Editor's Note: Ryder Ripps, of Internet Archaeology, along with Tim Baker (Delicious) and Scott Ostler (MIT Exhibit), recently launched a beta version of, a chat room where participants communicate solely through images. The site combines the creative back and forth of surf clubs, tumblr’s loose and rapid-fire network of image transmission, and the real time spontaneity of an old school chat room. Right now is strictly invite-only, but Ryder was generous enough to offer a special invite code to Rhizome readers - “RHIZOME” - so they can play around with the site. Ryder drafted a statement about his concept and aspirations for, below.

I remember going into AOL chat rooms, and experiencing instantaneous glee. The hyper-everything world; where experiences come and go at the pace of your typing. Instantaneous collaboration and connection. These are the feelings I wanted to recreate in conceptualizing is a place where you can share images from anywhere on the web, your hard drive or right from your webcam, in real time with other people. Today content moves so fast, making a blog post from a week ago irrelevant. is a place where content is hyper-transient and used to facilitate connections and induce creativity. I think in the future people will produce and consume content much faster and because of this we must reconsider the value of content. For the surf club Spirit Surfers, content is a way to document and make public the most powerful content in the hypnotic surf, “Most of the really enlightening surfs I've had did not end with a post to a surf club -- surfing is so private, it rarely ends in a public act.”, as club creator Kevin Bewersdorf states. Where surfing was a private act from ...


World Community Grid Water Features (2010) - AIDS-3D




A fountain and its natural form, the spring, are symbols of the miraculous life-begetting 'élan vital' that permeates the universe. In fact, life on earth is now thought to have begun in the nutrient-rich plumes of undersea hydrothermal vents, real-life fountains of life. But, when the image of the source is mimicked as Water Feature, a merely decorative, self-contained electric fountain, the maternalistic life-force is perverted into what amounts to abject MILF porn. The Water Feature is so wasteful and self-indulgent that it becomes the straw man in the argument against contemporary art as useless blubber for the tasteless elite. But— can't home and garden decor give back a little bit? Can't we efficiently retrofit some of our 'criminal ornaments' for a fairer future? If there is some leftover space inside their faux-marble fiberglass hollowness, we can definitely squeeze some useful nanotech in there— right? Let's finally answer Joseph Bueys famous challenge, “Kann Plastik die Welt verandern?"—can sculpture change the world? with a resounding “YES!"…as long as that sculpture contains a state-of-the-art-kick-ass-energy-efficient-linux-micro-PC that is totally discovering a cure for cancer.

A group of spectacular cast-fiberglass fountains stand together on an elevated server-room floor. A Fit PC 2 (the smallest PC currently available, 96% more energy efficient than a standard desktop) is installed in each water feature. Whenever the fountains are plugged in, the Linux PC's will automatically boot up and run World Community Grid software, a distributed computing project which uses a massive network of PC’s around the world to model solutions for various humanitarian problems, such as: “Clean Energy Project”, “Influenza Antiviral Drug Search”, “ Fight Aids@home” and “Nutritious Rice for the World". The delightful splashing of the water and twinkle of the energy-efficient LED’s act as relaxing and meditative status-light ...


Using, Using, Used


Within the pages of Digital Folklore Reader, Olia Lialina, one of the book’s editors, refers to a claim by the social media researcher Danah Boyd, that some American teenagers identify as Facebook and others as MySpace—preferring a conformist and clean interface persona, or a rebellious and visually pimped one, respectively.

This book, co-edited by Dragan Espenschied, is by all outward appearances a MySpace, brimming with exuberant design elements culled from all over the net and reaching deep into online history. The dust jacket repeats a background image of a unicorn perched on a boulder at sunset under a meteor shower. Its reverse is wallpapered in 32 by 32 pixel gif icons representing the gamut of popular user-generated online imagery: cartoon characters, porno ladies, geometric designs, quotidian objects, flags, logos, landscapes and text, from WTF to FREE TIBET. One layer deeper, the cover and back of the book are white, or, probably (in RGB concept), nothing. The spine is also nude, showing off the motley sequencing of pages inside, the first and last of which are a flat, vibrant #00FF00 green, allusive of web-safe color and maybe of a green screen, primed for content to be transposed onto it.


