Ceci Moss
Since 2005
Works in Oakland, California United States of America

Ceci Moss is the Assistant Curator of Visual Arts at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and an Adjunct Professor at San Francisco Art Institute. She is responsible for coordinating several exhibitions (both solo and group shows) each year, special projects, public art commissions, and public programs for YBCA. Highlights include solo exhibitions by Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon, Lucy Raven, Nate Boyce, Shana Moulton, and Brenna Murphy, a large scale public art installation by Kota Ezawa in YBCA’s sculpture court, and YBCA’s signature triennial Bay Area Now 7 co-curated with Betti-Sue Hertz. She also co-curated with Astria Suparak the exhibit Alien She that examines the lasting influence of the punk feminist movement Riot Grrrl on contemporary artists, and toured to five venues nationwide.

She has a MA and PhD in Comparative Literature from New York University, and a BA in History and Sociology from U.C. Berkeley. Her academic research addresses contemporary internet-based art practice and network culture. Her PhD dissertation "Expanded Internet Art and the Informational Milieu" examines the expansion of internet art beyond the screen in the 2000’s, especially towards sculpture and installation, as a product of what theorist Tiziana Terranova called an “informational milieu.” Combining art history and media theory through the analysis of case studies that range from internet art and social media in the 2000’s to Jean-François Lyotard’s groundbreaking new media exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in 1985 Les Immatériaux, her dissertation asks how the widespread technological capture of information affects cultural production, specifically contemporary art, and the kind of critical response it necessitates.

Her writing has appeared in Rhizome, Art in America, ArtAsiaPacific, Artforum, The Wire, Performa Magazine, New Media & Society and various art catalogs. Prior to her position at YBCA, she was the Senior Editor of the art and technology non-profit arts organization Rhizome, Special Projects Coordinator for the New Museum/Rhizome and an Adjunct Instructor at New York University in the Department of Comparative Literature. From 2000-2014, she programmed a radio show dedicated to experimental music, Radio Heart, on the independent radio stations KALX, East Village Radio and Radio Valencia.

Up in the AIR: How will tech residencies reshape Bay Area art?

Image from Art+Tech: Virtual Reality, November 2014. (Photo: Codame).

Over the past year, San Francisco and the Bay Area have come to be defined in the national sphere by the think piece. In the constant stream of articles about gentrification, the Ellis Act evictions, artist displacement, and arts non profits closing left and right in response to the city's rising population and booming tech industry, it might be surprising to note that a number of tech companies are investing increasingly in artist residency programs. In fact, two of the biggest tech companies in the region—Facebook and Autodesk—maintain active residency programs. For companies without the infrastructure for such endeavors, local art and technology non-profit CODAME offers to pair tech companies with artists for individual projects through their "Adopt An Artist" program. While there is a lot of conversation (and concern) in the Bay Area regarding the tech industry's lack of support and philanthropy for the arts, the questions seem skewed towards trying to figure out how to cater to tech wealth, rather than thinking through art's role in the tech industry itself. This text surveys corporate residency programs in the Bay Area which exemplify how artists engage with this industry, and begins to sketch out possible implications—or potential—for the art infrastructure and its relationship with tech creativity.

Autodesk's Pier 9 Artist-in-Residence program is housed in the corporation's immense facility in Pier 9 along the waterfront in downtown San Francisco. Artists apply for four-month residencies at the space, which provides access to their workshop, a stipend, and the ability to work directly with the company's engineers on their projects. The program maintains a diverse pool of applicants who range from fashion designers to chefs, architects, and technologists as well as fine artists, who have access to Autodesk's high-end equipment, materials, and software, plus training and skillshare programs. Although it is not an explicit part of the program, the focus on "makers" over "fine artists" benefits Autodesk as well. The company launched Autodesk 123D in 2009 as free 3D modeling software designed for the general consumer, and they acquired the DIY info sharing website Instructables in 2011. The AIR program began at Instructables before their purchase by Autodesk, who developed it into a much larger initiative. All AIR residents are required to post their projects to the website, so there is a direct tie into the site's content. Envisioning how people create with their tools, or their competitor's tools, in a variety of scenarios is clearly a valuable asset to the company, especially as the mainstream culture moves into a maker culture.

Autodesk Pier 9 Workshop.

