Posts for 2013

Another History Is Possible

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Badlands Unlimited is an art publishing house making “books in an expanded field.”

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Adam Harvey for Rhizome's Community Fundraiser

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In the final week of Rhizome's Community Fundraising Campaign, we profile seven artists hand-picked by Rhizome to generously contribute artworks, ensuring you receive compelling thank you gifts at every donation level. Give now to receive one of these works.

Concerned with the ever growing level of surveillance today, the work of Brooklyn-based artist Adam Harvey aims to provide a fashionable and functional means to combat it.

The Off Pocket is one in a series of projects where Harvey has thwarted the methods by which we are tracked in contemporary society  whether it be phone signal, or cameras, Harvey's work uncovers the surreptitious new enablers of surveillance societies. In an Artist Profile for Rhizome, Harvey explains:

"Smartphones infiltrate our senses. They cause anxiety, phantom vibrations, and keep us on alert. We expend energy maintaining an always-on connection. Smartphones should come with a switch to turn this off, but they don’t. Turning my iPhone off and back on takes 45 seconds. Using flight mode is also clumsy. I wanted a way to quickly and politely disconnect myself without relying on the phone’s software or hardware features. The Off Pocket circumvents this design flaw."

Harvey has donated twenty of his Off Pockets (Off Pouch version) which prevent data leakage from your smart phone. Placing your phone inside of the Off Pocket will improve personal privacy for smart phone users concerned about phone hacking, tracking, or simply a break from the connected life. 

Contributions of $300 will receive an Off Pocket as well as the limited edition tote bag by ReCode Project, the 56 + 10 Broken Kindle Screens (Kindle Edition) eBook, and one full year of Rhizome membership.

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Phillip Stearns for Rhizome's Community Fundraiser

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In the final week of Rhizome's Community Fundraising Campaign, we profile seven artists hand-picked by Rhizome to generously contribute artworks, ensuring you receive compelling thank you gifts at every donation level. Give now to receive one of these works.

2012 was the Year of the Glitch for Brooklyn-based artist Phillip Stearns. Devoted to exploring the manifestations of glitches produced by electronics, Stearns posted a new image, video or sound file to his Year of the Glitch tumblr every day throughout the year.

Glitch Textile (all images courtesy of the artist)

The images on Year of the Glitch are "not of broken things, but the unlocking of other worlds latent in the technologies with which we surround ourselves. Part of what this project is about is approaching the familiar with fresh senses, to turn it into something that is unfamiliar."

Through his glitch-a-day project, Stearns developed a collection of woven and knit textiles whose patterns were generated using images taken with short circuited digital cameras. Glitch Textiles converts cold, hard digital information in to warm, soft blankets, rugs or tapestries. Stearns's textiles exposes the technology that surrounds us, and transforms it into a cozy and inviting object to wrap yourself in.

Stearns has donated five Glitch Textiles to Rhizome's Community Fundraiser. Available at the $500 level, donors will receive a Knit Glitch Blanket (40" x 60") made from machine washable 100% cotton. Donors at this level will also receive the limited edition tote bag by ReCode Project, the 56 + 10 Broken Kindle Screens (Kindle Edition) eBook, and one full year of Rhizome membership.

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The Lure of an Untold Story: An Interview with Fatima Al Qadiri

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WaWa Complex, 2011, Fatima Al Qadiri w/ Khalid Al Gharaballi (From WaWa Series)

There is little distinction between Fatima Al Qadiri’s work as an artist and composer. Her compositions and related performances are intertwined and in reference to the cross-pollination of genres, mediums, and artifacts of culture that infiltrates her video art and multimedia installations. Her most recent musical output, Desert Strike EP, is a testament to this blending of disparate ideas.

Born in Senegal and raised in Kuwait, Al Qadiri studied Linguistics at New York University and has performed and exhibited at the New Museum, MoMa, the Kitchen, and Performa, among others. As a child, she also witnessed the unfolding of the Gulf War. A love for and fascination with video games grew during this period and sustained for years afterward. In particular, the Sega Megadrive game “Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf,” which involves a US army helicopter waging war on a Middle Eastern country, was a frequent source of entertainment. The dichotomy between her own experiences outside of and in relation to videogames shapes the sound of the EP.

