Announcing Rhizome's Fall 2015 Program

Fri Oct 15th, 10:00 a.m.

Established in 1996 to champion the field of net art, Rhizome continues to fund and present new artwork, foster critical discussion, and ensure ongoing access to digital culture.
Jacolby Satterwhite, Music for Objective Romance (2015).


Giving away money on the internet.

Prix Net Art

The second Prix Net Art, a collaboration between Chronus Art Center, Rhizome, and TASML, will be awarded this fall. The $10,000 prize recognizes the future promise of an artist making outstanding work on the internet, as demonstrated by past achievement. A second distinction prize of $5,000 will also be awarded. This year’s jury consisted of three international judges: Josephine Bosma, Chrissie Iles, and Domenico Quaranta. Learn more about the prize, the call for nominations, the jury, and past winners JODI and Kari Altmann at

Curated Commissions

This year's commissions include three interactive narrative works and four projects that explore questions of online distribution and circulation, focusing in particular on artists from New York.

Brenda Neotomie and Porpentine Charity Heartscape, This World is Not My Home (2015).

Porpentine and Brenda Neotomie will create a virtual environment that combines 3D graphics with hand-drawn imagery, building on past collaborations such as their gospel corporate guided relaxation program This World is Not My Home (2015).

Jacolby Satterwhite, Music for Objective Romance (2015).

Jacolby Satterwhite will rework his latest film EPA: Music of Objective Romance, which integrates live action footage and 3D animation, as an interactive online experience and Oculus Rift game.

Jasper Spicero, Melting Person IV, 2015. Courtesy the artist.

Jasper Spicero will create Melting Person 4, a website that uses the form of a missing persons database to create a fragmented narrative featuring a soundtrack by Kota Hoshino, who is known for composing music for videogames such as Armored Core, Evergrace, Echo Night and Lost Kingdoms.

Conceived by Lars Holdhus, Futures Along the Blockchain will collect musicians, technologists, and artists in an ongoing conversation around a case study of the blockchain and its potential uses for music distribution. The site is managed by Nora N. Khan, Lars Holdhus, and DeForrest Brown, Jr., built by The Actual School—Nick James Scavo, Xander Seren, and Aaron Dowdy—and continually updated by a selected group of annotators.

The Download is a series of six artist commissions to be curated by Paul Soulellis in 2015-2016, revisiting a program previously curated for Rhizome by Zoe Salditch. Beginning with the launch of the new, six artists who view the file format itself as substrate will share their work for users to unzip and experience in the private space of the desktop.

Zach Blas, gif from Contra-Internet Totality Study #2: Internet, a .gif triptych (2015).

Zach Blas' ongoing Contra-Internet project is both a critique of the neoliberal logic of "the internet" and an effort to propose alternatives to it. For his Rhizome commission, Blas will develop a performative lecture and online work within this framework.

Finally, artist Steph Davidson will create a special commission for the front page of the new which takes advantage of the unique creative possibilities afforded by network technologies.

Net Art Microgrants

Awarded each summer, the Net Art Microgrants are $500 awards intended to spark the production of new works.


This year's grantees are Loz Cliffe, for An Open Call for Spam Bots, Emilie Gervais an ASCII art-illustrated essay titled "Fuck Privacy," Adriana Minoliti's -PLAY SIGNIFICANT OTHERNESS-, a live manifestation of pictorial work, RAFiA's WORLD, an interactive archival experience of artist Rafia Santana's development, compiled from her childhood archive, and Alex Taylor's online TV channel for .3gp, a largely extinct file container that was most popular during the first wave of video-playing mobile phones.


Public programs in NYC and on the www.

#1 (trustless), 0x9ab9f7a4b85412bfbe2f4f63b1c98808851c4f32, Tongersestraat 42a, Maastricht, NL, 9/10 2015. Courtesy PWR.

Blockchain Horizons

Oct 22, 7pm, New Museum

"Blockchain Horizons" convenes artists, critics, and entrepreneurs to discuss the cultural implications of this technology for publishing, licensing, and distribution. In doing so, it treats the blockchain as social fact rather than science fiction. With Kevin McCoy, DeForrest Brown, Jr., the Actual School, Rachel O’Dwyer, and PWR. More information.