Autodesk's Pier 9 AIR Program Manager Vanessa Sigurdson describes the environment at Autodesk as an "office full of artists, not an office with artists" and they aim to have active interchange between the resident artists and engineers. Former resident artists Joseph DeLappe and Adrien Segal felt that the environment was very supportive and encouraging for visiting artists, with an "anything goes" atmosphere. DeLappe created rubber stamps for In Drones We Trust, while Segal used water consumption statistics to build a canyon-like bench. Both mentioned that the workshop helped to foster the company's culture of bustling, creative energy. Sigurdson referenced the Xerox PARC artist-in-residence (PAIR) program as an important inspiration for the residency, a project that similarly brought artists and technologists together in collaboration.

Continuous Partial Listening: Holly Herndon in Conversation

After completing her informal education in Berlin's underground club scene, artist and musician Holly Herndon relocated to the Bay Area to pursue an MFA at Mills College's esteemed music program. Now continuing her studies in computer-based music at Stanford, Herndon has an inquisitive approach to technology, finding common threads among often-divided disciplines and communities: electronic music, academia, the tech sector, and contemporary art. As a result, her work is not easily categorized, whether she's composing music for brass ensembles or working on robotic sculptures with artist Conrad Shawcross, touring festivals in Europe or making dance music with heavily processed recordings of the human voice. This week, she released a 12" entitled Chorus on RVNG Intl

Ceci Moss: Your new 12" Chorus comes out this week. The title track recalls the experience of continuous partial attention in online browsing, using audio samples derived from your own daily browsing. Chorus begins chaotically, taking form with the addition of percussion. Could you discuss the ideas behind this composition? Also, what did you use to sample your browsing history, and how did you technically create the track?

Expanded Internet Art and the Informational Milieu

Ben Aqua, NEVER LOG OFF, 2013 (Limited edition t-shirt designed for #FEELINGS)

We are no longer mostly dealing with information that is transmitted form a source to a receiver, but increasingly also with informational dynamics—that is with the relation between noise and signal, including fluctuations and microvariations, entropic emergences and negentropic emergences, positive feedback and chaotic processes. If there is an informational quality to contemporary culture, then it might be not so much because we exchange more information than before, or even because we buy, sell or copy informational commodities, but because cultural processes are taking on the attributes of information—they are increasingly grasped and conceived in terms of their informational dynamics.

- Tiziana Terranova, Network Culture: Politics for the Information Age

Post internet[1], post media [2], post media aesthetics[3], radicant art[4], dispersion[5], formatting[6], meme art[7], circulationism[8]—all recent terms to describe networked art that does not use the internet as its sole platform, but instead as a crucial nexus around which to research, transmit, assemble, and present data, online and offline. I think all of the writers advancing these terms share a sense that since the rise of mainstream internet culture and social media, art is more fluid, elastic, and dispersed. As Lauren Cornell astutely points out in the recent  "Post Internet" roundtable for Frieze, terms are always placeholders for more complex ideas, and when successful, can instigate further, deeper conversation. Towards that end, I'd like to introduce another word to the list—expanded. Drawing from the definition of expansion as "the action or process of spreading out or unfolding; the state of being spread out or unfolded," I consider "expansion" not as an outward movement from a fixed entity, but rather, in light of data's dispersed nature, a continual becoming.[9] Expanded internet art is not viewed as hermetic, but instead as a continuously multiple element that exists within a distributed, networked system. In order to elaborate this term, and to take small steps towards thinking through the changing conditions for art production in the early 21st century, I will use Tiziana Terranova's notion of an "informational milieu" to describe the dynamic process of exchange among artist, artwork, and network.

Questioning the World as Image: The 55th Venice Biennale and "The Whole Earth"

Photo of Earth by the crew of Apollo 8. December 22, 1968

The central theme for this year’s Venice Biennale exhibition, curated by Massimiliano Gioni, comes from an obscure patented design for an encyclopedic palace by the self-taught Italian-American artist Marino Auriti. Envisioned as a 136-story building that would take over sixteen blocks of Washington, D.C., Auriti’s palace was to house all the available knowledge in the world. Titling the show "Il Palazzo Enciclopedico" after Auriti’s unrealized model, Gioni and his team selected an eclectic group of artists, psychologists, mystics and more whose work resonates with Auriti’s desire to create a total image of the world. In many ways, the exhibition can be seen as a response to the exhaustive overabundance of information available on the internet. As Gioni pointedly asks in his essay, "…what is the point of creating an image of the world when the world itself has become increasingly like an image?"

