Posts for May 2012

Commissions Deadline Tonight and Benefit on May 9th


Tonight is the deadline for Rhizome commissions! Proposals are due at midnight tonight. 

Also, tickets are still available for our Benefit party on May 9th! Performances by Venus X, Extreme Animals, and LE1F.



Artist Profile: David Kraftsow


David Kraftsow's Vlog Artifacts, is featured this month on The Download.

Screenshot of At My Funeral, 2011

Much of your work involves recontextualizing a lot of YouTube and Twitter content. Through this rearranging and reorganizing you compose and assign new meaning to the often banal, unwittingly revealing always-growing archive of user-uploaded videos and status updates. User content here surpasses individual critique and instead is aesthetically reframed and sometimes even gamified under your curation.  What does it mean for you to work with the uploads of others? What can you say about the role of the curator in this process?

I'm not really sure if "curation" is the right word to describe my YouTube projects. While I do, on occasion, go out and hand-pick specific content for display (like for my fun cat video blog or Violet Flame supercut), most of the rest of my YouTube work is either the result of an autonomous script, or a user-initiated generator.

For example, I have a cron (autonomously executing process) running for my At My Funeral project that specifies search criteria for YouTube videos with comments that contain the phrase "at my funeral". The script has generated a database of (to date) 21,000+ videos that people want to have played in their honor after they die. 

Does this kind of algorithmic selection count as curation? The result can be really interesting and even kind of comedic. There is something hilarious to me about mechanically collecting every single "better than Bieber" YouTube comment ever written. But, beyond the initial specification of the program that does the collecting, it doesn't involve any of my creative/curatorial input at all. The content is selected and displayed automatically. 

If curation can simply involve the design and execution of such an algorithm, then the ...


The Signal Interviews Ben Fino-Radin about Conservation and Digital Art


Barbra Latanzi,  The Letter and the Fly (2002 )

Trevor Owens interviewed Rhizome Digital Conservator Ben Fino-Radin for the Library of Congress blog on digital preservation, The Signal. In the interview, he discusses Rhizome's ArtBase collection, including work like Barbara Lattanzi's The Letter and the Fly (2002) and Lev Manovich's Little Movies (1994). He also talks about the role the collection plays in the Rhizome community as well as his unique job with the organization:

Trevor: Could you tell us a bit about how the collection is being used? To what extent is the audience for the collection artists in search of inspiration? To what extent is it for the general public? To what extent is it for scholars and researchers?

Ben: Currently the collection is used most heavily in academia, and by curators and researchers. Many professors of new media integrate the ArtBase into their lesson plan, designing research and curatorial assignments centered around the students using our members tools to curate exhibitions.

Trevor: I don’t think there are many people out there with the title of digital conservator. Could you tell us a bit about how you define this role? To what extent do you think this role is similar and different to analog art conservation? Similarly, to what extent is this work similar or different to roles like digital archivist or digital curator?

Ben: I drew the distinction with my title for two reasons: 1) I am at the service of an institution that lives within a museum, and 2) the digital objects I am cataloging and preserving access to are not “records” by the archival definition. They are artifacts – and as such require a different kind of care.

I am responsible for the stewardship of intellectual entities that are often inseparable from their ...


Transmissions from Locations Unknown


Mat (Clodagh Emoe, 2008-ongoing) via

On a recent episode of Fringe, a mad scientist arch-villain primes two parallel worlds for destruction by re-tuning the frequency of each planet to resonate at the same pitch. A semi-literal bridge that connects the worlds makes this simultaneous ruination possible. The uniting functionality is familiar: an open line enables communication, and much like the telephone and its network offspring, a bridge makes connection possible. That open line has served as a hopeful means of connection to magic, the fuzzily understood, and the otherworldy.  

Remote became routinely possible with the telephone. Electronically transmitted speech enabled nearly immediate, if once-removed, conversation. The device, as described by philosopher Avital Ronell, both amplified a voice across distance and marked the physical absence of the other. A call's origin, the voice on the other side, could be logically anywhere, or from beyond. One story goes: Alexander Graham Bell, influenced by Thomas Watson's interest in phatasmic communication and seeking a means to communicate with his much-loved departed brother, ended up inventing the telephone.

Could transmission and recording instruments reveal the unknown? Ethereal forces were felt and unseen — what was imperceptible to the naked eye might be seen by a technologically augmented one:

The Medium Eva C. with a Materialization on Her Head and a Luminous Apparition Between Her Hands (Albert von Schrenck-Notzing, 1912) via

The mind-consciousness interface is direct and hopefully unburdened by interpretative infrastructure. Fringe's FBI agent heroine possesses slight telepathic and telekinetic abilities that lubricate her passage between worlds. She requires no intervening interface; her mind is the bridge, her thoughts go unmediated from input to considered output. (For more on brain interfaces and interaction, go here for the Near Future Laboratories SXSW talk; slideshow here).

Direct communication from mind to the external results in ...