Top 5 - 10


title_leaving.gif Nicolas Sassoon, Leaving, 2009 (From Computers Club)


Ceci Moss is Rhizome's Senior Editor.


For my top 5-10, I've decided to pull together my favorite online exhibitions of internet-based art from the past 12 months.

► Computers Club

Each week or so, Computers Club introduce a new work by an artist. Many of the Computer Clubbers have helped to define the current crop of internet-based art influenced by Larry Cuba and Tron-style computer graphics, such as Laura Brothers, Nicholas Sassoon, and Elna Frederick.

► Internet Archaeology's "Guest Galleries"

Internet Archaeology is a site devoted to the recovery of graphic artifacts found within earlier internet culture. (Think Olia Lialina's A Vernacular Web.) Their Guest Galleries section features original work using images culled from the collection by Tabor Robak, Krist Wood, Jacob Broms Engblom, Daniel Leyva, Emma Balkind, and Nasdaq 5000. My favorite piece so far is Robak's Heaven, which I posted to Rhizome not too long ago.

► JstChillin's "Serial Chillers in Paradise"

Run by Bay Area-based artists Caitlin Denny and Parker Ito, JstChillin's "Serial Chillers in Paradise" series is quite ambitious -- for a full year, they're knocking out a new work, in the form of a solo site, by an artist every two weeks, with an accompanying essay by Denny and Ito.


Like software, the curatorial project NETMARES & NETDREAMS signal the progression of their exhibitions through versioning. The exhibition "2.2" went live last summer, and it is loosely based on beach iconography, with a gloss of dark surrealism. A sense of the ominous pervades throughout, from Harm van den Dorpel's dizzying montage of palm trees to Michael Guidetti's loop of a rippling, virtual ocean.

► Club Internet's "Dissociation"

Now closed, Club Internet's fall exhibition "Dissociation" was ...


Top 5 - 10


zipper_naGF.gif GIANT FUNNEL gif

Raphaël Bastide is a freelance graphic designer and artist.

► The web web
thewebweb is a net art website in seven acts.
The balance between Internet mythology and new html technology (canvas & js) is perfect.
By Anton Gerasimenko, Sergey Chikuyonok, Kostya Loginov, Showpanorama, Vladislav Yakovlev, Natasha Klimchuk, Kate Malykh, Sergey Filippov, Andrey Zubrilov, Anton Schnaider, Vasily Dubovoy

► Webjam
<~ ~> surfing club

► Avastard by Carlo Lowfi
A great piece with Twitter avatars.

The question about archive when visit really matters.

One of my favorite 2009 exhibition. The way they expose net art in real life was for me inspiring.
Photo gallery

► Mybiennalisbetterthanyours
A Fresh net art overview for 2009 by Tolga Taluy

► Ben Schumacher
Especially his piece 0%

► Junk Jet
A nerdy fanzine discovered in 2009.

The feed I should take on a desert island.


Illuminated Manuscripts


The metaphor of the brain as a database (or, if you prefer, the database as a brain) flatters and anthropomorphizes the machine more than it explains the mind. Gray matter doesn't seem to be organized in a way that makes the storage and retrieval of information easy; rather, the classification and categorization that characterize the database are pre-digital technologies invented to manage the ever-increasing amounts of information that civilization requires citizens to master. Cicero used a "memory palace" when delivering orations. As he spoke, he would imagine moving through a house where each room and object represented points he needed to make in his speech and the supporting evidence he needed to make them. The antithesis of such memory systems might be the dream, the mind's nightly refresher that reconfigures the day's events and data in disjointed, symbolic narratives. Both the memory palace and the dream are based on irrational elements: subjective experience, arbitrary connections, and word play. That the memory palace is created under the thinker's deliberate control only highlights the conscious mind's eagerness to do what the unconscious mind does automatically. Even as Cicero publicly performed the constructs of reason, his brain was circumventing them.

