Zachary Kaplan
Since 2009
Works in New York, New York United States of America

I'm Rhizome's Executive Director. Previously based in Los Angeles and Chicago. My .info has more detail (and live links).

Missing Our Target :-( and Our Telethon

Artist's rendering: Michael Connor on March 19

First things first: we're behind on our targets with two weeks to go in this campaign — donate today to catch us up?

Now, on to something more exciting. As you may have gathered from our campaign website, on March 19th, we will host a 24-hour telethon to close this fundraising drive. Broadcasting on the web from locations around the globe, net art superstars will shine.

Presenters include: Jeremy Bailey, Ann Hirsch, Jonas Lund, Tom Moody, Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal, and, of course, the whole Rhizome staff (not least Michael's baby, who needs to eat, so donate). Surprise guests! Deep listens! Theory and criticism! Sketches and video!

Over the next two weeks, we'll tease more about the program, including specific live-event rewards for giving. But be certain, any campaign gift will be celebrated via public recognition of your generosity.

So... you know...

Artists in the C A S C A D E: Kari Altmann and Rhizome's Insta

#softcontrolabstracts 2012-ongoing @softmobility @karialtmann

In recent years, a central challenge for Rhizome as an internet-based organization has been adjusting to the C A S C A D E (to expand on a phrase coined by Gawker Deputy Editor Max Read), the torrent of feeds that more or less constitute the contemporary (though rapidly changing) internet. Most of our traffic comes to Rhizome via these feeds—Facebook and Twitter, of course, and the new ones that are angel-invested into reality every day. Still, we don't jump onto every rapidly popularizing forum; we have one of our own to cultivate.

All of this is all to say that we never had a compelling reason to start an Instagram account, or, let's say, a compelling way in which to use the platform. But this changed last fall, when artist Ed Fornieles suggested that he launch and operate an account on our behalf as a way of layering up the "character" of Rhizome for his LARPesque gala, New York New York Happy Happy. In the weeks leading up to the event, his posts staged a descent into moneyed debauchery (champagne, neoclassical painting, Macklemore) and creepy biotechnologies (cloning, intense photos of eyes). It was an oddly charged experience for us at IRL Rhizome, at times agonistic: one image was taken down for infringing Insta’s Terms of Service (it was a guy’s bethonged butt with the text "Believe in the Booty") and we asked Ed to take one or two down for broaching our (flexible to a point!) sense of institutional responsibility.

Feb 22: This is the ENDD, a Forum on the E-Cigarette

This is the ENDD logo by Nick Bastis
This event has occurred, for documentation of the entire program click here.
NJOYs. Blus. Smokefrees. V2s. All manner of customized vaporizers. This is the moment of the e-cigarette, or more precisely, the Electronic Nicotine Delivery Device (ENDD). Day by day, the broader public is learning (and contesting) what it means to "vape": how one does it, where one can do it, and what it means to do so. As individuals, industries, and governments stumble towards definitions, Rhizome has commissioned a group of artists and critics to present analyses—historical, political, social, anticipatory—of this technology and the discursive field that is emerging around it.

Rhizome is dedicated to art and ideas that create richer and more critical technology cultures. With this program, we continue our examination of influential, technological objects from interdisciplinary points of view, in the context of artistic research practice.

Instagram: Beyond

Since the release of the iPhone 5s in fall 2013, we’ve noticed the proliferation of advanced video effects on Instagram. Power-users are employing the baked-in slo-mo feature on the new phone's iSight, as well as first- and third-party post-production apps—such as iMovie, Video FX live, InstaCollage, Camstar, Iyan 3D, ArtStudio Lite, and GiantSquare, on iOS and Android devices—to create an entirely new species of image on the popular social network.

You are Like A Sexy Sphinx: Lindsay Lawson on loving spam


The Smiling Rock, via eBay.

The Rhizome backend, and others like it across the web, act as sanctuaries of a sort for a dying language: the halting, intermittently sensical, koanic lingua franca of the multinational spammer and their programmed counterpart, the spambot. Today, spammers face enemies on multiple fronts: Facebook-API'd commenting apparatuses, Google algorithms, Hotmail junk-mail filters, and Twitter culls of orange-backed eggs. It has been driven to the margins, visible only to those who seek it out (or happen to be a webmaster, like yours truly). What will be lost when it's pushed out of cyberspace altogether?

Discussions (15) Opportunities (0) Events (1) Jobs (1)

Eric Dymond (1951-2015)

Last week, the son of longtime Rhizome community member Eric Dymond reached out to inform us of Eric's passing. We're saddened by this loss and remember him today as a pioneering artist, and a committed contributor to and supporter of this organization. On behalf of the staff, our sincere condolences to his family.

