The Rhizome Digest merged into the Rhizome News in November 2008. These pages serve as an archive for 6-years worth of discussions and happenings from when the Digest was simply a plain-text, weekly email.

Subject: RHIZOME DIGEST: 05.05.06
Date: Fri, 5 May 2006 16:43:12 -0700

RHIZOME DIGEST: May 05, 2006

++ Always online at ++


1. Patrick May: Commission Voting: Finalist Ranking
2. Lauren Cornell: JODI - Max Payne Cheats Only: Demo and Q & A, May 10th

3. Gregory Trefry: Come Out & Play Street Games Festival - Call for
4. Alexander Galloway: Summer Internship (paid)
5. {videoART}: Call for videos/films: image vs music
6. geoffrey thomas: Visiting Assistant Professor in New Media Production,
Florida Atlantic University
7. grover AT Call for Entries in Film/Video/New
Media, Aurora Picture Show
8. genomic_art AT SUBMISSIONS WANTED for genomic art show

9. Yael Kanarek: Bit by Bit, Cell by Cell

10. Kenneth Newby: Invitation to a Computational Poetics Gathering
11. Lauren Cornell: PORTA2030 by TAKE2030
12. Aron Namenwirth: Tom Moody at artMovingProjects

+Metadata Thread - Part 2+
13. Lauren Cornell <laurencornell AT>, Sal Randolph
<salrandolph AT>, Pall Thayer <p_thay AT>, Richard
Rinehart <rinehart AT>, Rob Myers <rob AT>, G.H.
Hovagimyan <ghh AT>, Edward Picot <edwardpicot AT>: Metadata

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Rhizome is now offering Organizational Subscriptions, group memberships
that can be purchased at the institutional level. These subscriptions
allow participants at institutions to access Rhizome's services without
having to purchase individual memberships. For a discounted rate, students
or faculty at universities or visitors to art centers can have access to
Rhizome?s archives of art and text as well as guides and educational tools
to make navigation of this content easy. Rhizome is also offering
subsidized Organizational Subscriptions to qualifying institutions in poor
or excluded communities. Please visit for
more information or contact Lauren Cornell at LaurenCornell AT

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


From: Patrick May <patrick AT>
Date: May 5, 2006
Subject: Commission Voting: Finalist Ranking


The finalists for the Rhizome Commissions have now been chosen. Once
again, we had a 3 way tie for 25th place, giving us 27 finalists for the
second year in a row. You can see the full list of finalists here:

You can submit your votes for the final stage here:

In this final stage, the top voted proposal will be awarded one of the
commissions; the other awards will be decided by our jury. This second
stage of voting will last until Wednesday, May 31, 2006. More information
about the voting process is available here:



Patrick May
Director of Technology
phone: (212) 219-1288 x202
AIM: cyclochew
+ + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


From: Lauren Cornell <laurencornell AT>
Date: May 3, 2006
Subject: JODI - Max Payne Cheats Only: Demo and Q & A, May 10th

Hi all,

If you'll be in NYC on the night of May 10th, please join us at a
presentation of Max Payne Cheats Only -- a new work by artist duo JODI.

This event is FREE and co-presented by Rhizome and Electronic Arts
Intermix (EAI). All details can be found at the following link:

You can view the work here:


+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


From: Gregory Trefry <gtrefry AT>
Date: May 2, 2006 7:30 AM
Subject: Come Out & Play Street Games Festival - Call for submissions


The Come Out & Play Festival seeks to provide a forum for new types of
public games and play. We want to bring together a public eager to
rediscover the world around them through play with designers interested in
producing innovative new games and experiences.

Come Out & Play is the first festival dedicated to street games. It is
three days of play, talks and celebration, all focused on street games.
The festival will have a headquarters in downtown Manhattan where
participants can learn about upcoming games and see documentation of
completed games. The games themselves will be run in a variety of public
locations around New York City. From massive multi-player walk-in events
to carefully constructed play performances, there will be something for
every type of player. Throughout the festival players and designers will
have the chance to interact during games and panels and jointly conceive
the future of this growing form.

