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: 9.5.07
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 18:41:14 -0400

RHIZOME DIGEST: September 5, 2007


1. Marisa Olson: Rhizome Expands Editorial Scope, Hires Staff Writers

2. Jeff Thompson: Artforum Ad Project - Your art in Artforum for $1.50
3. CR+D: Daniel Langlois Foundation - 3rd DOCAM Annual Summit
4. enquiries AT Call for Artists - Online Commissioning Programme
5. beate zurwehme: Fwd: appel de dossiers:call for submissions:convocatoria

6. Thomas Rydell: New Media Meeting - Norrköping, September 21-22
7. Jordan Crandall: Jordan Crandall: Showing
8. Ursula Endlicher: Upcoming shows and events in Europe
9. Lee Wells: Open Video Artist Roundtable at The Chelsea Art Museum
10. lacey AT Grand Arts Presents: Blossom, new work by Sanford Biggers

11. Pall Thayer, Marisa Olson, curt cloninger, Brett Stalbaum, Eric Dymond, Lee Wells, patrick lichty, Dyske Suematsu, Max Herman, Lauren Cornell: Where is the Rhizome?

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


From: Marisa Olson <marisa AT>
Date: Sep 5, 2007
Subject: Rhizome Expands Editorial Scope, Hires Staff Writers

Big news! Rhizome has hired two staff writers--William Hanley and Caitlin Jones--who will make daily original contributions that will expand the scope of our front page news stream. The writers will serve as a community amplifier, covering art, events, and ideas happening on Rhizome and also across the expanding field of contemporary art that engages technology.

Hanley and Jones are respected critics who bring to Rhizome a wealth of experience. Both have written for numerous international publications on new media and contemporary art. Hanley was formerly an editor at and Jones held a combined curatorial and conservation position at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum before becoming Director of Programming at the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery.

Together with Rhizome Editor & Curator, Marisa Olson, the staff writers will be responsible for bringing Rhizome readers large doses of daily criticism and coverage of local and international events. In addition to their original articles, the writers will become Rhizome's resident rebloggers and will share responsibility for writing Rhizome News--the organization's thrice-weekly email and web-based publication--with the pool of talented freelancers that has always ensured a diversity of voices and subject matter on Rhizome's front page.

Rhizome's front page news stream will now include a mixture of original writing--short posts and longer editorial features--alongside reblogged content: blog posts from all over the web and highlights from Rhizome Raw, the organization's listserv of eleven years, which supports a community of new media practitioners and enthusiasts.

Rhizome's editorial content is part of Rhizome's broader slate of programs, including exhibitions, commissions, education, symposia, performances, and other events, all of which strive to bring greater visibility, context, and discussion to the new media art field.

Please join us in welcoming Hanley and Jones, and please... Post some comments to our new blog!

+ + +
Marisa Olson
Editor & Curator
Rhizome at the
New Museum of Contemporary Art

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


The UK Northern Way Virtual Gateway Commission

The Northern Way, working with Arts Council England to deliver the £10m 'Welcome to the North' public art programme, wishes to commission a truly innovative and or original virtual artwork ‘Gateway to the North’.

Tenders are invited from organisations seeking to work with a named artist(s), individual artists or collaborating artists for this major commission. The emphasis of this new commission will be on its virtual long-term presence, although it can also include physical manifestations that make a link between the real and virtual, and is open to a range of artforms and media including: sound, software art, blogging, performance and events, online worlds and mapping systems eg Second Life, GoogleEarth. The proposals will need to include a web-based accessible platform and applicants are also welcome to consider the use of a number of other distribution and presentation platforms such as podcasts and videocasts; CD and DVD; mobile phones and locative media.The commission will: make connections across the three Northern regions; reference and conceptualise the North through its geographical, social, cultural and economic landscapes;provide an opportunity for all users to engage with the commission; provide a platform which is accessible to local, regional, national and international audiences; represent or consider the North in all its diversity. The proposal will also need to include a detailed education programme, evaluation programme and PR/marketing. The commission must be completed no later than the end of March 2008. The commission is open to artists in the UK and beyond. Full details and specifications are available from: Kath Savage on 01924 486 212 or kath.savage AT The closing date for applications is 14 September 2007, 12 noon. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for interview to present their proposals. The Northern Way a unique collaboration of regions and cities from across the North of England, led by the three Northern Regional Development Agencies: Yorkshire Forward, Northwest Regional Development Agency and One NorthEast. This is a 20 year strategy to transform the economy of the North of England. Success will be determined by the bridging of a £30 billion output gap betwe!
en the N
rth and the average for England. More information about Arts Council England and the Northern Way can be found at and

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


From: Jeff Thompson <mail AT>
Date: Sep 1, 2007
Subject: Artforum Ad Project - Your art in Artforum for $1.50

Call for participation


The ARTFORUM AD PROJECT, a conceptual artwork by artist Jeff Thompson, allows for 4,200 artists to have their work seen in Artforum magazine.

Each participant, paying $1.50 USD and sending their image electronically, will then have their piece, along with all the other participating artists, in a full-page advertisement. Of course, due to the number of artists needed to raise the money for this venture, the images themselves will be quite small... about 3/16" x 3/16". Artists make a secure payment of $1.50 using PayPal and send an image of their work. The image is shrunk to the 3/16". When $4,200 is raised, the ad is sent to Artforum to be published.

The final advertisement and all participating artists will be listed on the project website after publication.


The $1.50 artists are charged goes 100% to getting their image in Artforum.

The price of a full-page ad is $4,200. PayPal takes $0.30 on each transaction, plus a small percentage of the sale price and, depending on location, a currency conversion fee. Therefore, the total price of the
image is $1.50.


Visit the project website, for details on how to submit your image.

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


From: CR+D <crd AT>
Date: Sep 5, 2007
Subject: Daniel Langlois Foundation - 3rd DOCAM Annual Summit

3rd DOCAM Annual Summit: Montreal, September 27, 2007

The Daniel Langlois Foundation is pleased to announce that the third annual Summit of the DOCAM Research Alliance (Documentation and Conservation of the Media Arts Heritage) will be held at The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts on September 27, 2007.

DOCAM is a major multidisciplinary research endeavour initiated by the Daniel Langlois Foundation in collaboration with numerous national and international partners and funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

The third annual international Summit will provide an opportunity for members of the DOCAM research committees to begin presenting their research results delving into the challenges of preserving and documenting technology-based works of art.

Among the guest speakers slated to appear at the Summit are Richard Rinehart of the Berkeley Museum and Pacific Film Archives & Rina Pantalony from the Department of Justice Canada, Dieter Daniels, director of the Boltzmann Institute, and Canadian artist Stan Douglas.

For more information and the complete Summit program, please consult the Alliance's Web site at:

e-art: New Technologies and Contemporary Art

An international symposium organised by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in collaboration with the Daniel Langlois Foundation will be held on Friday, September 28, 2007, in the Maxwell Cummings Auditorium at the museum:

This symposium takes place during e-art : New Technologies and Contemporary Art - Ten Years of Accomplishments by the Daniel Langlois Foundation, an exhibition co-produced by the Foundation and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and running from September 20 to December 9:

Grants for Researchers in Residence: Deadline September 30, 2007

The deadline for submission of research proposals for the Grants for Researchers in Residence Program is September 30, 2007.

The two research components include: CR+D documentary collections and archival fonds and Information architecture and online publishing. As in previous years, the Daniel Langlois Foundation will award two research grants for 2008. The proposals selected will allow researchers to work at the Foundation's Centre for Research and Documentation (CR+D).

An online application form is available on our Web site and must be used by all individuals wishing to apply for this program :

To view the list of researchers supported by the Foundation :

Research Residencies at OBORO: Deadline September 30, 2007

The project proposal submission deadline for Research and Experimentation Residencies in Montreal for Professional Artists from Emerging Countries or Regions is September 30, 2007.

The Daniel Langlois Foundation offers this program in collaboration with OBORO, an artist-run centre in Montreal. Two residency grants will be offered to professional artists from emerging countries. These grants aim to help the successful applicants in their research, experiments and project development, while allowing them to work in a different environment than their region or country of origin.