Desert Strike is filled with dry, hypnotic beats, cold, 8-bit-like synths and gunshots to create songs that are haunting and ethereal. The all-instrumental work is a deep and heavy soundtrack to a surreal yet familiar game that has yet to be not been created. But most importantly, it is a smart piece of music and work of art. Like her previous work, Genre-Specific Xperience, Desert Strike is representative of a multi-faceted and post-modern consumption of music and culture that fits in seamlessly with the sounds and creators of contemporary society.

Dala3 (in Vegas), 2011, Fatima Al Qadiri w/ Khalid Al Gharaballi (From WaWa Series)

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Matthew Plummer-Fernandez For Rhizome's Community Fundraiser

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In the final week of Rhizome's Community Fundraising Campaign, we profile seven artists hand-picked by Rhizome to generously contribute artworks, ensuring you receive compelling thank you gifts at every donation level. Give now to receive one of these works.

Matthew Plummer-Fernandez is a London-based artist who combines scanning, 3D printing, and computational approaches to make remixed art objects. His 3D printed works expose the limitations of the technology and the glitches that occur when translating real objects into digital ones.

In his Digital Natives series, Plummer-Fernandez samples everyday household items, remixes them using his own software, and then 3D prints them using a z-corp printer with a color resin, in order to blur the line between the real and the digital. Once functional objects are rendered useless, but beautiful, in their new algorithmically abstracted forms. Laura Davidson reviews Plummer-Fernandez's work for Rhizome, noting he takes: "...a more creative approach to engineering... His work proposes new ways in how we discuss the process of making a crafted object. Algorithms and their parameters become a tool to be mastered in the same way a lathe or a chisel would be... The results are almost alchemic and magical."

For Rhizome's Community Fundraiser, Plummer-Fernadez has donated two limited edition pieces from the Digital Natives series, available at the $1,000 level. The designs were based on a scan of a typical yellow ceramic jug and transformed using the artist's software. These unique table sculptures will be printed in the color of your choice. 

Images courtesy of the artist

 

You will also become a member of the Rhizome Council, a leadership council for significant supporters that brings you closer to Rhizome. As a member, you will be invited to special Council-only events including intimate studio visits with entrepreneurs and artists in ...

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Digging in the Age of Cloud Computing

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de paso, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, 2011

The saying "Free like the wind, not like free beer" is a version of the legal distinction known as gratis versus libre. It's an attempt to add some definition to one particularly slippery region of language. Free got complicated in the sixteenth century when it became attached to the monetary system, where it began to be used to denote transactions that took place outside of this system (free as in gratis; without cost).

In mid 1600s England, a small group emerged who began to undermine – literally – the institution of private property. Partly in response to rising food costs and a collapsing social order, the Diggers, led by Gerrard Winstanley, set themselves up to cultivate the common land, and live off what they produced. Winstanley set out his vision for a new society in a pamphlet called The Law of Freedom in a Platform (1652), a radical and eminently practical solution to the crises of his day.

As Christopher Hill writes, "Winstanley’s conclusion, that communal cultivation of the commons was the crucial question, the starting point from which common people all over England could build up an equal community, was absolutely right…. Winstanley had arrived at the one possible democratic solution that was not merely backward-looking, as all other radical proposals during the revolutionary decades – an agrarian law, partible inheritance, stable copy-holds – tended to be." The group was small and short-lived, and their community was constantly threatened by landowners and violent mobs, but they left a legacy of ideas which continues to fascinate and inspire. 

The Diggers are undoubtedly the heroes of The World Turned Upside Down, Hill’s history of forgotten radical groups during the English revolution. He speculates about the "revolution that never happened" ("although from time to time it threatened ...

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Less Than Two Weeks Left to Donate to Rhizome in 2013

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Happy New Year from all at Rhizome. The new year starts with a new push encouraging you to donate to our annual fundraising campaign, and you'll be seeing things ramp up around here during its final two weeks. The amount we're raising is crucial to our programs in 2013, and will further Rhizome's mission to examine technology culture and its social, political and aesthetic implications, from the perspective of contemporary art. If you value Rhizome's work  if you read the site, share links to our articles, use it to find out about new artists, come to our exhibitions and events, or interact with the organization in any number of ways since 1996  donate today.

Arts organizations like ours survive on the support of the publics they serve, and Rhizome has a particularly strong community around it. With under two weeks left, now is the time to express your support.

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