Posts for January 2012

Rhizome Digest: Best of Rhizome 2011


Paul Chan, burningkindlepointone.gif (2011.) (Rhizome Interview)




BYOB Venezia



Artist Profiles

Monument to Internet Hookups, performance sculpture (2009) at the 2nd Athens Biennale, by Angelo Plessas (Artist Profile)

Studio Visits


screengrab from Kane and Lynch 2 via Steam Postcards (Post: Architectural Uncanny Valley)



Artist Profile: Clement Valla


Clement Valla and John Cayley's Hapax Phaenomena is featured this month on The Download.

Certificate of Authenticity, Hapax Phaenomena (2011)

In Hapax Phaenomena and other projects such as Google Earth Sites, you refer to your art objects as artifacts or curios. Do you see yourself as an observer documenting an endangered technological curiosity?

Yes. These things will all disappear, and probably soon, in the name of progress. These artifacts are atypical ephemera, and often accidental products created by various internet algorithms.  There is very little direct human hand in these artifacts. Though the purpose in collecting them is not simply for their preservation. It's more about framing them, allowing them to be seen, and showing a kind of bizarre byproduct of these super-functioning and useful systems, such as Google. 

When did you first notice the glitch in Google Earth? What inspired you to begin capturing these surreal moments?

It was accidental. I was Google-Earthing a location in China, and I noticed that a striking number of buildings looked like they were upside down. I could tell there were two competing visual inputs here - the 3d model, and the mapping of the satellite photography, and they didn't match up.  The computer is doing exactly what it's supposed to do, but the depth cues of the aerials, the perspective, the shadows and lighting, were not aligning with depth cues of the 3d earth model. I figured that this was not a unique situation in Google Earth, and I started looking at obvious situations where the depth cues would be off—bridges, tall skyscrapers, canyons. Soon I noticed the photos being updated, and the aerial photographs would be 'flatter' (taken from less of an angle) or the shadows below bridges would be more muted. Google Earth is a constantly ...


Rhizome Recommends: RSS Bundle for Google Reader


Check out some of our favorite blogs and tumblrs with a Google Bundle compiled by Rhizome senior editor Joanne McNeil: Rhizome Recommends. 

via TumblrLRJP


via i like this art

via Field Notes


RHIZOME COMMISSIONS: Deadline April 15, 2012


2011 Rhizome Commissions winning entryVideo still from a study for iParade#2: Unchanged When Exhumed by Tali Hinkis

Time to get your applications in for Rhizome's 2012 Commissions cycle! Each year, this program supports emerging artists by providing grants for the creation of significant works of new media art. Projects can be made for the context of the gallery, the public, the web or networked devices. Rhizome Commissions awards generally range from $1,000 to $5,000. Deadline is Sunday, April 15th. Be sure to read over the eligibility, policy and procedures before you begin the application process.

Application Deadline: Sunday April 15, 2012

Approval Voting: Wednesday April 18, 2012 - Saturday May 12, 2012

Rank Voting: Monday May 14, 2012 - Friday June 01, 2012

The Rhizome Commissions program is supported, in part, by funds from Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, Wieden + Kennedy, the Jerome Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by generous individuals and Rhizome members.



I Would Rather My Streets — Gui Machiavelli (2011)



I Would Rather My Streets is a project by Gui Machiavelli mapping short narratives accessible through QR codes placed throughout Stockholm. It was inspired by Adam Rothstein's essay for Rhizome, City of QR Codes.

Public spaces are treasure troves of countless stories — events, memories and marks. Walking around a city, I am always tempted to know what happened in a certain spot. Look, that tree: did someone scratch his or her name there, decades ago?

I have placed some of my memories created in Stockholm in the same places they were formed. Deposited in QR Codes as a memory layer on top of the world. Small narratives, from commonplace to slightly extravagant, from confessions to puzzling moments, hints of the countless brief experiences that populate our world.



