On October 27, 2013, Rhizome presented the first international edition of its flagship Seven on Seven program in London at Barbican Centre. Seven pairings of artists and technologists came together for two days in a collaborative sprint to create an app, an artwork, an argument, whatever they could imagine. The result: a web-based forum for anonymous geolocated conversation, an app that randomly selects one email from your Gmail Sent Mail folder and sends that to another user of the app, a set of icons that demarcate intended levels of privacy, and one leading artist’s confession that he would like to become a cyborg.
Video documentation of the entire event went online today. So, make the most of your coming holiday lulls by checking them out:
This post is part of Wavelength, a series of guest curated sound art and music mixes.
In a 2006 article for TATE Etc. entitled “Black Moods,” Gabriel Ramin Schor surveyed the color black’s appearance in the Western art historical canon, and in doing so reminded us of the way Goethe referred to color as “troubled light.” From black metal theory to black power; the black screen of a DOS terminal to Olbers’ paradoxical blackness of the night sky, I’ve always been attracted to concepts associated with blackness myself. Crossing from the visual to the aural, as a sound artist and occasional DJ, I was moved to respond to some of what I thought was at stake in Black Midi in the form of a nonchalantly sequenced mixtape qua media-archaeological romp through the archive.
On December 2 and 3, Rhizome will present Rendered/Realtime,a series of 24 interactive animations designed and developed by Vince McKelvie. The works are displayed on the front page of Rhizome.org, occupying most of the browser window save for a minimal header and footer. Created specifically for this context, Rendered/Realtime uses a technique adapted from video game graphics, the sprite sheet, to allow the user to rotate, move, and deform rendered animated gifs in real time. Rippling and undulating, riffling and turning inside out, McKelvie’s 3D forms defy easy visual comprehension, landing somewhere in between liquid geometric abstraction and sci-fi fantasy.
The following images are selections of the artist’s output between 2010 and 2012. Christian Oldham (aka MEGAZORD) produces sleek, dark, cyber dystopian computer assisted imagery, with a prolific output on various social platforms.
Paperrad.org was the website of the influential and prolific collective, known as Paper Rad. Comprised primarily of members Ben Jones, Jessica Ciocci, and Jacob Ciocci, Paper Rad (active 2001 to 2008) produced a complex output of comics (in book, zine, and web form), animation, performance, installation, bands, albums, international tours, and more. Their website served as a crucial content distribution hub for an international fanbase in a time that predated popular web 2.0 platforms. Paperrad.org evolved and developed over the years as a labyrinthine archive of the collective’s output.
This album experiment start as a call from the director of the of Institute of viral sonology Hugo Paquete. This call consists in exploring the potentiality of the computer as an automatic machine to generate compositional material and aesthetics content base on stochastic probabilities.
This piece emerged from Murata’s body of work that pioneered the highly influential practice known as “data moshing”. Murata edits and strategically removes certain data from from .AVI digital video files, creating undulating and living fields of video, here the source being Mario Bava’s 1960 horror film, Mask of Satan.
Left: AOL, about the time the internet and I first met. (Remember that sonorous modem music? The sound of the future!) Right: AOL now (yes, it’s still there). With lotsa “headline news” on household health hazards, amazing pet stories, and shocking-yet-true dramatic personal episodes of total nobodies.
The violent and ambiguous encounter depicted in A’gave you (2008) encapsulates the force and intent of Wangechi Mutu’s collages, the highlight of her ongoing retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum. A blue, thick-rooted, and out-sized version of the New World monocot bends to a violated female pseudo-cyborg. Her eyes, cheap black speckled pearls, are replicated in the plant’s ovary. The kneeling figure’s torso, head, and left arm are thrown back in disinterested submission; her right arm is lost to perspective and/or trauma. Gold sparkle and blood explodes from her chest as she births, or pisses, a long, fat strand of bright yellow-orange which forms a new root-system beneath both her and the plant.
The Wrong—New Digital Art Biennale, accessible only from November 1 through December 31, brings together 30 online “pavilions” showing curated artworks. Each pavilion is introduced by an informational web page on thewrong.org which includes an external link to the pavilion itself; pavilions often take the form of an artist- or curator-designed page through which one can access multiple artworks. For Chambers Pavilion, curator Sara Ludy invited eleven artists to create original, online “sound rooms” which can be accessed from a blueprint-like layout (pictured above). Select works from the pavilion are featured below.
Digital Conservator (full-time w/ benefits, or part-time negotiable) Deadline: Tuesday, December 3rd at 9am EST Send a cover letter and resume to jobs at rhizome dot org
Rhizome is seeking a digital preservation leader to bring our award-winning digital art conservation program to its next phase, and to steward the ArtBase archive of born digital, internet-based, software, and computer art. The successful candidate will work inside a lively contemporary art museum alongside a dynamic team at the forefront of art and technology culture, with the opportunity to make significant contributions to the digital preservation field.