Street games is an inclusive term for real world games and game-like
performances that transform urban public spaces in meaningful ways. Games
played in public spaces are an increasingly popular phenomenon and often
mix performance art and urban play, inviting players and spectators to
re-examine the tapestry of the city. From city-wide scavenger hunts to
the real-life games of Pac-Man played around Washington Square Park, these
games invite participants to collaboratively re-imagine their surroundings
through a set of simple rules. Players begin to see the very layout of
the streets as a game board and never look at the city grid quite the same
way again.

The festival will feature roughly 15 official events from September 22-24,
2006. Events will take place throughout New York City at a variety of
locations and times.

Come Out & Play will enable artists and game designers to exchange ideas
and work in front of and with a diverse audience. During the three-day
festival, New Yorkers will engage with playful art pieces and games,
discovering meaningful and emergent ways to interact in the public spaces
of New York City. This festival will provide a unique opportunity for
artists and game designers to meet and create engaging experiences for the

For more information visit:

Have you got a game? We want to include as many different types of games
as possible in the festival schedule.

We are looking specifically for games with defined goals and interesting,
meaningful choices for the players. These games should be interactive and
directly engage the participants. Your game can have a technology
component or it can be old school with absolutely no tech; to us, it's
much more important that the game produce an interesting experience for
the players. We will be reviewing submissions focusing on these criteria
when we select games for the schedule.

The festival will largely be centered in lower Manhattan, so we encourage
designers to utilize that area as a base for their games. But it is by no
means a requirement. The whole city is fair game.

Most importantly, your game must be playable in New York City during the

Your submission will be reviewed by a panel of experienced designers of
street games including PacManhattan, B.U.G., Conqwest, and Seasons of
Darkness. We really like playing in fun games. So make sure your game
sounds fun and interesting. We like innovative use of public space. We
like games which make people interact in new ways. We like games that
alter your perception of your surroundings.

To apply, visit and fill out an
application form.

June 30, 2006

We will notify you by e-mail if your game has been accepted into the
festival schedule by July 14 2006.

We look forward to reading your proposal.

Submission deadline: June 30
Notifications: July 14
Festival: September 22-24

Email us at info AT

Don't have a game, but still want to play or be involved? Visit to sign up for alerts about the festival.


+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Support Rhizome: buy a hosting plan from BroadSpire

Reliable, robust hosting plans from $65 per year.

Purchasing hosting from BroadSpire contributes directly to Rhizome's
fiscal well-being, so think about about the new Bundle pack, or any other
plan, today!

About BroadSpire

BroadSpire is a mid-size commercial web hosting provider. After conducting
a thorough review of the web hosting industry, we selected BroadSpire as
our partner because they offer the right combination of affordable plans
(prices start at $14.95 per month), dependable customer support, and a
full range of services. We have been working with BroadSpire since June
2002, and have been very impressed with the quality of their service.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


From: Alexander Galloway <galloway AT>
Date: May 2, 2006
Subject: Summer Internship (paid)

Summer Internship (paid)

RSG is looking for a summer intern with experience coding in Java.
Projects may include working in OpenGL, working with Quicktime for Java,
and maintaining the Carnivore codebase. Must be motivated and able to work
independently. Intern will receive an honorarium of $200 per month based
on a minimum committement of 10 hours per week.

Send work samples and resume to: Alex Galloway (galloway AT

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


From: {videoART} <virtu AT>
Date: May 2, 2006
Subject: Call for videos/films: image vs music

Call for propsals
Deadline 1 July 2006
organiser of
Cologne Online Film Festival (CologneOFF)
is looking for digital videos/films on the theme "image vs music"
for the inclusion in
2nd Cologne Online Film Festival (CologneOFF)
to be launched in October 2006 online and
in the framework of KlangDrangfestival - a festival of sonic art
The theme "image vs music" dealing with the interaction of image &
is referring to the musical character of this festival
Film and video are basically visual media.
Even if used and recognized as an important component,
has music in this context mostly rather a colorizing and atmospheric
The films/videos VideoChannel is looking for
should give image & music an equal or music even a dominating status,
which may be worked out in most different ways, for instance--->
music as the theme of the story, films reflecting music through images and
the visalization of music, and much more.
There are no restricting categories, the submission of experimental works
is encouraged.
The call is inviting artists to submit up to three proposals.
The deadline is 1 July 2006
Please find the entry rules and submisssion form on
or download the entry information as PDF
more info: videochannel (at)
Since 11 April 2006, 1st edition of
Cologne OFF - Cologne Online Film Festival - is online
festival theme: "identityscapes" - including 40 shortfilm & videos -
an online catalogue is available as PDF fro free download
Released by
NetEX - networked experience
powered by
[NewMediaArtProjectNetwork]:||cologne -
the experimental platform for art and New Media
operating from Cologne/Germany.
info& contact
info (at)