An online application form is available on our Web site and must be used by all individuals wishing to apply for this program:

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

Organizational memberships with Rhizome

Sign your library, university or organization up for a Rhizome organizational membership! Give your community access to the largest online archives of digital art and new media art-related writing, the opportunity to organize member-curated exhibitions, participate in critical discussion, community boards, and learn about residency, educational and professional possibilities. Rhizome also offers subsidized memberships for qualifying institutions with limited access to the Internet. Please visit for more information or contact sales AT

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


From: enquiries AT <enquiries AT>
Date: Sep 5, 2007
Subject: Call for Artists - Online Commissioning Programme

Call for artists
Online Commissioning Programme
A partnership project between Cumbria County Council and folly.

folly, a leading digital arts organisation working in Lancashire, Cumbria and online is working with Cumbria County Council (CCC) to develop a three year online commissioning programme exploring arts participation online.

One artist commission per year will be launched acting as imaginative, participatory, consultation tools to encourage people to reflect and share their perceptions of culture in areas of creative and geographic isolation.

Folly will act as the project manager to commission the artists and provide technical support and is calling for artists to propose new work addressing the commissioning programme objectives set out below.


Cumbria County Council Cultural Unit have approached folly to develop a new online piece of work that invites the user to actively participate and contribute views, thoughts and ideas in a creative, reflective and imaginative form.

Folly and CCC arts unit are looking for work that develops online overtime. We are interested in commissioning work that has a lifespan of at least 12 months to form part of an ongoing online programme.

Folly and CCC are interested in commissioning work that illustrates a cumulative effect of people's engagement with a piece of work or environment online over time.

The online commissioning programme has been established with the aims:

To connect Cumbria to future ideas
To explore a different view of Cumbria.
To create a data bank of contemporary views of culture in areas of creative and geographic isolation.
To test using the internet as an effective consultation tool.
To examine the potential of digital art to draw audiences/users to a deeper consideration of issues and creative ideas.
To strengthen the profile of Cumbria as a county that is a dynamic and exciting place in which to live, visit and create.
To encourage people to think creatively.

folly promote the use of Free and Open Source Software and encourage artists to use FOSS.

Artist fee
£4000 including VAT.
Supplementary expenses of up to £100.


Copyright would stay with the artist as the creator but any software developed for the project would be licensed under the latest general public license and any other works developed as part of the project would be licensed under creative commons attributions share alike.

folly welcome submissions from international artists

Deadline for submissions Monday 22nd October 2007
Artists will be contracted from 1st November 2007 to develop a new piece of online work by end of March 2008.
Project will launch on 1st April 2008.

For more information contact Jennifer Stoddart, folly Programme Coordinator on jennifer.stoddart 'at' or +44 (0)1524 388550

Please send your submissions by email to jennifer.stoddart 'at'
Or on CD by post to Jennifer Stoddart, Programme Coordinator
folly, 6.4.4 Alston House
White Cross
Lancaster UK

Please include:
A recent CV and examples of past work.
An outline proposal of no more than 3 sides of A4.
A completed equal opportunities form.

folly is committed to Equal Opportunities in our employment, programme and services.


folly is a leading digital arts organisation specialists in the creative use of technology and committed to arts participation online.

The Cultural Policy Unit of Cumbria County Council (CCC)

In 2008 Cumbria Tourism will be leading on Cumbria as a place for Adventure as part of the NW Capital of Culture campaign and the lead up to the Olympics.

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


From: beate zurwehme <beate AT>
Date: Sep 5, 2007
Subject: Fwd: appel de dossiers:call for submissions:convocatoria

appel de dossiers : call for submission : convocatoria


Centre de diffusion d'art multidisciplinaire de Montréal

Dis/location: projet d’articulation urbaine 2008
deadline: September 14, 2007

DARE-DARE Centre de diffusion d’art multidisciplinaire de Montréal offers flexibility and openness and is devoted to research, experimentation, risk and critical inquiry. The artist-run centre supports research, values emerging practices and demonstrates a sustained interest in exploring a diversity in modes and contexts of presentation.

Call for intentions - programming 2008
DARE-DARE receives your submission accompanied by your research interests. These interests will translate into proposals of all kinds including/not limited to public intervention, performance, manœuvre, event. The projects may be of specific or of variable duration, or they may be repeated in time, during any season of the year. The centre seeks interdisciplinary projects that will engage the social and physical realms of the city, its public spaces, its commercial, industrial and residential areas.

A first selection will be based upon the artist's dossiers and research intentions. DARE-DARE will invite these artists to further detail and elaborate their projects in view of a final selection.

Your submission should include:
• a brief statement describing your project intention,
• a curriculum vitæ,
• a maximum of ten numbered slides or digital images (max 5 Mg) with a descriptive list,
• audio/video tape, VHS/DVD (NTSC) or Quicktime (max 5 min.), Enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope for the return of your documentation if desired (DARE-DARE does not keep unclaimed dossiers).
The centre does not accept submissions by email. The centre pays SODART/CARFAC rates.

DARE-DARE Centre de diffusion d’art multidisciplinaire de Montréal
Casier postal 130 Succursale R Montréal Québec H2S 3K6 Canada
t: +1.514.878.1088 daredar AT

DARE-DARE is situated in a park with no name in Montréal. The public
park is on the limits of Le Plateau-Mont-Royal and
Rosemont—La-Petite-Patrie burroughs.


+ -- --
| interlinking of media
| practice with gender related issues

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

Rhizome Commissions Program

Rhizome 2008 Commissions Announced!
This year, eleven emerging artists/ collectives were awarded commissions in support of new works of Internet-based art. The projects include distributed sound experiments, visually compelling interactive images that blend the sublime and the ridiculous, and pioneering applications that encourage the flowering of creativity across commercial areas of the web. Follow the link below for descriptions of and links to the eleven winning proposals, which also includes our first-ever Community Award, a project designed to enhance participation and communication on Rhizome.

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: Thomas Rydell <thomas.rydell AT>
Date: Sep 2, 2007
Subject: New Media Meeting - Norrköping, September 21-22

New Media Meeting is an event focusing on the meeting between digital cultural production and technology, society and science. During a two day festival a wide range of actors using digital technology as their main creative tool will gather to explore possibilities and inspire to new creative ideas and expressions. Local producers, globally known names on the digital music scene, scientists and students, as well as global and local companies will all be there. A packed program includes concerts, installations, exhibitions, seminars, workshops and lectures.

Digital Media and Arts in Urban Environments
The main theme for the second edition of New Media Meeting circles around digital technology and cultural production in urban environments, and how those can contribute to and develop people’s everyday surroundings – buildings, housing and places of work, streets, squares and parks, and not least the digital environments themselves. The question of what digital expressions and technology as a whole can offer society, economy, companies, organizations and humans will be raised.

The lineup includes: Theodore Watson(UK), Zachary Liberman(US), Greyworld(UK), Karolina Sobecka(PL),onedotzero (UK), Data(FR), Dusty Kid(IT), VJ Guerilla Unit (FI).... and many many more

For more info please visit:

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


From: Jordan Crandall <jcrandall AT>
Date: Sep 3, 2007
Subject: Jordan Crandall: Showing

Jordan Crandall
8 Sept - 20 Oct 2007
opening 8 Sept 6-9 pm

Telic Arts Exchange
975 Chung King Rd.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
info AT

"Showing" is an exhibition by Jordan Crandall that takes its form as a series of events at TELIC Arts Exchange between September 8 and October 20. These events include presentations, screenings, and performances, along with discursive interventions in various formats. TELIC operates as a stage throughout the show, with every event being recorded and then distributed as a catalog series of DVDs.

Presentations by: Julie Albright (on self-transformation, makeover, and the management of attraction); Scott Bukatman (on attraction, spectacle, and the cult of the amateur); Gary Dauphin and Josephina Ayerza (on the "pose" as a marker of identity and social standing); Mimi Nguyen (on the circuits between star and fan); Susanna Paasonen (on sexuality, pornography, and affect); John Paul Ricco (on narcissism and the space of exposure); Theresa Senft (on webcamming, micro-celebrity, and performance in everyday life); and Glenn Phillips and Catherine Taft (on aesthetic practice and mediated self-performance).

This exhibition is made possible in part with the support of The Peter Norton Family Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Please check for a complete schedule of events.


TELIC Arts Exchange, located on Chung King Road in Chinatown, Los Angeles, provides a place for multiple publics to engage with contemporary forms of media, art and architecture. For four years the space has been a platform for exhibitions, performances, screenings, lectures and discussions. TELIC's program emphasizes social exchange, interactivity and public participation to produce a critical engagement with new media and culture.



