Posts for 2013

The Week Ahead: Thank You Edition


From the series Artificiata II by Manfred Mohr.

Last week, Rhizome received a rather exciting donation from Ryder Ripps and Sean John, and we want to start off this week by saying a big thanks - to everyone who has donated to us this year, not only the rappers. And now, without further ado, here are the latest opportunities and goings-on from Rhizome Announce.

Events - Berlin 

Opening Fri: DAM Gallery presents Artificata II, a solo show by artist Manfred Mohr (pictured). The artworks on display are a sequel to the series Artificiata I that was published as a visual artist's book in 1969 by AGENTZIA in Paris. With Artificiata II, the artist visualizes in real-time highly complex algorithms for computer animation on a monitor screen.


Video of 'Born Digital' Now Online


Video of this weekend's panel discussion, Born Digital: Conservation in the Computer Age, is now online, featuring computer arts pioneer Lillian Schwartz, and digital humanities scholars Matthew Kirschenbaum and Lori Emerson, with Ben Fino-Radin chairing. Some highlights: Lillian's opening remarks at 28:00, Lori discussing Ralph Ellison's use of an enormous portable Osborne 1 computer in his writing of Juneteenth (54:21), and Matthew sharing slides of his summer vacation to an underground nitrate film vault.

At 1:05:53, Ben also recounts one of the heroic moments of the recent XFR STN media conservation project: the recovery of artwork by Phil Sanders from an obsolete 10 Megabyte hard drive. It was a Herculean effort, ultimately successful thanks to computer historian Jason Scott's knowledge of the Apple II system and Doron Ben-Avraham's understanding of magnetism.




1980s Digital Experiments by Mechthild Schmidt Feist


Still images from computer graphics reel by Mechthild Schmidt Feist (1985).

This summer, the New Museum's exhibition XFR STN (organized with Rhizome's collaboration) has been functioning as an open-access media conservation station; the material conserved as part of this project are steadily being made available on (The project concludes this weekend, with a symposium tomorrow featuring luminaries from the world of conservation as well as computer arts pioneer Lillian Schwartz.)


Thomas M. Disch's "Endzone"


Ariel Hameon, Science fiction author Thomas M. Disch at South Street Seaport (2008). Via Flickr. June 3, 2008. Some rights reserved.

"This Journal is a memorial. New entries cannot be posted to it." So reads the banner above Thomas M. Disch's Endzone, a LiveJournal kept from April 26, 2006 until July 2, 2008, two days before Disch's death. Disch left behind a prolific output of poetry, criticism, libretti, plays, film treatments, and text for computer games, but it is a series of highly-stylized and vicious fictions presenting a hopeless America as stand-in for mankind for which he is primarily remembered. His novels Camp Concentration (1968) and 334 (1972) are twin high points of New Wave science fiction. The former prefigures David Markson's Wittgenstein's Mistress in its referential narrative; the latter isa scabrous satire of the social novel circa 2025. Endzone does not live up to the stylistic mastery of its precursors; as its author's first encounter with what may be considered a bastard form, it is at times near amateur in composition. It is also xenophobic, vindictive, full of doggerel and despair, and altogether difficult to endure. Despite its shortcomings, though, Endzone should be considered Disch's final work, if only for its brinksmanship with his career-long obsession with death.


A Letter to Jennifer Knoll


Constant Dullaart, Jennifer_in_Paradise (2013). Restored digital image re-distributed online with stenographically encrypted message.

Dear Jennifer,

Sometime in 1987, you were sitting on a beach in Bora Bora, looking at To'opua island, enjoying a holiday with a very serious boyfriend. The serious boyfriend, John, took a photograph of you sitting on the beach, not wearing your bikini top. John later became your husband and father to your children Sarah, Lisa, Alex and Jane.

This photograph of a beautiful moment in your personal history has also become a part of my history, and that of many other people; it has even shaped our outlooks on the world at large. John's image of you became the first image to be publicly altered by the most influential image manipulation program ever. 


The Week Ahead: Back-to-School Edition



Apple 1 replica, Franklin Ace 1000 (Apple II clone), Apple ///, Apple IIe. Media Archaeology Lab early Apple Computer collection.

A roundup of opportunities and goings-on from Rhizome's community.
Technoromanticism, curated by Alfredo Salazar-Caro, opens on September 6th at Jean Albano Gallery. The exhibition investigates online culture and image making through an In Real Life experience. The exhibition is to include works by Theodore Darst, Paul Hertz and Kim Asendorf.


Rhizome's Seven on Seven at the Barbican Centre, London on October 27, 2013


Europeans: one of Rhizome's flagship programs, Seven on Seven, is on the move. We're pleased to announce that the first international edition of the event is to be held at the Barbican Centre, London, on October 27, 2013.

Seven on Seven brings together luminaries from the fields of art and technology to work together for one day, in pairs, to create new projects – be they applications, concepts, artworks, products, or whatever they imagine. The results are unveiled the following day at the public conference.


Best of Rhizome: August 2013


Sara Ludy, GIF extract from House on Fire (2013). Music video for Outfit. 

This month, the most-read article on Rhizome was by our regular contributor Prosthetic Knowledge, who put together a set of artworks on the theme of polygon graphics glitches. The article was one of our most-commented upon of the month as well, with several users chiming in to add their own suggestions. It was a big month all around for Prosthetic Knowledge, who also published a nice collection of Net Artist Music Videos, and was listed in Wired's 101 Signals as an indispensable source for information about high-tech art projects.


Sampling Sonic Culture: MoMA’s Cautious Entry Into a World of Noise


Carsten Nicolai, Wellenwanne lfo (2012). Water tank, water, mirror, audio equipment, stroboscope, display screen.

"Careful listening is more important than making sounds happen."

— Alvin Lucier

Considering the vital role American artists of all media have played in the emergence of sound art, one is inclined to speculate as to why MoMA is just now mounting its first major exhibition dedicated to the subject.



Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: Net Artist Music Videos


The latest in an ongoing series of themed collections of creative projects assembled by Prosthetic Knowledge. This edition brings together music videos by artists for whom the internet is a primary medium.

Rosa Menkman, ‪03: Karate aka ☵ ☲ // 010 101 // kǎn lí‬. GIF extract from music video for Little Scale. 

The terms "net art" and "music video" are, while useful, close to becoming retronyms. With electronic technology becoming more easily available and ubiquitous, we are in a time where "new media" is not necessarily "new". As McLuhan famously punned his own phrase, "The Medium Is The Massage:" "All media work us over completely. They are so pervasive...that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, unaltered." This applies to the internet, which is becoming more and more familiar and available, making the boundaries and definition of Net Art less and less clear. 

Music videos (or at least, how music is promoted and delivered) are also changing—we are seeing more and more examples which are not necessarily traditional viewing experiences. For example: Machine Stop by Duologue, which uses WebGL to display Kinect-gathered performances which the participant can edit; Skrillex Quest, an online interactive game; works by Aaron Koblin. Maybe the word "video" is returning to one of its possible etymological origins, in which it was linked to the word "idea," and away from its more familiar definition...

Despite these shifts, though, both are still enjoyable cultural forms with plenty of creative possibilities still to be explored. In this short playlist, I bring together several works by unique creatives most often associated with Net Art applying their talents to the music video. Enjoy.