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Rhizome Exhibitions

The GIF Show, open May 3-June 3, at San Francisco's Rx Gallery, takes the
pulse of what some net surfers have dubbed ?GIF Luv,? a recent frenzy of
file-sharing and creative muscle-flexing associated with GIFs (Graphic
Interchange Format files). Curated by Rhizome Editor & Curator at Large,
Marisa Olson, the show presents GIFs and GIF-based videos, prints,
readymades, and sculptures by Cory Arcangel, Peter Baldes, Michael
Bell-Smith, Jimpunk, Olia Lialina, Abe Linkoln, Guthrie Lonergan, Lovid,
Tom Moody, Paper Rad, Paul Slocum, and Matt Smear (aka 893). GIFs have a
rich cultural life on the internet and each bears specific stylistic
markers. From Myspace graphics to advertising images to porn banners, and
beyond, GIFs overcome resolution and bandwidth challenges in their
pervasive population of the net. Animated GIFs, in particular, have
evolved from a largely cinematic, cell-based form of art practice, and
have more recently been incorporated in music videos and employed as
stimulating narrative devices on blogs. From the flashy to the minimal,
the sonic to the silent, the artists in The GIF Show demonstrate the
diversity of forms to be found in GIFs, and many of them comment on the
broader social life of these image files.

Become MySpace friends with the exhibit!

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


From: geoffrey thomas <thomas AT>
Date: May 2, 2006
Subject: Visiting Assistant Professor in New Media Production, Florida
Atlantic University

FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY, School of Communication & Multimedia Studies,
is seeking a Visiting Assistant Professor in New Media Production, to
teach undergraduate courses in interactive multimedia as part of its BA in
Multimedia Studies. The School seeks a scholar of digital art and new
media practice with expertise in new media as art and communication.
Ideal candidates will cross media platforms and have experience in
creating and analyzing multimedia texts. Applicants should possess
practical skills in more than one of the following media platforms:
digital photography, computer-based imaging technologies, web and graphic
design, and multimedia authoring. Applicants must also be proficient in
Adobe Photoshop and Macromedia Studio, and have experience in scripting.
The position is a non-renewable nine-month appointment beginning August
2006. MFA or Ph.D. All candidates must have an active production record;
preference will be given to candidates with teaching experience.
Application deadline: June 16, 2006. Send letter of application, cv,
letters of recommendation, and samples of creative work to: Dr. Eric
Freedman, Chair, New Media Search Committee, School of Communication &
Multimedia Studies, Florida Atlantic University, 777 Glades Road, Boca
Raton, FL 33431-0991. E-mail (for questions only): efreedma AT
For detailed information on our program, visit our web site at: Florida Atlantic University is an Equal
Opportunity/Equal Access Institution.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 2005-2006 Net Art Commissions

The Rhizome Commissioning Program makes financial support available to
artists for the creation of innovative new media art work via
panel-awarded commissions.

For the 2005-2006 Rhizome Commissions, eleven artists/groups were selected
to create original works of net art.

The Rhizome Commissions Program is made possible by support from the
Jerome Foundation in celebration of the Jerome Hill Centennial, the
Greenwall Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and
the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Additional support has
been provided by members of the Rhizome community.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


From: grover AT <grover AT>
Date: May 3, 2006
Subject: Call for Entries in Film/Video/New Media, Aurora Picture Show

Now in its ninth year, Aurora Picture Show's "Extremely Shorts Festival"
features adventurous three-minute or shorter films and videos from a
global constituency of moviemakers, artists, culture jammers. students,
moms, bus boys, and anyone with a camera and a vision. Send us your
mini-masterpiece! NEW AND IMPROVED POSTMARK DEADLINE: MAY 12, 2006. Go to to download an entry form, or call
713-868-2101 to receive one by mail or fax.

