August 10 in Rockaway: Trailblazers, a Web Surfing Competition


Sunday, August 10, 1pm
Rockaway Beach Surf Club
302 Beach 87th Street, Rockaway Beach (Subway: Beach 90th)

Surf the classic way
From Amazon to Piratebay

Eight of New York's web surfers will find out who can surf best!

On August 10, Rhizome will host the city's first Trailblazers web surfing competition at Rockaway's premier wave surfing club, hosted by Dragan Espenschied and the whole Rhizome crew.


Five Years Later, Kev Has a New Website


Kev in one of his favorite meditation places, an old rock quarry upstate.

Kev Bewersdorf and I had been neighbors for months before we met. When we did, it was because he needed gas for his generator, but I didn't have any.

At that point, he had already deleted all of the images, texts, and music he'd once posted online. But previously, 2008ish, I had followed his work avidly. He used to have a website called Maximum Sorrow consisting of texts and artworks connected with his "philosophy of 'corporate spiritualism' realized through marketing practices and continuous web surfing." Bewersdorf also pursued this interest in web surfing through his occasional participation in Nasty Nets and his role as co-founder of Spirit Surfers (with Paul Slocum and Marcin Ramocki). (For those who can't remember a time before Tumblr, these were surf clubs, or artist-run collaborative blogs to which members would post found and created images, texts, gifs, and tracks.)


Jonas Lund Clones His Browser So You Can Watch Him Surf


Today at 12pm EST (17:00 CET) Jonas Lund is launching his work Selfsurfing "a Chrome extension that creates a self-surfing, auto-updating clone of my browser in real time," with a 24 hour period of online browsing for you to watch. Lund's "browser has a server extension installed which transmits the current state of [his' browser to a intermediate server, which holds all relevant information." We asked him a few questions about the work in advance of its launch .... 

"Selfsurfing," is a Chrome extension that clones your activity online so we can watch in our browsers. To kick off, you'll surf online for the next 24 hours. Are there certain hours that might be more entertaining than others? Will you sneak to another browser for email, Facebook, and other things you might not want to share?

This is the first time I’m forcing myself to surf for 24 hours straight so I’m a bit unsure of what to expect. My guess is that it will be more interesting towards the end when I’ve gone through all my typical resources and I'm faced with a nice fatigue combined with the open endlessness of the web without any specific direction.

The way the extension works is that it clones the tabs of my browser, so if I surf to my Facebook, you will see your Facebook. So in that sense the social network privacy is maintained, but for the duration of the 24 hours Chrome will be the one and only browser.

What inspired this project?

Ever since I made ‘Im Here And There’ I wanted to extend it to focus more on the whole experience of surfing and not just the locations, to create a version of my web and my browsing that comes closer to the original experience.

Each change to my browser is stored in a simple mysql database, so it’s both a continuous broadcast as well as a growing archive of my online activities.

Have any interesting (or embarrassing) events come out of your previous work

One time I got caught watching Grey’s Anatomy on, I think that was the most embarrassing thing ever.



High Five (2011) - Niko Princen


Originally via today and tomorrow


An Interview with READ/WRITE Curators Caitlin Denny and Parker Ito


Mitch Trale, Analog Environments, 2009

This Thursday night, March 17th, the online curatorial platform will celebrate the last year and a half of their programming with a large group exhibition involving all thirty-five of the artists who have developed special projects for the site. Opening at 319 Scholes in Brooklyn, the show, entitled "READ/WRITE," will remain on view until March 30th. Begun in October 2009 by Parker Ito and Caitlin Denny, has emerged as one of the most playful and innovative destinations for internet-based art. I interviewed Parker and Caitlin over email in January 2011. This interview appears in the catalog for "READ/WRITE," available for purchase here.

The experience of running an online platform for art, like Jstchillin, has its own set of challenges and advantages, in terms of the flexibility of display, a potential for a large, diverse audience, serendipitous reception and circulation. I’m wondering if you can talk more about your experience with Jstchillin, and how this may have lead to some of the key themes in READ/WRITE.

Caitlin Denny: JstChillin started with ambitious goals, and now we're seeing it all come together even better than we had imagined. It’s been somewhat surreal to reflect on the process, people and conditions of the project. It had originally been a Rhizome proposal that got rejected called "Cosmos" that included a small group of friends, some of whom are a part of JstChillin. I wanted to keep going with the project even after we got rejected, and it seemed Parker was the only one on the same page as me. We developed our ideas and mission for the project very loosely when we made "An Essay About Chillin'", a screen capture movie of a staged AIM conversation. After that, we started our now year and a half long exhibition on our site called "Serial Chillers In Paradise" which is what we have become most well known for. We were fans of surf clubs and the like, but wanted to do something more immersive that would almost abolish the body yet make one hyper aware of their own physicality. We chose to let the artists take over our site every two weeks instead of using a blog-like style to highlight work. We weren't interested in highlighting just any art we liked at the moment, we were interested in commissioning new works made especially for our site. This, I think, stands us apart from a lot of other online exhibition sites. We also wanted to create a seemingly naive and simple charisma to our project that over time would unfold the complexities of our digital condition. I think we've been successful so far. Reading Brian Droitcour's essay on us, first published on Rhizome's blog, made me realize that we had accomplished something, whether people liked it or not. I was somewhat blind, and probably still am, to who our audience is. I imagine it is mainly people involved in an online art community of sorts, but I frequently get hints and clues to other worlds of people who see the site. I like this ambiguity, that's what the internet is to me. I don't want to know facts or numbers, I want to keep the internet wild and mysterious… but it seems now we are getting closer and closer to the limits of the internet. I've felt these changes in my own surfing and online time - it is harder to discover the vast net terrain more than ever. Not that there isn't anything to discover, but the way I surf the net is so much different, and so much more boring, than I ever used to. I am definitely more in the Tim Berners-Lee camp than the Tim O'Reilly camp - the web was made as a read/write vehicle, a vast anonymous space for interaction and discovery. With Web 2.0, the enchantment of the net is slowly disintegrating. We need the Jim Henson of the internet to step up and tell us what's up.