In our cultural landscape of blogs, webcams, profiles, live journals, and lifecasting, the intimate lives of everyday people are on parade for all to see. One could say that a new culture of erotic exposure and display is on the ascendance, fueled by the impulse to reveal the self, and streamlined by DIY media technologies. In many ways this culture would seem to be less a representational than a presentational one, where we are compelled to solicit the attention of others, act for unseen eyes, and develop new forms of connective intensity -- as if this were somehow the very condition of our continued existence, the marker of our worth. Within this new culture of self-exposure, one could say that the dream of panoptic power has been achieved, or that it has reversed course. Does the drive to willingly display the self constitute a surrender to the controlling gaze, or simply a shift in the dynamic of the game? For within these presentational environments, performance and rol!
e-playing reign supreme, and new forms of subjectivity and identity emerge.

These new cultures of self-display challenge us to reconsider foundational concepts in film and media theory and, consequently, to rethink the very conditions of our approach. For clearly these cultures are not necessarily those of mastery and visual pleasure. They do not resolve easily to questions of perception, power, and language. They are cultures of showing as much as those of watching. Instead of a reliance on questions of spectatorship, representation, and scopic power, we are challenged to foreground issues of performance, affect, and display. Instead of a privileging of reception, we are challenged to incorporate authorial intent or originary motivation. For these new media phenomena are not only texts to be read: they are solicitations, conductive excitations, embedded within networks of erotic exchange. There are pleasures and affective stimulations that motivate these new acts of connection, sharing, and erotic display, for all players on th e circuits of produc!
tion and reception, including both displayer and watcher. Their texts must not only be decoded but their circuits traversed, in implicated ways that destabilize any one-way analysis and its deflections of libidinous investment.

There is much to be gained in rethinking the dynamic between voyeurism and exhibitionism, compensating for the under-theorization of the latter. In film theory, concepts of "attraction" have provided useful tools in thinking forms of exhibitionistic address that counter the voyeuristic orientation of film analysis. In contrast to the mechanisms of maintaining a coherent narrative world, transporting the viewer into another time and space, attractions are those phenomena that directly solicit the viewer's attention in the here-and-now. They can take the form of narrative asides, spoken in confidence to the viewer outside of the diegetic space; as spectacles for their own sake; or as shots which exist purely to titillate the viewer, having no function in the furthering of the narrative. They prompt modes of apprehension that rely less on discursive flow than on direct transmissions that arouse or tease the viewer, engaging the immediacy of the bodily sensorium. In this way the!
y are similar to the way that affects can counter meanings.

In the case of new media of self-exposure, sharing, and erotic display, one could suggest that the emblematic "pose" functions as such an attractor. The pose is a form of exhibitionistic spectacle -- direct address, performative display, or bodily stimulus -- that stands in contrast to the narrative or conversational flow of a social world, whether real or imaginary. It bypasses demands for narrative coherency and instead conducts transversal operations at the level of both the semiotic and the sensational, the reflective and the transmissive. It solicits attention while at the same time functions as portal or conduit for a reciprocal flow: a conductive excitation geared to develop some degree of connective intensity.

Since the pose feeds on reciprocality, it can prompt the changing of roles and positions. In this way it can be seen as a catalyst for identity-formations. Especially as witnessed in the database-driven format of the online profile within which the pose is often embedded, identity is performed through the adoption of specific codes (whether gender or otherwise). One is called upon to play roles in order to assume symbolic mandates, to the extent that "impersonation" becomes a core act of self-identification. Yet the pose does not only operate extensively but intensively, and such "impersonations" arise equally through the internalized transmission of affects. Emergent forms of identity arise through flows of affective resonance that are themselves a powerful social and subjectifying force.

Such impersonations and internalizations can be understood to be driven by lack or by abundance. As a performative player, we are driven by a primary lack at the core of the psychic apparatus. It compels us to seek fulfillment through the gaze of the other: the elementary fantasmatic scene of being looked at (validated) by an unseen presence. The imagined gaze observing us becomes a kind of ontological guarantee of our being. It serves to put us in our place -- to subject us. In this way, erotic cultures of exposure and display can be seen as driven by the need to perform for the gaze -- the Big Other, the symbolic order -- and therefore to write themselves into existence. Yet at the same time, these insertions of the self into the symbolic order can be regarded as a way of channeling or dissipating surplus energy. From such a viewpoint, the connective intensities that drive these new forms of self-exposure and display are those of expending excess, and the all ure of showin!
g could parallel that of sacrificing. The pose, as event-portal, becomes a double-edged solicitor.

- Jordan Crandall

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


From: Ursula Endlicher <ursula AT>
Date: Sep 4, 2007
Subject: Upcoming shows and events in Europe

Hi all,

I hope you all are having a great summer.
I wanted to let you know about several shows and events I am having in September in Europe.
Should you be in these places at the given time, please come by.
Would be fantastic to see you here or there.

All best --


*Website WIgs*
in 'Contemporary Baroque – extreme excess', at BM-Suma Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul, Turkey -- opens September 3, 6 PM.

I will be showing a selection of my 'Website Wigs' and 'Website Wigs, Interrupted' Series.
'Website Wigs' are visualizations of the hypertext link structure of websites. Html code is braided into hair representing each Website's link structure as a hair-do. Websites being portrayed as wigs are,, among others.
In 'Contemporary Baroque – extreme excess', at BM-Suma Contemporary Art Center, Bankalar Cad. Yanikkapi, SOK.3 #2, Suma Han, Karaköy - Istanbul -Turkey.
Curated by Michele Thursz. Opens September 3. The show runs from September 3 - October 3.

Website Wigs, Interrupted:
Website Wigs:


in 'UN_SPACE', at paraflows07 Festival, at MAK-Gegenwartskunstdepot Gefechtsturm Arenbergpark, Vienna, Austria -- opens September 13, 7 PM.

'html_butoh' inhabits a web-based performance space which is shared by a "global" mix of participants - its contributors and audiences come from cross-cultural and cross-national backgrounds.
UN_SPACE is the title of this year’s paraflows festival in Vienna, exploring inaccessible, invisible, theoretical, and immaterial spaces.
The location of this exhibition is the Contemporary Art TOWER that belongs to the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna: MAK-Gegenwartskunstdepot Gefechtsturm Arenbergpark, 1030 Vienna, Austria. Opens September 13. The show runs from September 13 - September 23.



*Website Impersonations: The Ten Most Visited #4 -*
at Gallery Tristesse Deluxe, Berlin, Germany -- performance event: September 20, 8 PM.

'Website Impersonations: The Ten Most Visited' is a live performance series utilizing the html-movement-library for enacting and re-interpreting the source code of the “ten most popular” websites.
I will perform another sequence from this series -- this time I will enact "".

Galerie Tristesse Deluxe, Gendarmenmarkt, 10117 Berlin Mitte, Germany.

Presented by Upgrade!Berlin:

Website Impersonations: The Ten Most Visited:

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


From: Lee Wells <lee AT>
Date: Sep 4, 2007
Subject: Open Video Artist Roundtable at The Chelsea Art Museum

We welcome everyone to come and participate in the dialogue.

Perpetual Art Machine Artist Roundtable
"Video art in the age of the internet"
Thursday September 6, 2007, 8-9:30pm

Chelsea Art Museum
556 West 22nd Street
New York, NY 10011

The [PAM] founders will be hosting an open roundtable discussion on September 6th to analyze the current state and future of the medium of video art and the emergence of new artistic communities that question the authority and connoisseurship of traditional systems of 20th century art. What is the role and future of video art in this very exciting time? What are the current transformations in modes of creation and distribution of video art in the early 21st century? The possibilities seem endless as open source and creative commons communities thrive, allowing for projects like [PAM] to be made possible. Several experts will be present to address these topics.

For more information goto:

Roundtable participants include:
Lisa Baldini is a curator and Social Networking Manager for Deep Focus.
Peer Bode - is an artist, electronic arts pioneer and the Co-Director of IEA at Alfred University.
G.H. Hovagimyan is an artist, theorist and editor of
Chris Borkowski is an artist, Guggenheim museum Intranet engineer and [PAM] co-founder
Raphaele Shirley is an artist, new media specialist and [PAM] co-founder
Lee Wells artist, curator and [PAM] co-founder


Also the exhibition will be coming down on Friday so this is your last chance to see it.