Extremely Shorts 9 takes place June 24-25, 2006. Three cash prizes will be
awarded by audience choice.

Past Extremely Shorts have included works by The Art Guys, Roger Beebe,
Jim Finn, Louise Bourque, Brian Frye, John Sears, Jenny Stark, Eileen
Maxson, Sandra Gibson, Robert Smith, Aaron Valdez, Enid Baxter Blader,
Shizuko Tabata, Gregg Biermann, Laura Harrison, Doug Michels, Dolan Smith,
Bill Davenport, Vanessa Renwick, Bill Daniel, Kate Haug, Takahiko Iimura,
and YOUR NAME HERE (maybe, if you submit an entry by May 12).

About the Juror
Juror Kevin Everson is an artist and filmmaker who has made two feature
films and over twenty-five short 16mm, 35mm and digital films about the
working class culture of Black Americans and other people of African

About Aurora Picture Show
Founded in 1998, the Aurora Picture Show is a nonprofit experimental
cinema. The only facility of its kind in the Southwest. Art in America has
called it "one of the most interesting and unusual new spaces in Houston."

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


From: genomic_art AT <genomic_art AT>
Date: May 4, 2006
Subject: SUBMISSIONS WANTED for genomic art show

SUBMISSIONS WANTED for genomic art show being organizing in collaboration
with Outworks Gallery in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada (see link and
information below).

The main objective of this show is to initiate dialogue and debate about
genetics/genomics related issues. We would like to have a number of
different artistic points of views represented. There is also a
possibility that we may do a similar show in Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada and compare the responses of the two Canadian audiences (prairie
vs. coastal folk).

I am looking for an additional 8-10 emerging or established artists in the
field using any medium. If you are interested in this opportunity, please
email genomic_art AT for submission information.

The space: 2500 square feet, 12 feet high ceilings.
Link to gallery site:
Tentative date of Winnipeg show: February, 2007

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


From: Yael Kanarek <yael AT>
Date: May 4, 2006
Subject: Bit by Bit, Cell by Cell

After five years in the making, the first World of Awe Enhanced CD is
released by Innova label.

"Bit by Bit, Cell by Cell"
Yoav Gal & Yael Kanarek
Music for Soprano and Atari 800XL
with dancefilm by Evann Siebens
Designed by Mushon Zer-Aviv from Shual Studio

Artists' page on Innova website:

The CD will be in stores by May 23 and is already available at Eyebeam's


:: World of Awe =
:: Upgrade! =

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


From: Kenneth Newby <knewby AT>
Date: Apr 28, 2006
Subject: Invitation to a Computational Poetics Gathering

Please consider attending any or all of our four days of workshops and
presentations on Computational Poetics: media performance, installation
and diffusion. The events are all free but pre-registration is required.

For registration please contact Aleksandra Dulic, adulic AT

Vancouver, BC, May 17 to 20, 2006
Conference Centre
The Great Northern Way Campus
555 Great Northern Way, Vancouver, BC, Canada

A partial list of participant/presenters:

Kenneth Newby
Aleksandra Dulic
Martin Gotfrit
Pierre Hebert
Julie Andreyev
Leslie Bishko
Ben Nevile
John Crawford
Stefan Smulovitz
Greg Corness
Henry Daniel

Kenneth Newby, Assistant Professor
C o m p u t a t i o n a l P o e t i c s
School for Interactive Art & Technology
S i m o n F r a s e r U n i v e r s i t y
Film Video & Integrated Media
Emily Carr Institute of Art Design & Media

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


From: Lauren Cornell <laurencornell AT>
Date: May 1, 2006
Subject: PORTA2030 by TAKE2030

New project by Shu Lea Cheang. Details follow, Lauren

PORTA2030 by TAKE2030

You are the Net. You are Porta-porter.
Towards a portable and responsive social network.

Broadway Market (E8, London)
April 24 - May 1, 2006

April 29
Press conference, 1-3 pm
Outside Fabrications, 7 Broadway Market
Porta-porter relay network performance, 2-5 pm
Wifizone Broadway Market

May day, 8pm
Public media at Broadway Market.

