Video: Woody Vasulka, Vocabulary, 1973

Video: Steina Vasulka, Warp, 2000

VASULKA.ORG is a tremendous resource for anyone interested in exploring the work of pioneering video and computer artists Steina and Woody Vasulka. The site not only contains an incredible selection of video clips and other documentation of the Vasulka's art work, but it is also host to the Vasulka Archive. Assembled from the personal collection of the Vasulkas and that of Peter Crown, David Dunn, Ralph Hocking, Sherry Miller, Phil Morton, Lynda Rodolitz, Jud Yalkut, and Gene Youngblood, this collection consists of over 27,000 pages of documents relevant to the history of video and electronic art.


Downtown Dorks


Video: Jeremy Bailey, SOS - Preview, 2008

In the New York art world, there's a funny distinction between "uptown" and "downtown." If "uptown" is Broadway, "downtown" is Off-Off-Broadway. The 92nd Street Y has famously presented an uptown lecture series for years, bringing in artists, musicians, authors, and others worth taking note of. But their downtown Tribeca branch is the place to go see cool bands or comedians rapidly sprouting up from the underground. It's within this context that the fine geeks at Dorkbot have curated an evening next Wednesday entitled "You're Doing it Wrong: Creative Misuse of Technology." Following from the group's mission to present "people doing strange things with electricity," the night will begin with live performances by The Draftmasters + Daniel Iglesia, who will invite you to don 3D glasses in viewing and listening to their pen plotter-generated sound and video projection, and Jeremy Bailey, who will run a deadpan demo of SOS, "his latest ill-conceived homebrew productivity software." These live activities will be followed by five short screenings, including Tom Sachs's Space Program, billed as "an incredibly detailed mis-re-imagining of a NASA space mission;" Paul Slocum's You're Not My Father, a compilation of internet users' reenactment of a clip from the 80s sitcom Full House; and Daniel Greenfeld's Mini-disasters, small-scale reenactments of famous transportation-related disasters. The lineup offers something for geeks of every stripe and a collective glimpse at the aesthetics of failure. - Marisa Olson


Flooded McDonald's (2009) - Superflex


Flooded McDonald's from Superflex on Vimeo.

Flooded McDonald's is a film work by Superflex in which a convincing life-size replica of the interior of a McDonald's burger bar, without any customers or staff present, gradually floods with water. Furniture is lifted up by the water, trays of food and drinks start to float around, electrics short circuit and eventually the space becomes completely submerged.



Gaze (2009) - Pascual Sisto





Highlights from 2008


2008 calendar tags b&cream.jpg

In lieu of a "Best of" we've decided to pull together projects, events and developments within the field of art and technology that we felt were noteworthy. Like all year-end reviews, it would be impossible for this list to be entirely exhaustive, however we do hope that it is, at the very least, indicative of some of the most compelling directions and ideas in circulation over the past 12 months. Rhizome staff John Michael Boling and Ceci Moss assembled this list, with input from Caitlin Jones.

  • Heavy Light Screening Organized by Takeshi Murata at Deitch Projects August 23rd
    I (Ceci) viewed this screening at Deitch, but the same program was also organized at the Mattress Factory as part of the exhibition PREDRIVE: After Technology. While curated by Murata independently of the PREDRIVE show, the program serendipitously hits on some of the same themes. It featured new work by Yoshi Sodeoka, Ben Jones, Devin Flynn, Eric Wareheim and Tim Heidecker, Eric Fensler, Ara Peterson and Dave Fischer, Melissa Brown and Siebren Versteeg, Billy Grant and Takeshi Murata. The videos were followed by live performances by Nate Boyce and Robert Beatty. Murata also screened a number of films on 16mm by experimental animator Adam Beckett, whose work has had little public exposure.

    See "From Bell Labs to Best Buy: Takeshi Murata and Jacob Ciocci in Conversation with PREDRIVE: After Technology Curator Melissa Ragona" on Rhizome
  • Snow Canon (1981) from crystalsculpture

  • Javier Morales's crystalsculpture: 2 /3 /4 YouTube accounts.
    Morales brings together a diverse selection of bootleg art videos, vintage commercials, and other video oddities all culled from his extensive VHS and Laserdisc collection. After watching his uploaded videos, be sure to check out his YouTube favorites on each account.
  • Club Internet, Netmares/Netdreams, Why + Wherefore
    In a recent essay for ...
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    Setting the Tome