3 Channel Synchronized Program
Janet Biggs (US), Peer Bode (US), Chris Borkowski (US), Andrew Deutsch (US), Cliff Evans (US), Kelly Jacobson (US), Evelin Stermitz (AT/SI), Christina McPhee (US), Nuno Moreira (PT), John O¹Donnell (US), Steven Pedersen (US), Raphaele Shirley (US/FR), Nina Teglio and Massimiliano Peretti (IT), Myriam
Thyes (CH/LU), Lee Wells (US), Amelia Winger-Bearskin (US), [dNASAb] (US)

Single Channel Program
Beatriz Albuquerque (PT), Hackworth Ashley (US) Montse Arbelo and Joseba Franco (ES), Neil Bryant (UK), Si Jae Byun (KR), Francis Coy (US), Andrew K. Erdos (US), Marcia Grostein (BR), Ane Lan (NO), Patrick Lichty (US), Adriane Little (US), Wai Kit Lam (CN), Lev Manovich (RU), Relja Penezic (YU/US), Alexander Renya (US), Geoffrey Alan Rhodes (US), Etta Safve (NO), Molly Schwartz (US), Alette Simmons-Jimenez (US), Sophie Sindahl-Invernesse and
Michael Lisnet (US), Marty St. James (UK), Richard Sylvarnes (US), Xu Tan (CN), Mark Tribe (US)


Special thanks to: Peer Bode, Janet Biggs, Alexis Hubshman, Till Fellrath, Lea Carnevali, G.H. Hovagimyan, Prescott Mckee, Maria Joao Salema, Robert Adanto, Rody Douzoglou, Lea Carnevali, Sadie Weis, Helen Brown, Isaac Leung, Claire Oliver Gallery, Andrea Pollan, Sara Tecchia Gallery, Nam June Paik, Gary Hill, Miroslaw Rogala, S. R. Guggenheim Foundation, Videotage HK, Location 1, Bbone9, IEA, Alfred University, American Library Association, Tekserve, The Rose Group, House of Campari, CTL Electronics, Cycling 74, Scope Art Fairs, Rhizome, M21, IFAC-Arts and all of the great artists that make [PAM] what it is.


The Institute for Electronic Arts
Founded in 1997 within Alfred University, the Institute is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support a dialogue between the arts and sciences leading to the creation of new works and ideas. The IEA hosts an Artist In Residence program, offering artists, scientists and scholars opportunities to experiment with emerging technologies in the creation of new art forms and processes of production. The IEA actively supports the expanding community of contemporary artists who use electronic and digital strategies as an integral part of their (often cross-disciplinary) art practice through workshops, diverse publication opportunities, and national and international conferences, performances and exhibitions. The IEA is generously supported by NYSCA.

The Chelsea Art Museum
Home of the Miotte Foundation, is committed to an exploration of ³art within a context.² This approach favors a program of exhibitions, which reflect contemporary human experience across a broad spectrum of cultural, social, environmental and geographical contexts. CAM¹s exhibitions, each supported by a rich series of related cultural events and educational programs, seek to support in both its artists and audiences a sense of creativity, community and cultural exchange. Co-founder and president, Dorothea Keeser, describes CAM¹s curatorial vision as, ³a commitment to art as a living entity which reacts and interacts with us and changes the way one continues to live one¹s daily life ².


If you have any questions please contact: pam AT

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


From: lacey AT <lacey AT>
Date: Sep 4, 2007
Subject: Grand Arts Presents: Blossom, new work by Sanford Biggers

Grand Arts announces new details about:
Cheshire, a new video piece by Sanford Biggers
Co-Presented with the American Jazz Museum
September 7 – October 20, 2007
WHO: Sanford Biggers in conjunction with Grand Arts and the American Jazz Museum
WHAT: Cheshire, a video projection visible on the north wall of the Gem Theater.
Tune in to 87.9 FM to hear the Cheshire soundtrack within a two-block radius of the Gem.
WHERE: At the Gem Theater, 1615 E. 18th Street across the street from
The American Jazz Museum, 1616 E. 18th Street, Kansas City, MO 64108
WHEN: Viewable evenings from dusk to dawn Sept 7 – Oct 20, 2007

PRESS RELEASE September 1, 2007
With the generous support of The American Jazz Museum, on the occasion of the 10 Year Anniversary of the renovation of the Historic Gem Theater, Grand Arts is pleased to present Cheshire, an outdoor video installation which is part of Biggers’ solo Grand Arts project titled Blossom.

Cheshire will be visible on the north wall of the Historic Gem Theater in Kansas City’s Jazz District, and will run evenings from dusk to dawn. Cheshire’s audio sound track can be heard outdoors at the Gem or accessed via car or portable radio on FM station 87.9, as a low-watt radio transmission within a two-block radius of the Jazz Museum.

Cheshire is a visual and conceptual meditation on themes of (in)visibility and ascension. To create the work, Biggers constructed a visual template for a scene in which a single black male wearing professional garb attempts to climb a tree. Biggers then filmed this scene with different men of various professions in locations throughout the world. Explains Biggers, “The title Cheshire references Lewis Carroll’s infamous cat from Wonderland who disappears spewing riddles or koans (Buddhist paradoxical utterances) until only his bodiless grin remains. He is as invisible as the professional Black man is in mass media today—but I am also thinking about Black men hanging out in trees, as opposed to being hung from them.”

“Blossom” is the culmination of a three-year conversation between the artist and Grand Arts. The exhibition is being realized with assistance and collaboration from: The American Jazz Museum, Gregory Carroll, Demetria Jones, Oscar Burrow, Chris Collier, Pat Jordan, Kathy Barnard Studio, Jamie Reichart, David Estey Piano Service, Virginia Commonwealth University, Mary Goldman Gallery, Akademie Scholss Solitude and Headlands Center for the Arts.
Originally from Los Angeles, CA, Sanford Biggers lives and works in New York and Richmond, VA where he teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University. Biggers received his MFA from The School of the Art Institute Chicago in 1999 and studied at The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Sanford has had solo shows at Kenny Schacter Gallery, London (2005), Triple Candie in New York (2005) and Mary Goldman Gallery in Los Angeles (2004). Group exhibitions include Black President (a tribute to Fela Kuti) at The New Museum, New York (2003), Black Belt at The Studio Museum in Harlem (2003) and Freestyle also at The Studio Museum in Harlem (2001). He was included in the 2002 Whitney Biennial and in 2001 Biggers was a resident artist at the Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, NY.

Grand Arts is open to the public and free of charge. Our gallery hours are Thursdays & Fridays from 10am-5pm, and Saturdays 11am-5pm, or by appointment.

For further information on Blossom or the Grand Arts program, contact:
Lacey Wozny
Grand Arts Assistant Director
(816) 421-6887
gallery AT

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


From: Pall Thayer <pallthay AT>, Marisa Olson <marisa AT>, curt cloninger <curt AT>, Brett Stalbaum <stalbaum AT>, Eric Dymond <dymond AT>, Lee Wells <lee AT>, patrick lichty <voyd AT>, Dyske Suematsu <dyske AT>, Max Herman <maxnmherman AT>, Lauren Cornell <laurencornell AT>
Date: Sep 1-4, 2007
Subject: Where is the Rhizome?

+ Pall Thayer posted: +

Sorry people, but Rhizome no longer exists as the dynamic, international community boiling pot it once was. It hasn't for quite some time, about 2 or 3 years. Something has gone wrong and it should be fixed.

Apart from subscribing to Rhizome's mailing lists it used to be informative and exciting to visit the Rhizome website. Its content would change on a daily basis, often with new material appearing on the front page several times over the course of the day. Posts to Rhizome-Raw would generate lively discussion and debate that would involve several members of the community from all corners of the art world and beyond. Posts of particular interest would appear on the front page, giving them added exposure and prompting even more lively discussion on the mailing lists.

Additions to the artbase used to seep in, perhaps a couple of projects a week instead of nothing over several weeks and then all of the sudden a single heep of additions. Also, these additions used to always appear on the front page. I used to look at most of these pieces but when I get ten announcements in a single day, I don't have time to go through them.