PORTA2030 locates Broadway Market, a racially mixed urban regeneration
street, as the site for its week long performative urgency network
exercise. PORTA2030 deploys 10 porta-packs, each a mobile network unit, to
10 porta-porters residing and working on Broadway Market. This net version
of porta-pack with webcam and click button communicative device connects
10 Porta-porters in a playful public interface.

JOIN US AT Broadway Market
Run Porter Run
10 porta-porters on the run
Samantha Jayne Hulston, Hasan Chetin, Spirit and Rebecca Grant, Barley
Massey, Magdalena Lemanczyk, Louise Brewood, Jay J Sayshun, Vanessa
Wildman, Arthur Shuter, The Eel fanzine.

Plasma screen with live network transmission Fabrications, 7 Broadway

PORTA2030 documents can be viewed at
Broadway Fish Bar, F.Cooke Live Eels, Broadway Gents Hair Styling,
Broadway Wines, Broadway Cafe , Blooming Weezie, The film shop, H. Tidiman
Butchers, Gossip, Off Broadway, Nutricious Food Gallery, SevenSeven,
Bradbury Hardware.

now AT

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


From: Aron Namenwirth <aronnamenwirth AT>
Date: May 3, 2006
Subject: Tom Moody at artMovingProjects

We invite you to aMP artMovingProjects

166 N. 12th St, between Bedford and Berry Sts., Williamsburg
(917-301-6680, 917-301-0306). Subway: L to Bedford Ave. Thu- Sun, 1pm - 6
info AT
Opening 7-9 May 5th through June 25th 2006 Music Performance/Lecture May
19th 8.00P.M.
Closed June 8-11th

Tom Moody: Room Sized Animated GIFs

Tom Moody, a central figure in the New Media arena, hypnotizes at

Animated GIFs, the tiny, blinking, often annoying image files that draw
your eye to particular parts of a Web page, have been around since the
Net's early days. There is a sizeable do-it-yourself culture built up
around them, which now includes a second generation of Web and gallery
based art using them ironically and/or proactively.

For the past several years, Moody has been drawing GIFs in a simple paint
program and posting them on his blog at The gallery will project two of
these pulsing, but defiantly lo-fi animations huge on opposing walls of
the space. Others will be displayed on monitors scattered on the floor.

The gallery will also feature a lecture/performance by Moody where he will
present some of his music. These catchy compositions, made with a
combination of old computers such as the Macintosh SE as well as more
current soft synths and samplers, have a punchy concision similar to his
GIFs. The styles range from videogame Electro to a string quartet piece
written for a softsampler.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


From: Lauren Cornell <laurencornell AT>, Sal Randolph
<salrandolph AT>, Pall Thayer <p_thay AT>, Richard
Rinehart <rinehart AT>, Rob Myers <rob AT>, G.H.
Hovagimyan <ghh AT>, Edward Picot <edwardpicot AT>
Date: April 29 - May 5, 2006
Subject: Metadata

+ Sal Randolph posted: +

On Apr 29, 2006, at 6:00 AM, Lauren Cornell wrote:
> 1) Sal: By members tagging the ArtBase, were you thinking that the
> tags of both artist and audience would be reflected on an individual
> ArtBase page?

[?.] Yes, this is exactly what I had in mind. They could be presented
separately, but both on the page (this can be pretty discreet, design
wise, on opsound the tags are almost invisible until you mouse over them -
or little ajax windows could open). The reasons to keep them on the
ArtBase page are twofold. One, it can help someone to get a feel for what
kind of piece it is, as they're browsing through -- this is a rather
modest benefit, I think. More importantly, though, a visitor can use
these tags as links to wander through the ArtBase and discover other works
which they might not have found -- the more paths through the forest the
better, imho. Also, I think the community-created folksonomy tags are
potentially quite useful for research in the future. If you add a
date_tagged field, for instance, someone could use the database to map the
evolution of terms and ideas in new media art during a particular period.

> Just a note: This would also mean that tagging ? besides
> being a part of the artbase/ text submission process ? would
> become a Member benefit which is a good thing in
> my mind.

Yes! I thought this too. I like it as a benefit of membership. Helps
build the idea of a community.