Wavelength: "The Paris, Texas of the Second Empire" by Lawrence Kumpf

The Paris, Texas of the Second Empire

Compiled July 2012 by Lawrence Kumpf

The flâneur is someone abandoned in the crowd. He is thus in the same situation as the commodity. He is unaware of this special situation, but this does not diminish its effects on him, it permeates him blissfully, like a narcotic that can compensate him for many humiliations. The intoxication to which the flâneur surrenders is the intoxication of the commodity immersed in a surging stream of customers. -- Walter Benjamin, 1938

A phantasmagoric journey through mid-20th century Country-Western music inspired by Walter Benjamin’s "The Paris of the Second Empire in Baudelaire."

Like the poet as flâneur in Benjamin’s essay, the country singer holds a position as the susceptible vessel that embodies the incongruities and ruptures characteristic of modern life. Neither an active symptom nor proprietor of a solution for the social ills, the singer finds himself drawn into the intoxicating world of empathetic relations to, with and as commodity. We hear, perhaps more clearly then in Baudelaire, a voice speaking not from the elevated position of a social commentator or critic, but as the desire of the commodity and commodified. Connoisseurs of narcotics sing empathetic odes to inanimate objects and intoxicants, fortifying themselves in homes that are really bars. Hobos, trashmen and ragpickers walk the street collecting and picking through the worn out, exhausted items that have escaped our economy of exchange: the antiques of modernity, the images of obsolescence. The perpetual peregrinator, a rambling man, heroically stripped of the comforts of modern life finds himself stalking graveyards and mourning a loss that has yet to occur, the final refuge of his own death. In a way these songs embody the last gasp of a failed American politics, the moment before county western music slips into an emphatic listing of personal property as banal as Rick Ross’ "Trilla." The tragedy of our era is that the latent revolutionary desires present in Hank Williams Jr.’s "Fax Me a Beer" (not included in this mix) are forever doomed to find their outlet in an inane fantasy of endless technological advancement.

1.Porter Wagoner - The Wino
2.Jim Ed Brown- Bottle, Bottle
3.Porter Wagoner – Shopworn 4.Hank Williams – Men with Broken Hearts
5.Leon Rausch – Glass of Pride
6.Don King – Live Entertainment
7.David Allen Coe – Sad Country Song
8.Don Silvers – Play me another Hank Williams
9.Porter Wagoner – Bottom of the Bottle
10.Merle Haggard – Swinging Doors
11.Porter Wagoner – I Just Came to Smell the Flowers
12.D. Sheridan – Don’t Make Me Laugh (While I’m Drinkin’)
13.The Willis Brothers – Gonna Buy Me A Jukebox
14.David Frizzell – I’m Gonna Hire A Wino to Decorate our House
15.Frank Lowe - "Trash Man"

Lawrence Kumpf is a curator at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, NY.

Discussions (52) Opportunities (6) Events (10) Jobs (3)

On Tour

It is Rhizome's mission to support artists and we do this through multiple programs everyday. Of course, when an artist has an issue, we take it seriously and consider the circumstances. In the case of our blog, we publish a variety of perspectives, hold our writers to high standards, and stand by their opinions.

We are not going to remove the article from our website nor will we significantly alter it in order to cater to one individual's perspective.

Nikola has been asked several times to provide a list of factual errors to back up his claim that the paragraph regarding his work is a fabrication. Each time he has responded with either a reiteration of his request that the paragraph or article be removed, or with a list of complaints that mix fact and interpretation to an extent that makes it difficult to discern what he finds inaccurate about the article. Given the unusual nature of this situation, we feel the best option is to let the opinions of Nikola and community members expressed in this comments thread stand as an idiosyncratic "correction" to the post.

Regardless of what is written about it on Rhizome or any other publication, Nikola's body of work stands on its own merits. We wish him continued creative success in the future.


On Tour

Dear Nikola,
It is not our policy to remove posts after they have been written. I spoke with Brian, and he verified that he did speak to you about writing this travelogue. His take may not be in line with your own, but as a writer and a critic, he has the artistic license to interpret and respond to your work. If you feel there are factual points that need clarification or if you want to elaborate certain details of your own practice, please do so. We encourage response and feedback and discussion to everything that's published on the site.


Blackness for Sale (2001) - Keith Obadike

I've been insanely busy with No Soul For Sale this week, so apologies for not responding sooner.