Last July, in a New York University faculty residence on West Houston Street where Picasso's sculpture and I.M. Pei's architecture face off in a courtyard invisible to Google Earth, Alexandre Singh delivered an installment of his Assembly Instructions Lectures, a series of talks illustrated by a pair of overhead projectors. After introducing his audience to Matteo Ricci, a sixteenth-century Jesuit missionary who taught the memory palace technique to Chinese officials to convince them of the superiority of Western (and by extension, Christian) thought, Singh launched into a detailed recounting of a dream he supposedly had, in which Ingvar Kamprad, founder and principle shareholder of Ikea, announced that the master floor plan implemented in every Ikea store around the world encodes a classification of all human knowledge. For instance, the arrangement of shoes, hangers, and sweaters in a display closet, as Singh demonstrated, represented the kingdoms and phyla of life on Earth. What's more, the Ikea system of Singh's dream world does not merely encode--it controls. If something changes in a store--say, a new couch model is introduced for the new season, or a passing child moves a prop coffee-table book around a fake living room--the fabric of reality is altered.


Analog Environments (2009) - Mitch Trale




A Panoramic Diorama

(From jstchillin's revolving exhibition series "Serial Chillers in Paradise")


He CHOSE It (2009) - Constant Dullart





2 Shows 4 U


Two online exhibitions from ongoing curatorial initiatives Why + Wherefore and Club Internet opened within the last week. See below for a quick summary of each, plus a few highlights.

Image: "Sound" Logo

"Sound" Curated by Bozidar Brazda (part of the 7 x 7 series) for Why + Wherefore

For the first installment of 7 x 7, Why + Wherefore (Summer Guthery, Lumi Tan, and Nicholas Weist) invited 7 organizations to produce an exhibition composed of 7 items around a theme. Rhizome was one contributor, and staff writer Brian Droitcour put together an exhibition of 7 vertical works that exceeded the browser frame. (Other guests included Sundays, iheartphotograph, Triple Canopy, The Highlights, VVORK, and Humble Arts Foundation.) Continuing with the 7 guests, 7 items format is the second round of 7 x 7, where individual curators were asked to contribute an exhibition. So far, João Ribas, Kate McNamara, Josh Kline and Mark Beasley have chimed in with exhibitions ranging from items made in Photoshop to men modeling the durability of their outerwear in advertisements from 1969. The second (the first was VVORK's) sound-specific theme in the 7 x 7 series went live this week, curated by artist Bozidar Brazda. Simply titled "Sound," the show's logo (above) resembles a CAPTCHA, and the works operate in a similar fashion, being both comprehensible and somewhat obscured. Ryan Foerster's Untitled (2009) assembles roughly 15 separate clips of (what I presume) is the Ramones counting off, "1,2,3,4" before launching into a song. The song is omitted, thus the listener is simply left with the lead up. Rich Alrdich's (The Lights Went Out In) Massachusetts (2009) is an acapella version of the Bee Gees' 1967 song and on first listen, it sounds like a late night, drunken recording of a group of ...


Bits & Pieces (1999) - Peter M. Traub



bits & pieces is a continuous composition that gets its source sounds from the web. Every morning a special search process looks for web pages with links to sound files. If links are found, the sound files are downloaded. The day's 'catch' is then used to create the pieces in bits & pieces for the next 24 hours.

Every 15 minutes a sound generating process randomly picks a few sound files to work with. There are several sound generating processes that each generate different sound pieces. bits & pieces randomly picks which process will be used each time a new piece is made. The number of processes that bits & pieces chooses will change over time as new ones are added or old ones removed. Once a sound generating process is complete, its output is converted into two mp3 files (one for high bandwidth and one for low).