> Do we add words through research/ conversations with these
> constituencies within the Rhizome community, or do we rely on pre-
> existing vocabularies or our own knowledge. What do people think?
If it's combined with a free-form tagging system, I'm pretty comfortable
with just using your own knowledge and common sense, building from the
keyword/genre system that's in place -- it might be nice to present the
list to the list (so to speak) and get a little feedback first, and to
other curators etc. as well. Some provision (at least in the form of
acknowledgment) should be made for adding new terms as new forms and ideas
develop over time. Letting the Artbase curators add the controlled
vocabulary seems natural -- and a good use for the curators ;-)

Also, of course it's pretty easy to combine tags and rss feeds. This
means you could potentially subscribe to a feed for let's say 'animation'
or 'database' and keep tabs on what's coming in (great for curators!).

You could also consider offering an API to the rhizome ArtBase database,
so anyone could configure their own presentation of it. This way, you
could give people access to data that you don't necessarily want to
display on the page (for clutter reasons perhaps) -- for instance the
date_tagged type of data I mentioned above. Someone could use the API to
extract that data and present it (possibly, of course, as an artwork,
Rhizome beginning to eat itself).

+ Sal Randolph added: +

a brief follow-up....

Just poking around the existing ArtBase for a moment, I see that the
existing genres etc are presented as links, but not links to a list of
ArtBase pieces using that particular genre or keyword, instead you are
given a search result page which also includes the TextBase, Member
Directory, and ReBlog -- so clicking on the genre "conceptual" gave me a
full page of results with no ArtBase pieces at all -- this doesn't make
navigating the ArtBase particularly fluid or conducive, imho. I'd rather
see a page full of ArtBase pieces in the conceptual genre.....

+In response to Pall Thayer... [Repeat from Metadata Thread #1]+

< < >>
At 11:30 PM -0400 4/25/06, Pall Thayer wrote: Hi Richard, The suggestion
generated a bit of discussion and the thread is available here:
The suggestion was just for open-sourced code and didn't address
proprietary software at all. The idea is that if the need or desire arises
to reconstruct the work when technology has changed then the
reconstruction could be based on the functionality of the original code
rather than being based on some vague memories and screenshots.
< < >>

+ ...Richard Rinehart replied:+

Ah yes, capital idea. It's a little off the vocabularies discussion, but
well-worth folding in.

Source code will be, of course, probably the most useful thing to preserve
from the original digital work, other than perhaps specific instructions
on how to re-construct the work. Perhaps, as a first step, artist
submitting cloned work to the ArtBase could just include their source code
as one of the files they send. It's not exactly the model of a sharable
code-archive that is itself open-source (in the sense that anyone could
download and share code), but it's at least an important piece of the
preservation puzzle, and once the practice is begun, then one can always
build the other services (shareable, tagging the code itself, etc) on top
of say the ArtBase.
You bring up an interesting point in your original Rhizome post about how
it gets complicated when the work uses several pieces of code for
different components. I had proposed a ways back a metadata model for
describing digital works in such a way that they could be re-created (the
Media Art Notation System -see This
model argues that you do indeed need a more granular level of description
of the multiple components of works if you are going to try to preserve
them for the long-term. In my mind, a simpler, overall description of
works results in a Registry of works as opposed to a long-term
Preservation Repository, for which more in-depth metadata is just
necessary. In that way too, one can connect relevant bits of code (or
other media files) to the appropriate component of the work, along with
The Media Art Notation System is my attempt to formalize the model
developed in the Variable Media questionnaire and projects. It occurs to
me too that Jon Ippolito has been working in the context of the Open Art
Network ( and with Creative Commons to address how to
license open-source components of art works. That may apply here too.

So, there is a line to think about: is the ArtBase a registry or a true
preservation repository, and if the latter, what metadata *minimally* is
required to support that? The metadata in the ArtBase right now (the whole
ball of wax, not just the vocabularies now) is actually fairly simple and
short. One upside to that is that like simple standards such as HTML, it
actually gets used, whereas there are plans for much more complex
repositories that never get built. I would suggest that the ArtBase
probably does need a more complex metadata schema (at least for cloned
works) in the long-term, but for now, it's good to start simple and grow.
So, two good areas that might be improved soon could be the inclusion of
source-code in cloned objects (optional) and the improvement of the
vocabularies (as we've been discussing on-list). After that; Rhizome could
perhaps build in a) more preservation metadata (via something like the
Media Art Notation System) and b) a way to actually open up and share
collected code (via Open Art Network license, etc). But simplicity means
feasibility and early buy-in, then one can build complexity over time.