I've noticed a lot of speculation and assumptions running around this discussion so far regarding Rhizome editorial and our motives, so I thought it would be best to begin by explaining how we do our research and how we decide to post what we do.

I do research all the time, through delicious, numerous art/culture/technology/etc. blogs, art magazines, mailing lists, etc. The same is true for John Michael, Brian, Ed and Marisa, as well as all of our contributors. Everyone is also engaged in numerous projects and activities (making art, curating, etc.), which only enriches the quality and depth of the blog. I'm also doing my PhD at NYU right now, and often my academic research and studies surface on the blog or in other ways. So that's where our information comes from, not from Pepsi or Dr. Evil.

Every morning, I check in with John Michael and we discuss our plan for the day. Usually I will send him a video or art project I found online or saw in a gallery, or he will do the same. For example, with the ebay projects we posted, John Michael sent me the Cary Peppermint piece, which reminded me of the Keith Obadike, John Freyer, and Michael Daines. I thought it was interesting that all of these works dealt with identity or the body through eBay, and also surfaced around the same time (2000/2001). Publishing these projects was not an attempt to fill space, but an effort to highlight 4 projects that used eBay to think about the body and identity. Usually John Michael and I will try to pair things thematically, it's a bit like DJing. I've thought of introducing the topics before we post, but I like keeping it loose. Curt got it right when he said:

>This blogging process seems fun to me, because I like art (and curation) that foregrounds the invisible connections >between things (les liens invisibles, if you will). I'm often less interested in the pieces themselves than in the implicit >connections that are gradually constructed between the pieces.

That's exactly what we're trying to do. In other instances, we'll post new work or old work because we like it, without an overarching thread to tie them all together. I see these posts as a visual conversation in a way, and I like that.

But art isn't the only thing we post. One of my frustrations with the old one paragraph format of Rhizome News was its brevity. In expanding Rhizome News to a forum for 1000-2000 page articles, we've been able to commission timely and insightful articles by some of the most outstanding writers in the field on a weekly basis. We also pay our writers rates comparable to some print publications, something I'm proud of. We've also been able to maintain the informational side of the Rhizome Digest in the Rhizome News mailer, with the latest announcements and discussions from the site. I'm very pleased with the current strength and direction of Rhizome News, and I look forward to seeing it develop further.

In terms of accusations that Rhizome is too focused on American artists, I disagree and I think this claim is totally unfounded. John Michael looked over his art posts from the last four months, and approximately 1/3rd of the artists are foreign born or currently based overseas. I know, personally, I filed two long articles in the past month on the Oberhausen Film Festival and the Venice Biennale, both of which focused on almost exclusively non-American artists and filmmakers. Today alone Brian wrote a really wonderful piece on his visit to Zagreb, spotlighting Mama, Kontejner, and artists such as Goran Skofic. Our website is in English, which in it of itself poses some limitations, but beyond that I think we've done a stellar job in covering and supporting a diverse and international group of artists. I've also worked very hard to open up the scope of our coverage to many practices - sound, sculpture, painting, performance, etc. - that engage technology in order to enrich the conversation and to acknowledge the expansion of the field. In addition, I'm keen to keep readers aware of the larger history of media art. I think we've succeeded in that regard as well, with posts such as Robin Oppenheimer's excellent article on psychedelic light shows on the west coast in the 1960s, Gene McHugh's article on Willoughby Sharp's research and experimentation with art and technology, Carolyn Kane's recent piece on James Turrell, etc. Marc, the fact that you would distill all of this into "one-liners and whiz-bang" art or "flashy websites and noisy visuals" is insulting.

In response to discussion - I've been thinking about that a lot, and I've noticed that the younger artists involved with Rhizome rarely contribute to the board. I would like to change that. I think part of it has to do with the way conversation happens online today. All of us have accounts on facebook, twitter, myspace, etc. Our conversations happen even more informally than they have in the past, and are distributed widely across numerous platforms. When Rhizome first began in the 1990s, this was not the environment it inhabited, and I think that produced a different platform for conversation. I've brought up the idea of starting something like empyre here, by inviting a group of people to discuss a specific subject over a set period of time, in order to focus the attention of participants and to establish a thoughtful, oriented conversation. I'm interested in hosting more discussion on the boards again and I am opening to hearing your suggestions in order to make that happen.


Again and Again

thanks for the recap!


General Web Content

wow, that david lynch/dirty dancing video is a good one!