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Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt

Jenny Jaskey is Rhizome's Curatorial Fellow

It's no secret that the internet, particularly with the help of social media, has birthed a whole new kind of celebrity. Here are a few of the highlights from the past year that demonstrate the power of viral media and the changing face of fame.

► Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt
In early Summer 2009, a t-shirt featuring three wolves howling at the moon appeared on The Customer Reviews got a lot of attention (there are 1,598 to date), and by October the shirt made its first celebrity appearance on The Office. Three Wolf Moon is now a souvenir of itself.

► Tavi: The New Girl in Town
Her blog has been around since 2008, but Tavi’s had a big year, the thirteen-year old pixie fashion blogger recently appeared on the cover of Editor Dasha Zhukova’s debut edition of Pop Magazine. She is one of the most sought-after editorial voices in fashion and has not yet finished eighth grade.

► Susan Boyle
In April, Susan Boyle appeared on “Britain’s Got Talent.” The 47-year old, who says she lives with her cat Pebbles and has never been kissed, performed the song “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables. When the clip appeared on YouTube, there were over 100 million views within the first weeks, making it one of the top Internet videos of all time.

► Kanye West
Kanye’s unforgettable appearance at the 2009 VMAs sparked a host of memes and memes within memes. Even Obama weighed in on the issue.

The event that started it all:


General Web Content


From the moment YouTube launched, viewers have developed ingenious ways to manipulate the unlimited store of videos contained on the site. See below for a few choice web-based tools-slash-art projects that allow you to do everything from crossfade to add a cascade of blood drops. Feel free to contribute additional links in the comments section.

YouCube by Aaron Meyers

YooouuuTuuube by David Kraftsow


cover this YouTube in blood by Guthrie Lonergan

YouTube Doubler by Brian Kane

Auto Keyboard Cat by Bobsworth Industries


Drei Klavierstucke op. 11 (2009) - Cory Arcangel


Recently I took a few months of my free time and decided to recreate Arnold Schoenberg's 1909 op. 11 Drei Klavierstücke (aka Three Piano Pieces) by editing together videos of cats playing pianos downloaded from Youtube. Schoenberg's Op11 is often considered the first piece of "atonal" music, or music to completely break from traditional western harmony which means it's not written in a "key".....This project fuses a few different things I have been interested in lately, mainly "cats", copy & paste net junk, and youtube's tendency in the past few years to host videos that are as good and many times similar to my favorite video artworks. I think all this is somehow related. I'm talking about The Infinite Cat Project, Cats in Sinks, Cat in Fan, Ninja cat comes closer while not moving!, Smart Cat Open Door, Fat Cat VS Small Box, Pussy versus Printer, Edison's The Boxing Cats (Prof. Welton's), It's been a long day, Panta improvising on the piano featuring my cat (my personal favorite cat video), the Ultimate Canon Rock, Sopranos every profanity, The Big Lebowski - Every Single Fucking Dude, Marclay's "hello" supercut, 50 50s, Check out my new stereo - Extreme Bass! (also see Goldstein's "A Glass of Milk" here), Watching the Paint Dry (also see Burt Barr's Watching The Paint Dry series here), even Andy Eating a Hamburger, & Infinite Warhol (you might have noticed we are back 2 the beginning of this list).



General Web Content


Gif by Lunk

This is where we put stuff. And stuff.

As we come across web phenomenon like the Cheetah Lady, Rickrolling and Violet Flame meditation videos we must acknowledge that there is something -- call it artistic or uncanny or just plain wha? -- about this output which necessitates a second look. The title of this new series, General Web Content, is clearly tongue-in-cheek, and it is meant to be a self-mocking play on the distinction between the "General" web out there and the "Art" web in here. On a medium as dynamic as the internet, this line is often blurred.
- John Michael Boling and Ceci Moss


"Songsmith generates musical accompaniment to match a singer's voice. Just choose a musical style, sing into your PC's microphone, and Songsmith will create backing music for you. Then share your songs with your friends and family, post your songs online, or create your own music videos."

Alice in chain - man in the box by SongSmith

Elvis: In The Ghetto [vocals] + Microsoft Songsmith [instruments]

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony 1st of The Month - MS Songsmith

Van Halen - The Microsoft Songsmith Sessions vol. 1


Get Your Giggle On



The popularity of the English expression "no laughing matter" might imply that funny things aren't serious and serious things aren't funny. But the organizers of ROFLCon would seriously beg to differ. Put together by a Boston-area brain trust, the conference series explores the history, tactics, and social relevance of internet memes. This weekend in NYC they will present the second iteration of ROFLCon, after a very successful convention at MIT, last year. That version featured classroom panels and backroom parties featuring such internet-famous folks as xkcd, Jay Maynard (a.k.a. The Tron Guy), and Leslie Hall. Saturday's events will still keep you rolling on the floor laughing, while arguably stepping-up the critical discussion. Speakers include the creators of You Suck at Photoshop, Improv Everywhere, Rocketboom, 4Chan, MAKE, YTMND, and all-around internet celebs Bre Pettis and The Obama Girl. While participants like nerdcore DJ MC Frontalot and Ian Spector, creator of the Chuck Norris Fact Generator, are sure to keep the chuckle factor high, there are serious discussions to be had on such topics as Firefox browser plug-ins as artistic media and the cultural impact of the Comic Sans font. No doubt the audience will also offer a star sighting or two. So bone-up on your meme history and get your ROFL on. - Marisa Olson

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