+In response to Rob Myers... [Repeat from Metadata Thread #1]+

< < >>
At 12:51 PM +0100 4/26/06, rob AT wrote:
Quoting Richard Rinehart <rinehart AT
>I'm curious about the statement you made below Rob, that any
>folksonomy can be made compatible with standards using a good
>thesaurus. Do you have an example of this?

I don't have an example I'm afraid. It's more a strategy I had in mind for
paintr ( Folksonomies and taxonomies are both
formalisations of human language, so if my RDF doesn't contain the word
"blue" but it does contain the word "color" I can locate my tag in the RDF
using wordnet or a thesaurus.

>Your note on the AAT is very (VERY) well taken. Yes, the AAT is not
>yet a good resource for terms for new media art, yet it is the
>single standard used most by museums and other organizations
>collecting new media art. So, one strategy would be to ignore the
>AAT as irrelevant; but another might be to work with the Getty to
>update and improve the AAT with relevant terms so that (digital)
>community-specific practice becomes (museum) community specific
>practice rather than creating a ghetto (though I'm not sure which
>is the ghetto of the other here :) In the past, the Getty unit that
>had maintained the AAT had expressed interest in updating the AAT
>based on feedback from the relevant community (us).

Yes I think that might be a very good project.

Possibly collaborating to make AAT aware and having a process to
add more terms relatively quickly as they come up? So in artbase have a
list of terms you can choose followed by an "other" checkbox that people
could add terms they felt weren't in the taxonomy. We (the Rhizome
community) could then keep an eye on those and see if they should go into

A folksonomy might be more democratic & easier to implement though. :-)

On the subject of proprietary software it might be an idea for Rhizome to
get licenses for Windows, ASP, IIS and so on so that software
unfortunately written for them can still be run in the future. In a few
years time having this stuff available for galleries to hire might
actually provide a revenue stream. ;-)

< < >>

+ ...Richard Rinehart replied:+

Yes, perhaps a hybrid model would work. Actually, I think that
technically, the folksonomy/ tagging bit might be the hardest to implement
(but worth it), whereas also having the AAT/etc terms in a list is a
pretty easy and fairly static entity to include.

You mention an interesting note about ArtBase including licenses for
commercial software as having the original software (or better yet, source
code, see previous post) is helpful for preservation. I do rememeber that
Howard Besser at NYU had mentioned a couple years ago the idea of
convincing Congress to give software companies a tax break to release
their old software into the public domain because it has little value for
them, but great value for preservation. Does anyone else know about this
project and what became of it. It might be relevant here......

+In response to G.H. Hovagimyan?s off-list reply... +

<< >>
>I just did a search on the Getty for digital art. It has no such
>category. I then did a search on Wikipedia and got a fairly concise
>definition page for digital art. I would suggest that you look at
>wikipedia as one source for a search taxonomy. They are real good at
>this. Definitions for art works are always tricky. For example,
>animation art is a good term. It can cover a really broad category
>that goes from animated photography to cartoons. Here's a quick
>rumination on animation ;-)
>flip book
>hand made
>story board
>I could go on...

<< >>

+ ...Richard Rinehart replied:+

This is very helpful. It makes me think that perhaps Rhizome could (with
all of your help :) compile a list of relevant terms from a variety of
sources, include that in a new metadata model and submission form (terms
along with sources are listed as options), and then add on a dynamic
folksonomies function. I don't want to speak for what Rhizome could do,
but it seems to make sense.

+Edward Picot replied: [Changing the subject line to ?MataData?]+

How about breaking down the definition of any given work into a number of
separate stages?

1. What are the file formats? HTML, XHTML, .swf, .mov, .mpg, .jpg,
.gif etc., or combinations thereof.

2. Any additional information about viewing requirements:
Windows-only, Mac-only, JavaScript required, popups used, etc.

3. Content: audio, animation, text, images, interactive elements,
generative elements, etc.

4. Mode of presentation: CD, DVD, online, installation, via mobile
phone, etc.

5. General description of the work, including genre: this would
include the "folksonomy" terms such as "" which may or may not mean
anything ten years from now.