Mark Leckey releases Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore on vinyl



Turner Prize winning artist Mark Leckey is releasing the audio from his 1999 video work Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore. The record is the first release on Boomkat in house label The Death Of Rave, and the B side contains the audio fromGreenScreenRefridgerator, which features a black talking Samsung fridge in front of green screen visuals.

The soundtrack from Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore is lifted straight from the original work, disconnected from the video, and the GreenScreenRefridgerator audio has been edited for length. There's no information on what else the label will be releasing yet, but Boomkat say it will not be restricted to work by Leckey. 

The record has been pressed in an edition of 500, cut at Berlin's Dubplates & Mastering, and is due for release on 21 May. Watch Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore, and part one of GreenScreenRefridgerator below. More information imminent at Boomkat

via The Wire


What Price Love?


photo: Melissa Gira Grant

“I wanted us to be so naked with each other,” Acker/Laure writes to Bataille, “that the violence of my passion was amputating me for you.” But “as soon as you saw that I got pleasure from yielding to you, you turned away from me… You stated that you were denying me because you needed to be private. But what’s real to you isn’t real to me. I’m not you. Precisely: my truth is that for me your presence in my life is absence.” 

- Steven Shaviro, quoting Kathy Acker as Laure as if writing a love letter to Georges Bataille


I carry every love letter I wrote to B in a Gmail label on my phone. They aren't all love letters; they pitch and shift through six months of taking a conversation that began in public, across two blogs, into a more protected space. 

For the last two months, I've been publishing these letters to readers who bought a subscription. I have four months left to send these letters, in which the reader receives my half of the correspondence, time-shifted one year after I wrote and sent them to B.

It's called What Price Love? and so far, in sum, love is priced at about a thousand dollars.


"...for me your presence in my life is absence."


I think about how I have made a living exposing sex, including my own, for the last 14 years. How nearly anything we are supposed to do for love but instead accept money for can be defamed – by someone uncomfortable with that exchange and our decision to enter into it – as "prostitution." Is selling a love letter prostitution? Is telling you to buy it somehow worse? I want you to read them but ...


Report from Frieze New York


The verdict from Frieze New York? Not so bad! While the city has experienced a rash of yawn-worthy art fairs — this year's Armory no exception — yesterday saw the impressively successful debut of Frieze Art Fair on New York's Randall's Island. Combining mainstays such as Gagosian with younger, more innovative galleries such as 47 Canal, T293, and Balice Hertling, Frieze NY offered a crowd-pleasing multifaceted, international approach. Some stand-out works below.


Stephen G Rhodes, "Untitled," 2012 at Overduin and Kite. All photographs by Marcus Cuffie

While I'm familiar with Rhodes' installation work through a recent solo exhibition at Metro Pictures in New York, this collages proves his two-dimensional work to be much more pared down and sensitive to detail. Rhodes, who splits his time between Berlin and New Orleans, has gathered materials around both of his studios, using spraypainted reliefs of New Orleans flora as a background to this composition. Although the most satisfying details of the piece are lost in this jpeg, Rhodes further layers his collage with text from Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, "'Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent.' -- Judge. GO OUTSIDE."


Keltie Ferris, "(*)", 2012 at Mitchell Innes and Nash

On view at Mitchelle Innes and Nash's booth is Keltie Ferris' large, graffiti-inspired paintings. While the term "graffiti-inspired" alone may be enough to turn many a viewer off, Ferris' paintings seem timely, and dare I say, internet-aware. With titles that frequently employ various combinations of punctuation marks, Ferris' paintings appear at once almost pixelated or digitally inspired as well as cognizant of delicate position that abstract painting occupies in 2012.


 Sarah Braman, "Untitled," 2012 at Mitchell Innes and Nash

Sarah Braman also kills it at Mitchell Innes and Nash...



Rhizome Benefit May 9



Tickets are still available for our Benefit party on May 9th! Performances by Venus X, Extreme Animals, and LE1F.

Venus X

Extreme Animals



Recommended Reading: The Spam of the Earth: Withdrawal from Representation by Hito Steyerl


Image spam might tell us a lot about “ideal” humans, but not by showing actual humans: quite the contrary. The models in image spam are photochopped replicas, too improved to be true. A reserve army of digitally enhanced creatures who resemble the minor demons and angels of mystic speculation, luring, pushing and blackmailing people into the profane rapture of consumption.

Image spam is addressed to people who do not look like those in the ads: they neither are skinny nor have recession-proof degrees. They are those whose organic substance is far from perfect from a neoliberal point of view. People who might open their inboxes every day waiting for a miracle, or just a tiny sign, a rainbow at the other end of permanent crisis and hardship. Image spam is addressed to the vast majority of humankind, but it does not show them. It does not represent those who are considered expendable and superfluous—just like spam itself; it speaks to them.

The image of humanity articulated in image spam thus has actually nothing to do with it. On the contrary, it is an accurate portrayal of what humanity is actually not. It is a negative image...

— The Spam of the Earth: Withdrawal from Representation by Hito Steyerl (e-Flux #32)





This article was taken offline on 8/7/2017. An archived version (.warc file) is available by request.