Rhizome's directors and other employees have busied themselves with organizing physical events. I wonder if these really do serve the community. It feels to me like they serve the New York based members of Rhizome but do very little for others. Again, Rhizome used to cater to the needs and desires of an international community.

What is perhaps most devastating though is the appearant disappearance of Rhizome Rare. Those who subscribed to Rare were the semi-dormant sideline viewers who would perk up each time something interesting came by. I looked at the RSS feed for Rare the other day and noticed that the most recent post was from October 24, 2006?!? I don't remember seeing anything about the discontinuation of Rare. It's no wonder that mailing list discussions have fizzled out if those who used to subscribe to Rare are no longer receiving anything.

I urge the Rhizome staff to take measures to attempt to restore Rhizome to the diverse and dynamic community and information outlet that it once was. In its current state it's becoming more and more useless to a large number of its members.

+ Marisa Olson replied: +


As always, we appreciate your feedback.

It's true that discussion on Raw has simmered. --Though this is not true of Rare, as it's still alive and Patrick will look into whether this is a bug in the RSS feed. Needless to say, posts are regularly reblogged.

The status of discussion on Rhizome is of high priority to the staff, but I think it's fair to say that what's happening on Raw is indicative of what's happening in listservs across the board. In the list's 10+ years, people have changed the way that they seek to exchange information. We have hundreds of thousands of RSS subscribers and only a few hundred list subscribers. There's been a shift in the push- and pull- models of editorial content, online. Rhizome still wants to support "old school" discussion (I say this tongue-in-cheek because I think we share in the sentiment that this is important and it's sad to see it languor on the internet), but we're also trying to keep up with the new models, in order to provide better visibility to artists engaging with technology in significant ways.

I think Patrick's efforts, this year, to respond to member feedback about the commissions process in order to ensure more proposal views and livelier discussion are (to me) a really exciting example of the ways that Rhizome strives to facilitate conversation. Nonetheless, all we can do are provide the tools for people. We can't have all the conversations for them.

Now, to be frank, this comment bewilders me:

> it used to be informative and exciting to visit the
> Rhizome website. Its content would change on
> a daily basis, often with new material appearing
> on the front page several times over the course
> of the day.

This is still the case. With the exception of weekends, which we attempt to take off, we publish content daily and we are on the brink of ramping this up even more.

All I can say for now is stay-tuned to the front page. We are currently working very hard on upgrading our site content (not only on the front page) and will soon announce new features developed in response to community feedback. But these things take time.

It's always funny to me when people use phrases like "Rhizome's directors and other employees" because there are only three of us: Lauren, Patrick, and myself. We do employ freelance writers (the people who help ensure that our front page always has new material, as you say), and we do have one unpaid Curatorial Fellow, an incredibly overqualified and overburdened intern. Together he and I manage the Artbase and this, frankly, is a job in itself. We stay on top of it as best we can, but given the huge number of submissions and correspondence that comes in, sometimes weekly or semi-weekly spurts are just the best way to handle it all. Nonetheless, we're excited by our recent policy change to allow all artists to add work to their profiles, and making the Artbase admin a secondary process, thus giving the artists more exposure and increasing the number of works for you to peruse, Pall.

Now this comment is admittedly a bit trickier to address:

> Rhizome's directors and other employees have busied
> themselves with organizing physical events. I wonder
> if these really do serve the community. It feels to me
> like they serve the New York based members
> of Rhizome but do very little for others.

I think there are several ways to look at this, and they are influenced by the facts that we have a limited staff, limited budget, and the exciting fact that "the community" of people interested in new media has now blossomed into *multiple* thriving, diverse communities.

We can't be all things to all people, but we believe strongly in the importance of live events. The artists we serve and our audience are always asking for them, and we've seen a lot of good come out of them, in terms of new conversations, new relationships, and new contexts for the interpretation of work that don't get to germinate in quite the same way through online conversation. (This is not a prioritization of RL vs online, but just a way of complementing our programs which are primarily online.) We also believe that what the field needs, right now, is to be put into deeper conversation with the contemporary art world, and our events and exhibitions have been an effort to do so.

We have no desire to be NY-centric--quite the contrary. We'd love to be able to do events like this all over the world or even in other parts of the US. When we were planning our 10th Anniversary Festival, we tried to do that. We reached out to other festivals and venues, and started many great conversations. But the fact is that we just do not have the budget to pull these off. And we live in a country where arts funding is not comparable to the funding in other countries that have thriving new media organizations. But those organizations support those communities well. We respect them for their work and try to stay in dialogue with them.

Meanwhile, we do what we can, and we are doing a lot. We're all working overtime to support the field. We do listen to your feedback, in this process, and appreciate it very much.

+ curt cloninger replied: +

Just like video killed the radio star, ReBlog RSS technology killed Rhizome RAW. So now the rhizome front page is like an aggregate blog -- like , with RAW being just one of dozens of potential RSS feeds from which to choose. Which leverages the collective power of the interweb blogosphere, but de-promotes and ghetto-izes community dialogue on RAW. I've had the strange experience of posting work on RAW, having it picked up by via Michael or Doron, and only then having it appear on the rhizome front page reBlogged from dvblog rather than from RAW.

Having said that, the current Rhizome front page is better curated and more representative of the new media scene at large than it was (and how could it not be, culling from such great, original content blogs as and so many others), but less representative of the bizarre, almost manhattan-agnostic, ass-backwards scene that was rhizome RAW.

But whatever. I've always approached RAW as a small mailing list of about 20 participants whom I already know anyway and maybe 20 more lurkers. I'm probably deluded, but it works for me to think of it that way.

Why less dialogue on RAW? Some other guesses:
1. We've already argued about all there is to argue about, and we're tired of arguing about the same things.
2. We're all in graduate school swamped with an all too steady diet of Heidegger, Graham Harman, Brian Massumi, Bracha Ettinger, and anthropological field studies on Papua New Guinean bird songs and their relationship to human memory and loss (at least I am).
3. We're all too mesmerized re-shuffling our mySpace friends list (at least I'm not).
4. kandinski42 and nn have left the building.
5. We're all trying to become real-world artists and increase our cachet, and quibbling about the aesthetics of actionScript vs. javaScript on an unmoderated, uncurated, unfiltered, undistributed, un-peer-reviewed, old school online mailing list just ain't cool anymore.
6. Information no longer wants to be free. It now wants to be $25.
7. Doughnuts!
8. Ceramics!
9. The White Stripes!
10. Ubiquitous Computing!

I am now going on a 30 minute run. Then I will accompany my wife and children to Sears to shop for a new washer and dryer. Once I am out of graduate school (summer 2008), I may return to RAW in a more chatty capacity to bore and amaze everyone with these and other banal pieces of information amidst everyone else's announcements of new positions available in Robotic Culture Theory and the latest Bill Viola retrospective. Or I may be writing travel grants to Transmediale and composing generative poetry for the next issue of Cabinet Magazine. One never knows.

+ Brett Stalbaum replied: +

By no means am I jumping into any fray here... I appreciate rhizome and all of Marisa, Lauren and Patrick's efforts to the extreme. But I do want to point out that in fact there *are* still lists that do manage to support robust, (or as Marisa says with tongue-in-cheek respect: "old school") email discussions. The empyre and iDC lists, for example. Both are actively moderated and in the case of empyre thoughtfully organized into regular monthly topics with invited guests/respondents who help carry the conversation forward. Personally, I find these kinds of lists to be much more useful *for discussion* than the "newer models" (blog, reblog, rss) which frankly owe more to an older producer/consumer (author/reader, active/passive) models of knowledge production, and thus are much less conducive to the kind of productive conversation that email lists can, under the right circumstances, excel at.

To be honest, the rhizome raw list (which I have been a member of since, oh, 1996...) rapidly became more of a project and opportunity announcement list after 2000 or so. (Right about the time that the remains of what was once called net art underwent the unfortunate transformation into online video and multimedia... Again, this is imho, but I think Rachel Greene's book makes the pre-2000 and post-2000 zeitgeists fairly apparent.) Having said that, the kind of list that rhizome became plays an important role. It is in fact the route through which much of the new art I see comes to me. But, rhizome has not been a significant discussion list for a long, long time. That is not a criticism at all. Rhizome is what it is, a useful new project and opportunity announcement list that occasionally emerges some good, often passionate, discussions.

+ Eric Dymond replied: +

The nature of discussion lists have gone through the same process as the rest of the web I guess.

It seems that a public list isn't nearly as attractive a private list.
Just as the communications in any public forum go through evolutions, and retrenchments, the point now is keep it private. The success of facebook (where users average 22 minutes a day) points to that part of human nature that is wary of putting it out there. Facebook is private, no need to worry about the boss seeing your personal details, just let the people you trust in.

The fact that people aren't as willing to make fools of themselves, or promote ideas that may catch a lot of flack, says much of the current zeitgeist.

Maybe it's a lack of confidence, or it could just be that apathy and the subsequent dumbing down of the media is easier to live with than personal engagement.

But these trends come and go. During the 80's and early 90's newsgroups thrived, only to be lost in a sea of spam and frankly creative exhaustion.

I don't think the Rachel Greene (re. the change in 2000) observation properly addressed the cause,. The cause was probably much simpler, New Media artists with jobs at start ups and web companies lost their jobs following the dot com bomb, and weren't online trying to make it, they were just trying to survive. Economics killed net 1.0 , I don't believe it had anything to do with possibilities provided by the medium.
But Pall has a point here. Would it be so hard for Rhizome to hook up with artist run centres outside of New York to co-produce, or somehow work with the physical resources in the out lying regions to grow and become physically worldly. I don't see any big expenses there, in fact I would imagine the financial cost would be small. Pall is also pointing to an aimlessness that’s not just a Rhizome thing, it's pretty general and widespread.
That doesn't mean we should succumb to it however.
Lee Wells posted an interesting link earlier:
Artist communities are definitely different.
As a complete aside, s the front page going to return to the way it was? or is my browser not supporting the new layout. All I see are announcements, pretty dull stuff without the links on the side navigation bars.
Ultimately the quality of a public dialogue is the responsibility of the moderator and the participants. Both need to be engaged.

+ Lee Wells <lee AT> replied: +

I too have been surprised over the past few years how what was once a thriving community built out of the newness of the medium has more or less grown into an under funded, under staffed institution working in good faith but unfortunately cannot afford the time or the resources to address the true needs of the community members that they are being paid to serve.

Overall I am happy being able to throw my 2 cents in whenever I please but miss the dialogue that there use to be.

100,000 onlookers and RSS content scrapers have little to do with the membership of this organization yet have everything to do with the direction it is heading. As I write this there are 176 online and 175 are anonymous users.

For all of the good things that the organization has brought to the world of new media the users of Rhizome are now primarily just passive viewers. They are not even members.

Outside of looking to Lauren, Marisa and Patrick to save the day how can the members help to stimulate the conversation, take an active roll and perhaps bring some of the discussions that are on the other lists back to Raw.

+ Pall Thayer <pallthay AT> replied: +

As one person that mailed me about this post said, Rhizome has become an "aggregate-blog" and the sense of it being mostly that isn't that interesting. Community provided content makes up for a very small portion of Rhizome's most prominent content. Is it then any wonder that the community isn't producing interesting content? A lot of the "reblogged" articles are coming from the same websites, can't we just stop or reduce the reblogging and have links to those websites? Perhaps the site would benefit from having more editors that are allowed to post to the front page. If I recall correctly there used to be a lot more and they did it on a volunteer basis. Maybe we could have comment sections for items that get published on the front page and have the comments also get sent to Raw. Look at sites like Reddit, Digg, YouTube, etc. that provide a framework for discussing material in direct relation to that material. Rhizome News should also be posted to Raw. That could bring about some discussion. I'm refuse to believe that Rhizome's members are too busy trying to survive to participate in meaningful discussion. I feel that Rhizome, in its current form, does too little to motivate members to discuss issues. I disagree with Brett on when Rhizome became "what it is". I remember a number of meaningful discussions on Raw beyond 2000 and in fact I feel that such discussion seriously declined when reblogging content from other websites became the primary content model for Rhizome's front page.

I know that Rhizome's staff isn't large and when I made my comment I didn't envision an office of 10-20 employees. But you also have a huge community of potential content providers. You know, re-invoke the rhizome.

+ curt cloninger replied: +

Paraphrasing Frank Zappa on the record industry:

In the 60s, the record executives were a bunch of cigar-chomping old guys saying, "Who knows what'll sell? Jimi Hendrix? Sure, let's give him a try." Then psychedelic music and hard rock got popular and suddenly those executives were replaced by young hip record executives saying, "We can't take a chance on this new music because the kids won't like it... and I know." We were better off with the cigar-chomping old guys.
Having said that, it was funny which content some former "superuser" members used to post on the front page. It became a kooky mix of very parochial/low (RAW users basically flaming each other) and very curated/high (new media work in the Whitney Biennial). My general feeling is that such a mix made rhizome less safe and more dangerous (in a good way). The front page of rhizome now is much more well-behaved. It wants to be "a hit," and it "knows" what a hit is.

+ Pall Thayer replied: +

That's a great analogy. I definitely think people should look into making Rhizome "dangerous" again.

+ curt cloninger replied: +

I think one way to make a listserv dangerous is by using it to make actual art rather than as a para-art promotional platform. This is why posts by NN, kandinsky42, mez, Dirk Vekemans, Max Herman, manik, and others have been poet[h]ically appealing to me. They presume that something is happening on the list itself right now, rather than using the list to dialogue about something happening somewhere else.

Here is a perspicacious essay on conceptual software art by Thomas Dreher, translated from German:

Here are the accompanying illustrations in pdf form: (11 Mb)

There amongst examples by Cage, George Brecht, Lewitt, and Debord is a piece I posted to RAW in 2005. Dreher's online essay links to my actual rhizome post, which now takes you to a page saying that the post is archived and you can no longer view it unless you pay to become a member.

+ patrick lichty replied: +

It's been asked why Rhizome, and for that matter a lot of listservs for that matter, have dropped in the degree of content during the present decade. There are a few lists out there that still have a lot of content, traffic, but in general, Pall Thayer's observation that listserv traffic has dropped considerably, at first glance, appears to be true.

There is a real confluence of issues that has led to the issue at hand. Most of what Curt Cloninger has said is true, but it seems to be around a few key issues:
A change in the community
Different modes of content production/distribution
Different agendas of the next generation

In regards to the community, there is something to be said about the Curt's comments of the 90's generation (who I call the Third Wave) of New Media being in grad school/going academic. I see Cloninger is in grad school now, as I remember Klima mentioning he was going to do, as well as several others. That's what I did, and am now in my second year as a prof in Chicago. Will probably start my PhD next year, as it looks like an MFA in the states will not be enough in the long run.

In addition, a lot of the Third Wave have families and careers now, and doubly do not have the time to participate like they used to. I know that when Tribe and I were in Washington DC for the Renascence 07 show, he had to leave early after the panel to take care of family matters. Fortunately or not, I have to work 1900 km away from my family, which gives me a touch more time.

Tribe, Galloway, Kanarek - most of them are academic now, a lot of others had to focus on work or focusing their careers on sustainability. I know I have a lot less time, and I've been streamlining my practice again and again to maximize my time and effectiveness, and I hate when art and Taylorism converge.

Content - the listserv, while vibrant in terms of lists like Empyre and IDC, are largely 90's modes of communication. Instead of circulating content, digital discourse has turned into a "booth" mentality, in which bloggers pointcast and hope that people aggregate their blog. It isn't about the collective discourse as much as a constellation of little stations and brands. Many of them are structured so that they might even make money from their brand of content, such as (a LOLcat site) that is the source of income now for the creator.

The next generation of New Media artists (from which I am from the prior gen) have a different set of agendas, priorities, and degrees of support. For example, when Rhizome got started, it was, for the most part, funded by odd revenue streams and Tribe's resources, as far as I knew. As that ran out, Rhizome had to act like any other NPO...

Secondly, from having hung out for a long time, it was their primary conceptual project for the first 2-3 years; I didn't see them out on a lot of residencies, writing for other entities, maybe a little curation. But from my vantage point, for the first couple years, the rhizome crew didn't do much else.

And lastly, from two-three places from the preceding, although we are in a period of "social media", it appears that it is a particulate cloud of individuals trying to promote their own work/agendas and forming alliances/networking for enlightened self-interest rather than acting collectively. In many ways, it feels like grass-roots collectivism versus free-market competition.

Much of this feel comes from the increased robustness of the art market, acceptance of conceptual New Media, related objects, and the emergence of media-influenced artists from Murakami to Arcangel. When there weren't that many opportunities, we all had more time to hang out and collaborate. Now that there are more possibilities to have a viable art career, a lot of us are trying to make a go of it for a while.

It also comes from a difference from the way New Media artists are born. Many of the ones I work with now were minted in the academy; I was one of the last generations of autodidacts. New Media artists (sic) are becoming part of the establishment, and while there is still the somewhat segregated New Media community, the integration/cooptation really started in 1998-2000 between net.condition, Whitney Bi 2000 and the 100101010 show at the SF MoMA, all of which validated New Media as an "art form"

Therefore, the new New Media artists are much more akin to their "contemporaries" than to the previous generations of practitioners. They're taught to be part of the Art World, to aggressively seek galleries, media, get representation, find commissions, look at how to bridge the material culture gap, build the practice. This is very different from the 90's artist, who simply did not have these routes to travel, more often than not.

An example of the difference between generations was an interaction with someone who I had remarked about their level of promotion/aggressiveness in networking, which actually got on my nerves a little. They gave me a hug, and said, "Don't worry, we just have to get out there in our business..." This revealed an epiphany of generational difference that I had not realized until then, and I replied, "I guess you're right, but for me, it's not a business, it's my _life_."

Therefore, there are a lot of different constituencies in the New Media universe. There are collectivists, the non-profits, the academics, the career artists. There are the 90's community types, the 00's point-cloud "socials", the free radicals, the stars, and so on. But what is obvious is that things have changed, and people notice. The question remains; are there constituencies large enough to support truly collective enterprises, or are we in a free-market, aggregate-sifting, competitive pointcast culture? Although I am probably more akin to the collectivist sort who would love to not worry about survival as I was in the 90's, I ran out of resources, and now have to balance my time between exploration, exhibition, and education. It's not a bad life, but I'd certainly love to have my life in the late 90's back again, for a lot of reasons.

+ Dyske Suematsu replied: +

I might have argued this several years ago, but the specific characteristics associated with Rhizome RAW are the results of its technological architecture and its policies, which is basically anarchy. Being open to everything and anything does not create or foster diverse and open discussions. Anarchy is simply one of many organizational structures we can have, with its own specific results.

In anarchistic email lists, we often see the pattern of power law where something like the top 5% of members do over 90% of all the talking. And, as you would expect of any anarchistic organizations, what you see on the surface does not represent the majority views. In most anarchistic email lists, those who are most vocal dominate the list and set the course of discussions. Even if their opinions are a small minority, that’s what everyone sees, and naturally everyone comes to associate those opinions with the organization itself.

What is more influential than views and opinions is attitude or tone. Most of us are not capable of seeing arguments solely for their truth values. Emotional content in fact plays a bigger role in deciding to agree or disagree with someone. The small minority of vocal members not only sets the content of the list, but also sets the attitude and tone. This has a snowballing effect of attracting others who share similar attitudes and tones. Eventually, those who cannot relate to the attitudes and tones of the list would leave. The list becomes increasingly homogeneous in this manner, and eventually the remaining members get sick of each other since they are essentially looking at themselves in a mirror. This is expressed in Curt’s list of why’s:

“1. We've already argued about all there is to argue about, and we're tired of arguing about the same things.”

I personally do not like anarchistic structure for an online community. Since the Internet itself has the anarchistic structure, it seems natural to have one, but it can become useless for the same reason. Imagine in a big department store like Macys, a section where it sells everything and anything. Since having a variety of products is the idea of the department store itself, having a section with the same idea is useless. Each online community, I believe, should be more structured. Marisa said: “We can't be all things to all people.” True; trying to be all things to all people ends up serving no one.

A good interviewer would make the interviewee believe that, after a great interview with lots of interesting opinions and stories, he did it all by himself. Free flow of great ideas is usually not so “free”; it only has the façade of freedom. It is actually the invisible structure and control mechanism that lets the ideas flow in a useful and productive manner, which is what a great interviewer does. And this can be controlled with simple technical and/or presentational devices.

As New York Magazine noted once, the online discussion boards at does not display user names. This can cause a lot of confusions because you have no idea who is saying what. But because of the total anonymity, people feel free to say whatever they have on their minds. Some mothers, for instance, started confessing their regrets for having kids. In this way, a simple thing, like the lack of user name, has a big effect on the content and the tone of an online community.

It would be interesting, for instance, to see what happens to Rhizome RAW if there was a simple and easy voting system for each comment posted. Suppose the system automatically kicks out members who get more than 10 lowest votes in a month. Or, it would automatically give more presentational significance to those members who are consistently voted high. I am not saying Rhizome should implement these ideas; I’m only curious as to what would happen if they did. How would it influence the attitudes, tones, and content of the discussion on RAW? It would be interesting to see because it would reflect better what the majority of Rhizome members are thinking and feeling.

People who are not vocal on RAW are not necessarily quiet because they are shy. I believe the number of people who are actually shy is as small as the number of people who are very vocal on the list. The vast majority of the people are more than capable of joining discussions, and offering interesting opinions and insights. What determines their participation is probably more about attitudes and tones than it is about the content.

In email lists where lively discussions still go on, it is usually because the lists are carefully moderated in some way. Discussions on blogs, for instance, are usually moderated and organized by the owners of the blogs. The topic of discussion is set with each post on a blog. This forces everyone to stay on topic, and has the effect of automatically categorizing all the comments. If the topic is interesting, the discussion could go on forever without digressing too far. Or, on popular blogs, discussions are often closed after a certain number of posts, so people do not start arguing about the same thing over and over. In this sense, discussions on blogs are more useful and interesting.

So, in my opinion, the reason why not much is going on within RAW is because its structure is too general and wide open. As the Internet grows in size, each site or community needs to become more specific. Again, the analogy to a department store would be helpful here. The bigger the department store gets, the more specific each section should be. Rhizome RAW simply hasn’t adjusted to that reality.

+ Max Herman replied: +

Hi Dyske,

I agree with part of what you state below and disagree with part. I agree that freedom can require some level of structure so that friction, say, does not smother all movement. Yet that may not be the cause of changes here or the only cause.

On Artforum Talkback for example, they enforce strong topic-adherence and eject both posts and users for infractions. Yet the board is very, very inactive.

One explanation may be that there are general environmental considerations in world events (not list protocols) that have changed Rhizome Raw. I think there have definitely been some big changes in the world since 1998. Perhaps we are in a time now comparable to the "Red Scare" of the early fifties, when the new Cold War was getting started. Now we are in a Second Cold War so to speak, the foundations of which are newer and a little more frightening than those of the First Cold War were in 1998, if you get my analogy. This fear is not all bad either I don't think. There are some very serious concerns and stake and heck some degree of fear in life is healthy.

Talking about art, politics, religion, and humanity with no censorship can definitely be a bad and dangerous thing which decent people avoid. Many societies in history strictly prohibited such discussions by law. Making the list "dangerous" again makes me think, "dangerous to the users? Dangerous to Rhizome itself? Dangerous to the world?" What if Rhizome just got "canceled" and everything was removed from the database and gone for good? Or if bad tendencies on Rhizome contaminated the rest of society and threw it into the abyss?

Dangerous to members' careers or peace of mind (well-being) doesn't sound so fun either. Dangerous to the established art world? Well the New Museum is established and they govern Rhizome so that would be self-endangerment. Dangerous politically? There's already a big heaping helping of that to go around. Dangeorus to the economy? The economy is semi-global and global depressions often worsen life's problems astronomically for everyone.

If taking more risks or better risk, creative bold risk-management and investment in risk, if that is the idea then it might be comprehensible. Quality risk is neither destructive nor counter-mission for art, the art-world, Rhizome, political progress, or the global economy. But sometimes investor caution or bearishness is better still.

Perhaps there was a Rhizome danger-bubble that popped on say 911, the start of the Second Cold War. As Richard Armitage said, "History started over on 911" and that counts for a lot.

Personally as to my own growing older, I am working now to get enough money so as not to have to retire on welfare. I'm definitely older and need to conduct myself more professionally so as to gain financial security. To this end I am studying new skills and learning to live more carefully. But the main reason I don't post here like I used to is the new war environment and how this has affected aesthetic evolution and my own thinking about same. I'm less infatuated with danger and dramatics and also need more time to think and be by myself.