6. Maybe some technical information about how it was produced, ie.
what coding language was used? I'm not sure if answers to this question
are 100% implied by answers to questions 1 and 2.

+ Richard Rinehart replied: +

Hi Edward, all,

You propose a mouthful (is that a terribly mixed metaphor?). Anyway, I
wouldn't break it down quite that way; I'd break a work down according to
levels of description from conceptual to functional to technical in that
order. But I won't belabor that issues when I've got a 44 page paper to do
that for me (see and if you
don't like the model proposed in this paper, you can always use it to swat
really big flies.
I was very piqued by your comment number 5., that 'genre' may or may not
be remembered for ten years. Much as I hate to admit this (because I hate
thinking about my own work being remembered as a watered-down stereotype),
I actually think that genre may be one of the most memorable elements of
metadata about art. Think about it in terms of painting; few of us might
now that a particular 19th century painting was painted with a new form of
synthetic cobalt or ultramarine blue invented only a few years prior
(technical metadata), but we all know it's "impressionist" (genre). We may
not recall even the artist on first view (Jacques Braque? Georges Braque?)
but we can tell it's "cubist" from across the room.

Like I said, part of me resists the idea that my own work, or any art, can
be reduced down to a one-word term, and I hope that we're building more
robust metadata systems than they used in the past, but this thought would
seem to underscore the importance of the Rhizome metadata/vocabulary

+ Richard Rinehart posted: +

Hi everyone,

The tagging sounds very interesting indeed. Would this be the same as the
folksonomy or parallel to it (same system)? I could see the two types of
terms living in the ArtBase easily: controlled vocabularies and the
folksonomic terms. On the former, controlled vocabularies, Lauren's
question is important: who is it for? I have found that controlled
vocabularies are mainly for "professionals" in the field as they are more
precise terms (ie. the AAT prefers 'serigraph' instead of 'silkscreen'),
but the main benefit of controlled vocabs are manifold. First, they can,
if done well (AAT does this, and Rhizome's hybrid model could too) provide
a mapping between the "popular" and "professional" versions of a term (the
thesaurus model), they provide a consistency that allows for consistent
results during machine manipulation of the data (ie searching), and
perhaps more importantly they provide a standard so that the any
particular data-set that uses them can be shared and transported between

In the cultural heritage field there's been increasing emphasis on broad
sharing of data; we all know that our data needs to live on our own
websites, yes, and we can provide great functionality with that, but we
need to be able to share the data-source in such a way that it can be
incorporated into other systems too. For instance, I can easily see in the
future, that Rhizome might want to export the entire ArtBase and allow the
records to be used inside another portal/system such as one of the
following: Univ. of California Digital Library
(,Univ. of Michigan OAIster
(, or the Library of Congress'
American Memory ( Additionally,
some might want to incorporate the ArtBase terms (rather than the
records/data) in software tools like the Variable Media Questionnaire
( To achieve any of these, there has to be some
structure to the ArtBase that others will understand (ie. shared
standards). The benefits of this sharing include: new functionality, new
data-contexts, new audiences and uses. Some of this sharing can be
achieved via dynamic linking/API's while other forms require static record
export/import. This does not prohibit local practices or folksonomies, but
it argues for a hybrid system.
Terms for the ArtBase could come from two streams. First is the
folksonomies/tagging aggregated by the ArtBase from us. The second could
be existing controlled vocabularies (such as the AAT) that are mined for
appropriate terms and incorporated into a list for the ArtBase (Rhizome
members could suggest sources). Submitters of new works to the ArtBase
could be encouraged to both choose a "controlled" term or two, some
previously "tagged" terms, or a new term.

Whew...what do you all think?

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and an affiliate of the
New Museum of Contemporary Art.

Rhizome Digest is supported by grants from The Charles Engelhard
Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the
Visual Arts, and with public funds from the New York State Council on the
Arts, a state agency.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Rhizome Digest is filtered by Marisa Olson (marisa AT ISSN:
1525-9110. Volume 11, number 17. Article submissions to list AT
are encouraged. Submissions should relate to the theme of new media art
and be less than 1500 words. For information on advertising in Rhizome
Digest, please contact info AT

To unsubscribe from this list, visit
Subscribers to Rhizome Digest are subject to the terms set out in the
Member Agreement available online at

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +