Posts for 2012

Declaration of Internet Freedom


On July 2nd, a consortium of organizations concerned about the future of a free and open internet, published a document framing four essential principles. The Declaration of Internet Freedom was designed with the understanding that if regulation of the internet is inevitable, we must define the essential qualities of an open internet to preserve in any future legislation.

At Rhizome, not only do we support the idea that a free and open internet can make the world a better place, but believe it is crucial for the future of online creative communities. We have set up a microsite where you can amend, edit, debate and discuss the original declaration. We hope to open a dialogue here, and encourage you to consider how these principles apply to artistic practices on the web.



Eli Keszler's Piano Wire Works


eli keszler : cold pin from eli keszler on Vimeo.

New York-based musician and artist Eli Keszler integrates piano wire into his compositions in a way that falls between installation and improvisation. For Cold Pin, motorized beaters controlled by a generative sequence struct 14 piano strings hung across the wall of Boston's Cyclorama in 2011. Keszler then invited Ashley Paul, Greg Kelley, Reuben Son and Benjamin Nelson to play off the work, improvising alongside the randomized clunks, scraps, and bangs emanating from the wall.

His recent L-Carrier at Eyebeam complicated this format by activating the motors in tandem with a changing visual score designed by Keszler. Hosted on a dedicated website commissioned by Turbulence, these images evolved when visitors tripped up "targets" on the site that interfere with the code, modifying the pattern of the motors. On June 7, Keszler again played in a seven piece ensemble in conjunction with the installation, including musicians Ashley Paul, Anthony Coleman, Alex Waterman, C Spencer Yeh, Catherine Lamb, Geoff Mullen, and Reuben Son.

In both compositions accompanying Cold Pin and L-Carrier, the installation serves not as a simple backdrop, but a central element. On their own, the installations continue to have a commanding presence. Unlike the extended resonating tones of Ellen Fullman's Long Stringed Instrument, which meditatively fill a room, Keszler's approach to auditory space reveals his training as a percussionist, where the plucks are akin to hits - busy, feverish and complex. Taken out of an enclosed environment, such as in Collecting Basin, piano wire is not only responsive to the whims of the motor beaters but also the wind and the elements. Here, Keszler hung the wire from a large water tower, transforming an industrial space into an open air instrument.

Eli Keszler Collecting Basin from eli keszler on Vimeo ...


Art In Your Pocket 3: Sensor Driven iPad and iPhone Art Apps


 PXL, Rainer Kohlberger, 2012

As the iPhone just celebrated its fifth year on the market, artists have already made a substantial dent in the commercially lucrative world of Apple’s AppStore. Despite this success, artists are still pushing forward to build apps that further integrate with the device’s sensors and location-based capabilities. Rather than working solely within the context of software art as I have covered in two previous articles on the subject for Rhizome, there is a focus now on artists who are interacting with the physical world by using the device’s internal sensors, location capabilities, constant Internet connectivity, and built-in cameras.


“Konfetti”, Stephan Maximillian Huber, 2012


Using the camera as a sensor, “Konfetti” by German based designer Stephan Maximillian Huber visualizes the image of its subject into countless dots. In effect, the camera image is translated into virtual confetti that follows any movement and creates an ever changing images based on which camera is selected. The dot’s movement is correlated to the detected flow captured by the camera and by repelling other dots, which also move as you touch and drag them. Huber explains over email how the app works as a reflection based art tool. “The app started as an iPad-only app, and on an iPad the app acts like a mirror, showing an abstract reflection of yourself. You'll get a clear image of yourself only when you concentrate on the process of the app, and don't move too fast. It's like contemplating about yourself and the image of yourself. And as your thoughts and emotions aren't static the image the app generates is dynamic and adapts to minimal movements and new ...



The Download: Kari Altmann


tv2.jpg + from World Class GFX Pack (On the DL) (2012)


Rhizome is pleased to announce the lastest Download featuring World Class GFX Pack (On the DL) by Kari Altmann, a wifi-based artist with interests in algorithms, art direction, and the mutation that occurs as things travel through systems of production and exchange. Mimicking the form of a graphics pack that users can download in a number of online marketplaces (or rip from black market torrent sites and filesharing communities), Altmann offers up a range of world class effects and elements from her own projects that can be used and repurposed to add extra value to yours.

The Download is accessible to all Rhizome members. If you would like to start your own collection of digital art, become a member today.



Artist Profile: Korakrit Arunanondchai


Installation "2012-2555"

Can you talk a little bit about the relationship between designing products like clothing and creating immersive installation environments, both of which rely on the element of "social participation," which you've described as essential to your work?

An idea I have been throwing around for a while now is "any surface can be a painting?" That said, I left my clothing line behind in 2010 because I realize that it was not doing what I wanted it to do. The original idea for the clothing was that the audience wearing the clothes with my patterns on it would blend in with the immersive black-light installation. These installations usually have a live-musical component to it and the audience's movement to the music would create an active surface to the installation. I quite like this harmonious audio-visual experience when it does happen.

The idea of social participation is still really important in my work, although currently I am holding back and reconfiguring my strategies towards social participation. 

I was really fortunate to spend quite a bit of time with Rirkrit Tiravanija over the past year and see him in action. He is a master at opening up a space in his work for the audience to experience and discover things for themselves and I am trying to incorporate some of that quality in my future pieces. 

Much of your work concentrates on the depiction of movement for its own sake, divorced from the representation of objects in space. The affect is achieved using dense layers and bold colors. What influences these instances of abstraction?

If the world we see is a painting and everything is made from the same substance, then all you essentially see are different colors and shapes vibrating at different speed. I wanted my abstract ...


Rhizome Digest: Best of Rhizome June


Autumn Evening by Philip Buchanan Prosthetic Knowledge Plants



Still from Timo Arnall's Robot Readable World (Robopix)


Artist Profiles

CV Dazzle by Adam Harvey



Amalia Pica at Chisenhale Gallery






Pixel Paul




Thank You to Our Sponsors


We would like to take a brief moment to thank this month’s sponsors. These are the organizations and companies that keep us publishing, so be sure to check them out!


Glitching on Tumblr


From Glitch-Hop

Among the recent grop of gif-based glitch Tumblrs is Year of the Glitch, a glitch-a-day blog run by the artist Phillip Stearns featuring a totalizing glitch, where any trace of the previous media has been virtually destroyed. Meanwhile, Tumblrs Glitch Gifs, Glitch-Hop, Glitchee, and Compression Errors feature glitches gleaned from popular, recognizable sources, where amusement comes from the intrusion of a chance-like error on a recognizable piece of media. There's even Food Mosh, a glitch take on the popularity of pictures of food. These are more easily classified as utilizing datamoshing, where manipulations in digital compression produce pixel bleeding. 

Some theory about the practice is can be provided by Thomas Levin: "What is at stake in the vocabulary of such 'compression errors'—evident both in the domains of avant-garde video and in the more popular idiom of music video—is a rendering readable of 'differencing,' of what I call the 'preductive aesthetics of the absent image.'"

Studies: Dither + Flicker No. 1 from Year of the Glitch

Via Food Mosh


Artist Profile: Hannah Perry


'Hannah Perry & Hotel Palenque, 2012' Performance, RGB projection on fabric back projection wall courtesy Cell Project Space, London


In a conversation with Francesca Gavin last month you said, "I see the clips from TV as being as much my personal memories as the ones from my own life, yet also having resonance with our collective national consciousness." Much of your work blends footage you've shot yourself, personalized footage shot by strangers, and the ersatz human experience offered by TV and adverts. It assumes pop cultural references naturally interpolate into one’s personal memories.

That quote was in reference to my editing style. I was explaining how my editing derives from listening to hip hop and dance music, and music production techniques. I look at the looping and sampling of sound, and then use those methods to play with audio and video in a similar way.

When I was a kid I would raid my brother’s room while he was out, and listen to his tapes. He is over 10 years older than me and was heavily into the rave scene. I distinctively remember nicking a rave tape from 92, so I was probably about 7-8. The stories about what he got up to were also influential.

The rave scene is one pop-culture reference, among many, that reoccurs in my work. I feel close to that youth/social movement and the music that spun out of it, but I have always felt slightly outside of it too, which made it easy to romanticize the whole thing until it became a part of what I did in my late teens.

If we think of rave culture as the last British subculture before the mass use of the Internet, it may well be being revived to a certain degree, but in ...


Amalia Pica at Chisenhale Gallery


Amalia Pica, 2012.  Chisenhale Gallery, London. Photo: Mark Blower.

There is a particular romance in miscommunication, wrought by difference and distance. The undelivered letter, the intercepted telegram, the voicemail message never played back are the chance minutiae which drive the action of the plot forward, or cause it to veer dramatically off-course. Mislaid memoranda and transposed missives are Greek Fates for the modern era, where rupture is a stronger organizing force than the continuity of a single thread. Still, it is strange to contemplate crossed-wires in a contemporary context, where a missed cue – the probable end-result of too many functional, thus distractible, multiple-channel communication devices – still engenders the ultimate social faux pas: You didn’t get the message?

Managers and technocrats determined to allay postmodern anxiety seek to reduce error in manifestations of human passion, from theaters of war to those of love, both on- and off-line. To a certain extent clinical psychology, too, helps condition us to distinguish signal from noise. Alain Badiou’s In Praise of Love laments the disappearance of social discomfiture via the easy connectivity peddled by Internet dating sites: 

After all, it’s not so very different to an arranged marriage. Not done in the name of family order and hierarchy by despotic parents, but in the name of safety for the individuals involved, through advance agreements that avoid randomness, chance encounters and in the end any existential poetry, due to the categorical absence of risks. 

Where are exhilaration and ecstasy without some amount of personal risk? This conundrum resonates throughout London-based artist Amalia Pica’s sculpture, installation, and performance works, which consider moments of potential for point-to-point communication – and by extension, human connection; togetherness. Using not especially technological materials, the invariable “failure” of Pica’s work to draw disparate subjectivities into dialogue is most always a result of the aesthetic formalism of mediation, a quality borne out in the quiet beauty of her installations. Exhibited in the New Museum’s second triennial this year, Pica’s pleasing post-Minimal projection Venn Diagram (Under the Spotlight) (2011) expanded upon an earlier preoccupation with the diagrams from the ink-on-paper series Untitled (2006). The mathematical illustrations were banned in 1970s Argentina, where Pica grew up, for the perceived danger in clear expressions of collectivity. 

Her interest in the visualization of interaction and exchange might seem to have pragmatic applications today, although significantly it is the symbolism of “the social” (in the above case a field of color rather than a cloud or network,) which is philosophically operative beyond the direct representation of raw data. In this sense, her body of work forms a critique of the individual’s pure egoism as much as particular barriers to communication (chance, timing, autocracy) – playing with language, symbol and signal to “talk about talking.” Barring an algorithm to calculate the compatibility of notional personality tics, favorite 90s slasher flicks or other equally ambiguous criteria, Pica’s most reliable device describing the relationship between two is a single line: forming a bond or being deflected.

Pica’s current solo exhibition at Chisenhale Gallery coincides with the culmination of a yearlong project undertaken in the East London borough local to the art space...