See and learn about Eric's art:

The obituary that recently ran at the Star newspaper:


Rhizome Program Coordinator

Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:00

New York, New York
United States of America

Rhizome Program Coordinator
(full-time w/ benefits)

Deadline: Friday, October 16, at 10am EST
Send a cover letter and resume to:

On the eve of its 20th anniversary, Rhizome seeks a highly capable, communicative, and organized internet native to support its artistic programs and administration. The Program Coordinator will help launch the new, produce public events, handle office tasks, and accrue community buy-in and financial support for Rhizome's work.

As an institution with a small staff, this role will be multifaceted and challenging day-to-day, but quite rewarding to someone wishing to grow as an art professional, particularly in Rhizome's specialist space.

About Us: Rhizome is a non-profit born-digital art institution supporting contemporary art that creates richer and more critical digital cultures. Online since 1996, and an affiliate in residence at the New Museum in NYC since 2003, our offices are based in New Inc., the first museum-led incubator, initiated by the New Museum.

About the Role: This early-career position supports Rhizome's artistic programs and institutional development, via engaged, proactive program coordination (from external affairs to event production) and thorough and detail-oriented administration (from record-keeping to development support).

Like all Rhizome staff, the Program Coordinator will be expected to feed into Rhizome’s overall institutional knowledge of internet culture, technology, and contemporary art, and be a visible presence for the organization at events and openings in NYC.

Artistic Program Support
• Event Production: administrative duties and project management, including booking venues, travel and accommodation, hospitality, liaising with technicians, and more.
• External Affairs: Management of social media, composing press releases, liaising with press about Rhizome initiatives, and maintaining press list
• Attending public events on behalf of Rhizome, reporting back on emerging practices and new developments within its communities, and feeding into Rhizome’s programs overall

• Managing administrative systems: processing and tracking invoices; maintaining/improving filing; minuting meetings; enabling good communication
• Communications: overseeing Rhizome email campaigns and mailing lists
• Development support for Rhizome's membership drives and fundraising efforts: managing community campaign, tracking, compiling and collating information to feed into fundraising reports and activities, composing and sending thank you letters and other correspondence
• Managing individual membership and organizational subscriptions (universities/colleges), including the driving of new members/subscribers to meet targets
• Managing Rhizome's Fellows and Interns

• Broad knowledge of Rhizome’s work and its context in New York City and online/internationally
• Meticulous attention to detail and organization
• Confident coordinator and project manager – works well to anticipate needs and problems, find solutions, pull together and organize information, and prioritize
• Clear and effective written and verbal communication
• Works well independently yet remains accessible, friendly, and responsive to direction from Executive Director and other staff
• An exceptional problem solver; calm under pressure with a positive attitude
• Efficient and motivated to complete work
• Decent level of technical aptitude, and ability to learn new systems quick

• Strong existing networks within Rhizome’s communities, in particular among emerging/mid-career artists or technologists in New York
• A developed online presence and deep engagement with the web
• A demonstrated interest in and specialist knowledge of internet culture, to contribute to Rhizome’s overall internal knowledge and staff culture

Questions and complete applications (resume/cover letter) can be directed to by Friday, October 16, at 10am.


Feed my Feed: Radical publishing in Facebook Groups

Relevant to this post, the New Inquiry published a short reflection by Teju Cole, that had originally appeared as a Facebook post on the writer's personal page, about NY Mag's cover story featuring 35 women testifying to Bill Cosby's history of rape and assault.

Cole's original FB post:

Tumblr version of NY Mag story that Cole had linked to (at the time, the NY Mag website had been taken offline by a distributed denial-of-service attack):

TNI repost:

From Cole's intro: "I should say that this note was first written for my Facebook page, on July 27 2015, and I think it will retain some of the tone of that context: discursive, reactive, and addressed directly to my followers. But my editor at the New Inquiry thought I should share it here, with a broader audience, and I agree."

Perhaps the piece will circulate more widely on TNI; it will circulate differently, for sure. I'm still not sure what "independent" means, but on one count—the writing standing alone rather than within the feed with prominent attachment—its "independence" on TNI is perhaps detrimental in that it competes with the NY Mag story. (Cole acknowledges this in his intro.) The comments on the original post (ranging from simple thank yous, to lengthy responses, to, as across the web, gross parsing) are immediate and interesting, and they won't run on TNI.

In any event, it's a piece of what I think is meaningful, critical writing instigated by Facebook, with a tone and position resulting from the social media giant's culture, and the publics it can gather.


Feed my Feed: Radical publishing in Facebook Groups

Here is just one public-facing thread on Facebook (that I've highlighted on this very site before) that rises above "chit-chat" about "mom's gmail" (ugh at the phrasing and innuendo):


Feed my Feed: Radical publishing in Facebook Groups

No one was blocked. (Though we didn't let through one comment from Pastasauce that failed to meet our commenting policy: "Content may not include any material that defames any person," which this one did.) The new comment, along with one from Dorothy on the Pew data, was stuck in moderation because I was away for a long weekend. :-) They're both public now.