RECOMMENDED READING: Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2012


Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky have just begun their 13th annual "State of the World" conversation on The Well. (2011's State of the World here.)

inkwell.vue.430 : Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2012
permalink #6 of 13: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Wed 4 Jan 12 18:06


It's surprising how little vitality these have nowadays. Instead of fanaticallly dedicating themselves to narrow, all-explanatory cults, people just sort of eyeblink at 'em and move on to the next similiar topic. In a true Network Society, all fringe beliefs about the future seem to be more or less equivalent, like Visa, American Express and Mastercard. "Conservatism" conserves nothing; there is no "progression" in which to progress.

Peak Oil. Oil probably "peaked" quite some time ago, but the "peak" itself doesn't seem to bother markets much. The imaginary Armageddon got old-fashioned fast. Peak Oil has peaked.

Islamic Caliphate... With the collapse of so many Arab regimes, these guys are in the condition of dogs that caught a taxi. "Sharia Law" is practically useless for any contemporary purpose, and Arabs never agree about anything except forcing non-Arabs to believe.

Chemtrails. These guys are pitiable loons, but they're interesting harbingers of a future when even scientific illiterates are deathly afraid of the sky. It's interesting that we have cults of people who walk outside and read the sky like a teacup. I've got a soft spot for chemtrail people, they're really just sort of cool, and much more interesting than UFO cultists, who are all basically Christians. Jesus is always the number one Saucer Brother in UFO contactee cults. It's incredible how little imagination the saucer people have.

BitCoin. An ultimate Internet hacker fad. You'd think ...


Documentary on the art scene in Cairo after the revolution


The Noise of Cairo via African Digital Art


Alexei Shulgin and Aristarkh Chernyshev (Electroboutique) at London Science Museum


Images from Alexei Shulgin and Aristarkh Chernyshev (Electroboutique) pop-up at the Science Museum. On display 23 Nov 2011 - 14 Feb 2012




Phenakistoscope, Hypnoscope, Centograph, Animatoscope, Chronophotographoscope, Variscope, Criterioscope, Vitropticon, Vivrescope, Xograph...


Matthew Battles at Hilobrow uncovers this 1898 New York Times piece listing and considering potential emerging moving image technologies:

Battles comments, "It’s a vibrant bestiary of images, actions, and ideals: time, light, vitality, movement, judgment, change, vision, epiphany, and the animal world. Although the writer of this piece talks about a single machine, these weren’t all names for the same thing; moving pictures emerged in a radiant bouquet of formats, modes of presentation, and proprietary media. The names are evocative of another time—and taken together, they express a condition familiar to us all."


RECOMMENDED READING: Hakim Bey: Repopulating the Temporary Autonomous Zone by Simon Sellars


The TAZ may have remained a fringe work if it wasn’t for “cyberculture,” which proved among the more resilient memes in alternative art and culture from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. The original electronic networks that became the prototype for today’s commercial Internet were developed in the 1980s, a development of the first interconnected computer channels produced in the 1960s for US military purposes. As François Cusset summarizes: “These networks embodied, for some, a space for resistance, a social dead zone, a territory that was still imperceptible, in whose shelter they could build a new community and undermine the ruling powers … the first groups of hackers emerged [forming] in Bruce Sterling’s words, a veritable ‘digital underground’.” In cyberculture’s incandescent popcult moment, the gritty noir futures of cyberpunk science fiction, built upon the template forged by the ascending reputations of novelists William Gibson and Sterling, and extrapolated from present-day technological developments, were cited as metaphoric portrayals of a real world in thrall to the nascent Internet and to the implications for mediated life it held. Cyberphile magazines like Mondo 2000 (and later, Wired and 21C) spliced cyberpunk attitude with digital culture’s bleeding edge, carrying advertisements for dialup modems, CD ROMs and pixel-art software in between articles and interviews exploring every facet of cyberculture: From body modification to the emergent politics of the net, from new strains of cyberpunk fiction and rave music to the “bumper sticker libertarianism” leaking from cyberculture’s startling new cachet.

Fermented within this heady “frontier” atmosphere, manifestos were abundant. John Perry Barlow of the Electronic Frontier Foundation drew up a Declaration for the Independence of Cyberspace, demanding that the net – “the new home of Mind” – be forever self-governing, forever free from corporate and governmental restriction. Douglas Rushkoff produced a book-length vérité document ...