Definitely niche-topics can be more free-wheeling, because everyone knows there's only so much you can allude to.

But frankly I think the best topic is whether we are in a new art-historical period. I think that could be a big new topic people could discuss without yelling fire in a crowded theater. But again, your point is very true that many people don't want a new art-historical period because they've invested a ton in the previous one. And if a new art-historical period would be a good thing, why aren't the really strong experts ("grandmasters" of art so to speak) like Harvard, the Sorbonne, and MGU formulating it and getting the word out? It could be either that they are against having a new period, unable to set one up, or sending the indirect message not to discuss one yet. It could also be that they are not best suited to come up with one because of many reasons. The uncertainty on all of this might indicate the path of caution.

On the other hand, moderate efforts for innovation could be justified if done with risk management, co-opetition, win-win negotitions, etc. Outsider innovation is often called for in economic, technological, and art-historical transitions. The New Museum people might like it if Rhizome Raw invented a new art-historical period where other lists like Talkback could not. On the other hand they might hate it and pull our plug. Who can say?

All in all I think that excessive fear is not beneficial as we see in the sub-prime lender credit crunch and other locations. Not that psychotic self-destructiveness is good, that's not what I mean. Just good constructive entrepreneurship and intelligent risk for aesthetic investment gains.


+ Max Herman added: +

As to Dyske's point, I definitely need to keep rules on my e-mailing. I used to post too much to Raw I think and lost my perspective sometimes. So, I am going to post for a while during the G2K conference which is the next
two weeks, but then go off-list again.

Curt, regarding your post, I should read that essay again by Dreher. But is there an implication that software art is sort of an outgrowth or developmental progression from 20th c. art? I'll have to read that again.

But I do agree that the new art-historical period would have to a) take 20th c. art into account as its fodder or humus and b) take computers and computer networks into account.

There is also a lot else it will have to take into account!

But that is what would make it a period, lasting say 100 years, and not a "factoid."

Lee, as to your recent post about wanting a new period after postmodernism: I don't know much about Hakim Bey but I don't know if he is politically responsible enough. My impression is that he and others who advocate anarchism, undermining the establishment, and all that are not really literally serious but more metaphorical or figurative so to speak. But then maybe that is not so far from what you were referring to either so I don't mean that negatively.

Then as to Manik's recent post about nuclear war. It does seem that the "nuclear clock" is inching back closer to "midnight" again, so it's sort of back to the dark times of the 80's again. That definitely takes away some of the 90's euphoria that had a big impact on Rhizome Raw for so long. So I would have to reiterate that these factors have a much greater impact now than the Rhizome membership fee, etc.

But managing around these factors is part of the challenge facing art today too. It seems to me however that a lot of this challenge has to be worked on internally, in your own mind, rather than in a public forum where the negative dangers are so terrifying and traumatic. The potential to make things worse is very frightening because it is also very real I think.

That's definitely how it is for me anyway. That's the topic of my essay too for the conference this year, going into yourself.

Not to be harsh or negative, but maybe the whole idea of the "rhizome" or decentralized aesthetic phenomenon is under a new context? Is there a recessive or dialectical susceptibility in the model that today's atmosphere is highlighting? That would go along with Dyske's point but in a different sense.

I think this would be a reasonable topic either for discussion or for personal reflection and research. Not to be harsh against Rhizome, but what if the aesthetic pattern of the "rhizome" (as expressed by Guattari was it?) is encountering let's say a historical reality that is illustrating a historical balancing or counter-pressure?

Suppose that the "rhizome" as an art-historical or aesthetic form is not as prevalent when the dangers and hostilities facing society reach a certain intensity. Perhaps there is a counter-pressure which is now in the ascendancy, such as a danger of complete structural collapse (global military chaos or nuclear disaster) which requires a shift away from rhizomatic behavior to more centralized hierarchical behavior, just to adapt to realities? This was in effect during the First Cold War, for sure.

Another theory might say that you can't have freedom without a structure powerful enough to preserve it, and whereas during the late 20th c. exploring rhizomatic freedom was the focus now the focus has gone back to global power structures finding some degree of stability to make rhizomatic freedom possible at some level and to preserve it as a possible hope for the future.

My thought would be that the rhizomatic element of culture probably has to adapt into a new and specific form to adapt to the challenges. But that is a very difficult adaptation which might take many decades. So far be it from me to imply it can be fixed within 2 weeks. I bet that Guattari and whoever else proposed the rhizomatic idea also viewed it as a form that got shaped and re-shaped over historical eras, functioning and appearing differently through time. Does anyone know if that's the case?

+ Brett Stalbaum replied: +

Part of the joy of an anarchic list is that somebody might write something funny and irreverent. I think Joseph is getting at the heart of the axiom about not fixing what is not broken. Raw is a fine list for the somewhat narrow band of media practice that it has become associated with, about which Curt's claim that "We've already argued about all there is to argue about" (including the organizational structure of rhizome itself), rings true in an emotionally exhausted sense. (Of course there is more to discuss... it is just that any system of production - including knowledge production - can reach a point of diminishing returns...) As I wrote in my earlier post, good discussions do pop up from time to time (an occasional nugget in a mostly played out vein), even if raw's main value is as a (very) useful project and opportunity announcement list. List life is good here. Now, I'm off to catch up with the largely post-pixel "Critical Spatial Practice" discussion on empyre.

+ Lauren Cornell <laurencornell AT> replied: +

First off, I'd like to counter Curt's claim that the Rhizome staff are like hip, young record executives instead of cigar-smoking old guys. How do you know we don't smoke cigars in the office? All our interns get free cigars upon arrival. And the median age in the office is 30, which many consider to be old! :)

Secondly, I'd like to differentiate Rhizome Raw from Rhizome. They are not the same thing and yet, in this thread, they have been collapsed. Rhizome is an organization with programs, distributed on and offline, a website, an archive, newsletters, etc. Rhizome as an organization, while New York-based, endeavors to make our editorial scope and programs international and diverse to reflect the sprawling and diverse new media art communities around the world. Rhizome Raw is one of our email lists. Raw has a particular significance because Rhizome (the organization) started as Raw, which was then and still is an open, uncensored email list, meant to encourage non-hierarchical, free-form exchange. It was the practical translation of the Rhizome metaphor.

This distinction is important because Rhizome (the organization) is thriving: attention to our website and participation in our programs have increased over the past few years. And, as it is our mission to promote an art form that is still marginal within the larger field of contemporary art, I see broader exposure for new media art and artists to be positive.

Discussion on Rhizome Raw, on the other hand, has waned. This is a fact, one that has been expressed on and off this list previously and one that Rhizome staff has been addressing, whilst cigar-smoking, in recent months. The reasons for this decline are numerous and its been interesting to read different explanations in this thread. I would agree largely with Patrick and Dyske: it has to do with a change in the overall structure of the web and the shifting nature of the new media community. It also has to do with the fact that Raw has become a very good list for opportunities and announcements, which have simultaneously over-run discussion.

Rhizome staff has been working on several key projects to enhance discussion, in the face of Raw's lack of growth. These entail upgrading Raw, keeping its core principles and migrating it to a new form.

1) Adding online discussion forums that are blog-like in structure and allow for multiple, smaller conversations instead of one large, central discussion. We will pre-announce this in more detail soon, but a goal here is to allow a diversity of voices to emerge around multiple topics. We would split discussion and announcements into two separate sections, and people could participate in either or both.
2) Re-designing our website, so that it is easier to use and emphasizes art of Rhizome participants and our programs. Currently, the front page over-emphasizes our reblog, and under-emphasizes everything else we do, especially the art work we work so hard to support. The new design will seek to correct this.
3) Publishing more original editorial content on our front page and allowing for comments, therefore opening up another area of discussion.

Another fact is that Rhizome has become a hybrid organization: one that is curated, edited and managed by staff and also aims to be open, experimental and community-generated. These two components are equally important to who we are, and create a productive and dynamic tension across the organization.

Lastly, I'd like to note that, while conversation on Raw has not been as active lately, Rhizome as an organization has been home to a community of artists on the edge of a new art form for eleven years. This is no small feat. Websites come and go, comments turn on and off, but building and sustaining a heated, active, thoughtful community for over a decade is an accomplishment that everyone – community and staff – has been part of and should be proud of.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 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 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 12, number 35. 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

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