    In the early seventies Gerald O'Grady, a professor of English Literature at the State University of New York in Buffalo, was asked to become director of the euphemistically titled "Educational Communications Center." The division was to provide technical support for the entire campus. Sensing a thankless administrative appointment he agreed, but only if he could simultaneously create and direct a department dedicated to the study of emerging media, one that would provide artists and filmmakers access to these technologies and a theoretical basis from which to explore it fully. Thus, the Center for Media Studies (MediaStudy/Buffalo) was formed. Groundbreaking in its scope and focus, the faculty included filmmakers Hollis Frampton, Tony Conrad, Paul Sharits, and James Blue, video artists Steina and Woody Vasulka, and Peter Weibel. The book Buffalo Heads: Media Study, Media Practice, Media Pioneers, 1973-1990, edited by Woody Vasulka and Peter Weibel, thoroughly documents the people and activities that were a part of this highly influential center. Part exhibition catalog (a similarly titled exhibition "Mind Frames: Media Study at Buffalo 1973-1990" was mounted at ZKM in 2007), part catalog raisonné, and part coffee table book, and coming in at 837 pages and almost 10 lbs, it could be called the definitive text on this place and period.

    READ ON »

    Visitor Experience Visualized


    Video: Response from the iConfessional at Mattress Factory

    Image: Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz, Hole-In-Space, 1980

    Mattress Factory went live with their iConfessional kiosk recently, which allows visitors to instantly post response videos to museum exhibitions using YouTube's Quick Capture feature. Mattress Factory's Jeffrey Inscho got the idea from the Brooklyn Museum, who built a video response station for their exhibition The Black List Project using the same technology. Both illustrate ways museums are attempting to use the web to enhance visitor experience; as the lowercase "i", Apple's signature branding for personal customization, they are geared towards allowing visitors to visualize and share their responses to the exhibition, i.e. leave their personal mark. Simple and inexpensive to implement, it's not difficult to imagine that stations like these will become more commonplace. I viewed an installation of Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz's Hole-In-Space (1980) at the "Art of Participation" exhibition at SFMOMA two weeks ago and I was both amused and blown away by the footage. In the work, crowds in New York City and LA could video conference with one another via this public installation. The crowds were clearly elated about this possibility, hooting and hollering at live feeds of their counterparts on the other side of the country. It was amazing to see their excitement, especially now that video conferencing has become so ubiquitous. This activity hits at the heart of participation online -- but it also raises questions in regards to the limits of this sort of participation, especially if it is realized in the form of talk back mechanisms, such as video kiosks, which are simply an addendum to a larger exhibition, and do not influence its scope or shape.

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    Internet Delivers People (2008) - Ramsay Stirling




    More work by Ramsay Stirling

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    Comma, Pregnant Pause (2004) - Oliver Payne and Nick Relph





    Excerpt from text accompanying Comma, Pregnant Pause:

    A comma indicates a pause or break between parts of a sentence; in spoken communication, a pregnant pause is one that is full of meaning - significant - suggestive. This video features mobile phones, in whose text messages commas are seldom used. There are often, however, pregnant pauses during the wait for a reply. This work starts with the commentary:

    'I want to be the best there ever was, to beat all the best that's my cause.'

    The video is dominated by two seated people dressed as mobile phones. Their costumes are based on 'Mowbli', the ubiquitous mobile phone logo from Carphone Warehouse, and their faces are covered by scary-looking masks, taken from the popular series of films Scream, 1996, 1997, 2000, and Scary Movie, 2000, 2001, 2003, but originating in Edward Munch's painting, The Scream, 1893. Their conversation is indicated by two different text alerts - '1,2,3,4' and a musical sound, like a guitar or harp - whilst each text message appears as a series of subtitles. The conversations are fractured, featuring messages such as, 'the newest thing is now wearing the word'. Young people are part of a texting culture in which messages sometimes go astray, so spoken conversation would often be more efficient.


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    Rhizome Commissions Panel Videos Now Online


    We've updated Rhizome's Vimeo and Video page with new clips from Rhizome's Commissions Panel held on October 11th. The last in a three part series, this event featured presentations by commissioned artists Will Pappenheimer, John Craig Freeman, Annie Abrahams, Nadia Anderson and Fritz Donnelly, Lee Walton, Marek Walczak, and Martin Wattenberg. The artists discussed their projects and larger bodies of work.

    Big thanks to Rhizome's social media intern Jenny Braudaway for transferring these videos!

    Rhizome Commissions '08 1/5 from Rhizome on Vimeo.

    Rhizome Commissions '08 2/5 from Rhizome on Vimeo.

    Rhizome Commissions '08 3/5 from Rhizome on Vimeo.

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