaranta, writer and media art historian. Two awards will be determined by Rhizome’s membership through an open vote.

Member approval voting ends Sunday June 12, 2011.


Weekend Clicking


Graphic Design for Olivetti Flickr set via @bruces/ @geetadayal
  • I handed the telephone to the applicant, and sat down. Then followed that queerest of all the queer things in this world,—a conversation with only one end to it. You hear questions asked; you don't hear the answer. You hear invitations given; you hear no thanks in return. You have listening pauses of dead silence, followed by apparently irrelevant and unjustifiable exclamations of glad surprise, or sorrow, or dismay. You can't make head or tail of the talk, because you never hear anything that the person at the other end of the wire says. - Mark Twain writes about the telephone in the June 1880 Atlantic Magazine (via Kottke)
  • Jon Rafman and Mr. Doob on this year's Creativity 50 list.
  • Speculative Realism blog name generator e.g. "Hyperchaotic Nominalism." (Voyou)
  • Review of Stan VanDerBeek show at MIT List Gallery (Frieze)
  • Because Artaud repeatedly proclaimed himself a poet and a madman, his practice — his singular performativity of ideas — has been easily incorporated into our histories of high modernism. But Weil — a young woman, clumsy, cerebral, thin, and poorly dressed — wrote no manifestoes. Consequently, her work remains as vulnerable in death as it was in life. Chris Kraus writes about Simone Weil for LA Review of Books
  • The Journey Into the Past, Present and Future of African Animation (African Digital Art)
  • Cao Fei on Art21
  • Kevin Kelly writes about Internet Archive's book preservation initiative, which includes a physical archive, We are in a special moment that will not last beyond the end of this century: Paper books are plentiful. They are cheap and everywhere, from airports to drug stores to libraries to bookstores to the shelves of millions of homes. There has never been a better time to be ...
  • MORE »

    Last day of the Rhizome Summer Fundraiser


    Francoise Gamma, Ysatsce dna ecaep evol (2011)

    Today is the last day of our week-long Summer Fundraiser!

    As you know, this campaign is geared specifically towards our Preservation Initiative, which has become a major priority for Rhizome in recent years. We initiated this campaign because preservation not a matter of feasibility--we can make this happen--but the scale of our effort does depend on funding. We are actively seeking funding from foundations, government agencies to support this effort, and support from the Rhizome community through this fundraiser plays a very important role.

    An exciting part of being involved in art engaged with the Internet and new technology is that the field is moving so quickly, expanding, changing, and co-extensively, in need of criticism and resources to support it. The inherent risk is that the materials that compose these media-based works will obsolesce rapidly, in a way that painting, photography, and sculpture do not. Help us keep the history of this field in tact for artists, scholars and publics in years to come.

    Please donate today. This is your last chance to receive limited-edition desktop wallpaper from artists Fracoise Gamma or Travess Smalley.

    To all our members and supporters: thanks for all you've given to Rhizome! It's going to be a great summer on the Rhizome website thanks to you!

    LINK »

    Kevin Slavin's Talk on How Augmented Reality isn't Real Enough


    "Reality is augmented when it feels different, not when it looks different. And when the senses of time and obligation, and rewards are altered, maybe the aspiration of 3-d optical augmented reality begins to feel a little bit like pornography. Like a thin veneer of the actual experience that is flattened for the eye—that is rendered for the eye, which is the one sense most easily fooled to begin with," said Kevin Slavin (co-founder of Area/Code) recently at Mobile Monday Amsterdam. It's a thought-provoking talk, and one bound to be referenced in years to come as augmented reality transitions from cyborg theory buzzword to an unavoidable component of the digital experience.

    Slavin quotes film studies professor Elena Gorfinkel (cited in Salen and Zimmerman’s book Rules of Play): " The confusion in this conversation has emerged because representational strategies are conflated with the effect of immersion. Immersion itself is not tied to a replication or mimesis of reality. For example one can get immersed in Tetris. Therefore, immersion into game play seems at least as important as immersion into a games’s representational space." He considers augmented reality as an uncanny valley "not for the human face, but for the actual world around us."

    And here's a great response to the talk from Rhizome contributor Greg J. Smith on his blog Serial Consign:

    [T]he initial buzz was slightly misleading as it suggested that the presentation was an outright dismissal of AR. I don't really think this was the case...My reading of the talk is that Slavin is extremely curious about augmenting reality—as praxis—and suggesting we (startups, developers and consumers) need to be considerably more thoughtful in our application/exploration of the emerging medium and consider how it might activate other senses – AR ...

    LINK »

    Joshua Light Show: Liquid Loops II on Kickstarter


    The Joshua Light Show is raising funds on Kickstarter to produce Liquid Lights II, a sequel to their classic Liquid Loops document of their lightshow, which has been displayed at the Whitney, Hirshhorn, Tate, Centre Pompidou and many other museums across the USA and Europe.

    A Studio Visit with The Joshua Light Show by Kickstarter

    Liquid Loops II, much like its predecessor, acts both as a video portrait of the Joshua Light Show's ephemeral practice while doubling as a unique and indispensable tool for visualists, bands, and VJs, as the performance rights are granted with each sale of the DVD.

    JLS founder Joshua White loves to reveal the secrets of his lightshow.  The first edition of Liquid Loops plays an integral role in each performance we give.  Liquid Loops II will become an essential aspect of our future presentations. Moreover, it will be made available to the public for purchase.

    We are currently scheduling a series of film shoots using the highest quality Red Digital Camera to capture high-definition, 4K footage of this iconic imagery.  This will involve renting the camera and studio, hiring a DP, and paying for the same kinds of production costs incurred by any professional film shoot, running several thousands of dollars.  As the image quality is high, so must terabytes of data storage be acquired at additional cost.  The remainder of the fundraised sum will go towards manufacturing and packaging.  

    The first Liquid Loops was captured years ago on 35mm film by artist Cecily Hoyt. Isn't it about time there was a second edition?   Lovers of the light, we thank you for your support over the years and want to make sure that the new incarnation of the Joshua Light Show is documented, utilized to elevate our own practice, and shared with you ...

    LINK »

    Rhizome Commissions Rank Voting Begins Today


    Through an open vote, Rhizome members will determine two of the ten grants that will be awarded in this funding cycle.

    Rank voting is now open! In the second voting stage, members can rank the top 26 proposals from the approval stage by clicking and dragging the proposals in order of preference. Learn more about the commissions voting process by checking out the policy and procedures.

    You may change your rankings at anytime until voting closes on June 24th, 2011.

    LINK »