Parker Ito: JstChillin is always framed as a curatorial project. I feel kind of weird saying that at times. It's more like a performance of curating. For me, it's just about hanging out online and looking at what people are doing and it's really hard to know who's seeing what, but at least with our site people can sorta respond and be like "I really like so and so's project." A lot of the Surf Club era artists used, and still use Delicious to spread stuff they're excited about, or get out the word about a new project. JstChillin in my mind is an extension of that. It is a crazy ambitious project, a year and half exhibition, that is kinda insane now that I think about. Reflecting on the project now, I don't really know what to say, it's a really overwhelming feeling. The themes for the show occurred very naturally. This show will never live up to the beauty of my daily interaction with people online, it's just an opening paragraph in a really really long essay. There's a lot of power to be harnessed.


333DDD (2011) - Mark Beasley


333DDD is a javascript bookmarklet that converts images on the current page into red/cyan anaglyphs.




Bg_img is a publication (and tumblr blog) by artist Paul Flannery. More information below from the project statement:

Bg_img is a series of monthly PDF publications focussing on the images that form the backgrounds and fill the body tags of websites the world over. Once a staple of the web vernacular and the rhythm section of dirtstyle; the onset and proliferation of Search Engine Optimisation, Content Management Systems, page load times, a growing modernist aesthetic and the professional blogosphere has meant that the background image, when present, is an increasingly subtle and rarefied thing. Far from being a nostalgic endeavour however, Bg_img is an attempt to catalogue and celebrate an aesthetic developed independently from received wisdom of page design and order it into a vocabulary that underpins and defines the grammar of internet ornament.

The background image has been fundamental to the development of a style that is unique to the internet. It is a style of gradients, textures and tiled patterns that sit beneath, assimilate and fight for attention with the text, images and other content layered on top; a style developed by digital amateurs restricted by bandwidth and html skills and accelerated by an attention grabbing sense of the mystic and absurd. Over time its use may have become more refined in order to create the impression of an ever more smooth and precious surface, but ultimately, the purpose of the background image remains as it always was – to decorate and embellish a webpage. They are now and always have been a functionless surface modulation, an ornament.

Bg_img presents these ornaments of the internet in all their monolithic glory. Separated from the nuisance of content, they stand proud and naked before you.

Page from the Bg_img Sample PDF

Page from the Bg_img Sample PDF

Page from the Bg_img ...

Required Reading


Picture 1.png

This PDF is to serve as an extended statement of artistic purpose and critique of our contemporary relation to objects and images in Post-Internet culture. More than anything, it poses a survey of contemplations and open questions on contemporary art and culture after the Internet.

“Post-Internet Art” is a term coined by artist Marisa Olson and developed further by writer Gene McHugh in the critical blog “Post Internet” during its activity between December 2009 and September 2010. Under McHugh's definition it concerns “art responding to [a condition] described as 'Post Internet'-when the Internet is less a novelty and more a banality. Perhaps ... closer to what Guthrie Lonergan described as 'Internet Aware'-or when the photo of the art object is more widely dispersed [&] viewed than the object itself.” There are also several references to the idea of “post-net culture” in the writings of Lev Manovich as early as 2001.

Specifically within the context of this PDF, Post-Internet is defined as a result of the contemporary moment: inherently informed by ubiquitous authorship, the development of attention as currency, the collapse of physical space in networked culture, and the infinite reproducibility and mutability of digital materials.

Post-Internet also serves as an important semantic distinction from the two historical artistic modes with which it is most often associated: New Media Art and Conceptualism.

New Media is here denounced as a mode too narrowly focused on the specific workings of novel technologies, rather than a sincere exploration of cultural shifts in which that technology plays only a small role. It can therefore be seen as relying too heavily on the specific materiality of its media. Conceptualism (in theory if not practice) presumes a lack of attention to the physical substrate in favor of the methods of disseminating the artwork as idea, image ...


Background Tiles (2010) - Jeff Baij





From Jeff Baij's collection of Background Tiles


SPEED SHOW vol.4: Super Niche - NYC


Artist Aram Bartholl's roaming exhibition series SPEED SHOW descended upon New York last Wednesday. The concept is simple: rent all the computers at an internet cafe for an evening and show a bunch of online work. So far, it's been organized in Berlin, Vienna, Amsterdam, and now here! See some shots from the show below, all photos by Aram Bartholl.