Manhattan Timeformations maps the evolution of New York’s skyscraper districts during the 20th century. The site depicts the dynamic relationship between big buildings and other layers of urban information, including geologic formation, settlement patterns, the location of landfill, transportation and communications infrastructure, zoning laws and real estate cycles.
Amazon used to have literary ambitions. In the late ’90s, the company hired professional editors who commissioned and wrote thousands of reviews a week, as well as features, interviews, and previews of forthcoming books. Later on, when the retailer began to intersperse the paid reviews with user-generated content, it retained this vision, thinking of user reviews as submissions to a literary magazine that would give the site the aura of an independent bookshop, populated by an erudite staff and clientele. Rick Ayre, then Vice President and Executive Editor of Amazon, described the tone and use of the content on Amazon.com to the New York Times in 1999: “If you spend a lot of time on the site, I hope you get a sense of the quirky, independent, literate voice, and that behind it all you’re interacting with people, and that it’s people who care about these things, not people who are trying to sell you these things. My mantra has always been ‘the perfect context for a purchase decision.’”1
Nasty Nets was a “Surf Club” founded in August of 2006. “Surf Club” is a term that has been used to describe collaborative artist-run blogs. Understanding the significance of Surf Clubs such as Nasty Nets requires an appreciation for the context that they emerged from. 2006 was the same year that Facebook become accessible to the general public. Massive social platforms were to some extent in their infancy, so this was a time when communities on the web were still organic structures created by the participants.
The video used in Candy Cane is of a crumpled mini-dv tape. As the mouse moves over each square, different notes can be played. The mouse can also be used to mix audio over the carnival song. Many of the tracks are played in reverse to give the sense of scrubbing through a sound file. The audio mixing also mimics the changing of stations on a radio dial, while the video takes on the appearance of television static. When a square is clicked, a bell sounds and the square’s color overlays the screen.
If you thought the Greek economic crisis had faded into irrelevancy, think again. Greece may not dominate headlines as it once did, but here, issues of value, capital and labor are fermenting, combusting, imploding, and reforming in ways that have international significance. The 4th Athens Biennale (AB4) has broached this reality head-on by installing a biennale in the old Athens Stock Exchange building that closed in 2007, and by taking as its title the word AGORA, which has come to mean “marketplace” in modern Greek, but which, in ancient times, referred to a gathering space that had overlapping social, commercial, and political uses. In order to create a space of true and viable exchange in a building once defined by power imbalance and manipulation, the biennale was organized according to a radical system. Instead of a single curator, the exhibition was organized by some forty people who responded to an open call put out only six months ago. The result is an electrifying example of networked culture in practice; of collective action enacted within what is arguably still an institutional frame of the art world itself, an agora. To get a deeper understanding of AB4’s aims, and to learn how this all worked in practice, I caught up with Poka Yio via email after visiting the exhibition during the opening days. An artist himself, Yio is co-founder of the Athens Biennale along with Xenia Kalpatsoglou and Augustinos Zenakos, and a co-curator of the current biennale.
Earlier this month, Rhizome presented a panel discussion at the ICA in London titled “Post-Net Aesthetics.” Following in the wake of prior panels (titled “Net Aesthetics 2.0”) which were organized by Rhizome in 2006 and 2008, this edition was precipitated by the recent discussion of postinternet practices by a number of art institutions and magazines, including Frieze. We invited a longtime Rhizome collaborator, critic and curator Karen Archey, to chair and organize the panel, and what emerged was a wide-ranging and extremely generative conversation in which participants began to articulate some of the shifts they’d seen in artistic practice in recent years, while critiquing those shifts and their framing as “postinternet.”
This Thursday, the Rhizome community will come together in the New Museum Sky Room to re-imagine its future. A future less bound by the nitpicking criticism of the past, the hand-wringing, the self-doubt. This is our promise to you: a profound sense of human connection, an art that can bridge the cultural gaps in an interconnected world, an app for every social problem, a better wave, a more sustainable and democratic glass of champagne. Are you brave enough to come with us on this journey?
Jon Rafman uses the intricate tableaux of Rockstar Games’ Max Payne 3 as cinematic source material for his new machinima work, A Man Digging (2013). In this meandering and Robbe-Grillet inflected narrative, Rafman ruminates on the simulated sunbeams glinting through favela windows within the game, a melancholy sunrise in a deserted subway car, a heavy fog over a slate grey harbor. He can only do so, however, after killing every character—whether enemy or bystander—in the scene. In this way, Rafman makes visible the tension between the game as object of contemplation and the game as a continuous stream of connected events.
These drawings are the result of a collaboration between an artist, Jim Johnson, a faculty member in the Department of Fine Arts, and a group of scientists from the Department of Computer Science in the School of Engineering of the University of Colorado.