Body by Body, BSDMozart, 2015; courtesy of the artists.

Body by Body Presents BDSMozart, an Opera in 27 or 32 Acts

Nov 19 & 21, Offsite venue. Part of Performa '15.

New York-based Cameron Soren and Melissa Sachs will transform a historic SoHo loft into a stage for an opera. From his well-appointed apartment (bought at the just the right time), Mozart dreams of getting his troublesome but ultimately lovable children into a good college like Bard, where they can learn how to behave, how to dress, how to make poetry and literature and stuff. Cycling through Western middle-class cultural references, yuppie character types and scenarios, and melodramatic song and dance, BDSMozart reenacts history's curdled ideologies as passed through a gluttonous popular culture.

First Look

New online artwork copresented by the New Museum and Rhizome.


September 3 - Oct 22

"Brushes" explored digital painting for screen-based display and online circulation. Participating artists included Laura Brothers, Jacob Ciocci, Petra Cortright, Joe Hamilton, Sara Ludy, Michael Manning, Giovanna Olmos, and Andrej Ujhazy. The final project in the series, by Michael Manning, will be posted on Monday, October 19.

Liam Gillick and Nate Silver presenting an early version of EITHER WE INSPIRE OR WE EXPIRE at Rhizome’s Seven on Seven Conference at the New Museum, May 2015. Courtesy Madison McGaw / BFA.


Launching Oct 22

Created through Rhizome's Seven on Seven Conference, EITHER WE INSPIRE OR WE EXPIRE (2015) by artist Liam Gillick and data journalist Nate Silver considers technological failure and its lack of visibility in a society obsessed with success. The web-based project draws on a selection of words handpicked by Gillick and Silver, such as THE .COM FOR MOMS, ASSASSIN VAPORS, DRONE CON, and WRAPIPEDIA—from a database of inactive trademark applications. The words appear in white on a black background, each entry representing a set of aspirations: sometimes grandiose, sometimes humble, sometimes sad or funny, but always unrealized.


Preserving the fragile cultural practices of the digital era.

NDSR Fellow

Rhizome is glad to have been selected as a hosting institution for the NDSR fellowship program: for nine months, Morgan KcKeehan, who received her Master of Science in Library Science and Art History at Chapel Hill, will work on all things related to our archive and the Artbase.


The dynamic, high-fidelity web archiving platform Webrecorder, developed by Ilya Kreymer, is now officially under the stewardship of Rhizome. The project has been open sourced as of today, and users can request an invitation for the Beta site here.

Under construction since 1996.


New Contributing Editors at Rhizome include Nora N. Khan, whose work explores emerging issues in technology, literature, games, and electronic music through essays and fiction; Elvia Wilk, a Berlin-based writer and editor who is also a contributing editor at uncube magazine; New York-based artist, designer and publisher Paul Soulellis, founder of Library of the Printed Web and the publisher of Printed Web.This season also sees Iona Whittaker join Rhizome officially as Managing Editor.

A New Site

Senior developer Matt Conlen and UX developer Max Nanis have been hard at work rebuilding Rhizome’s website from the ground up, based on new designs and branding created by Weiden + Kennedy. The new site will launch in early November, with an increased emphasis on the experience and discovery of artwork, and a more curated front page.

New Inc

The first museum-led incubator.

Last year, Rhizome moved its offices to New Inc., the first museum-led incubator and an initiative of our affiliate, the New Museum. In the coming year we look forward to contributing to its critical conversations about art, tech, design and entrepreneurship, engaging directly with its members—last year, we gained a contributing editor from its ranks—and developing our own projects, such as new tools for digital preservation, in the context.


In addition to the support from generous individuals and our members, Rhizome programs are made possible through public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts; and the Carolyn K. Tribe Foundation.

Rhizome's 2015-2016 commissions are made possible by Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts.

Additional support for Rhizome and the Prix Net Art is provided by the Robert D. Bielecki Foundation.

First Look is co-organized by Lauren Cornell, Curator and Associate Director, Technology Initiatives, the New Museum, and Michael Connor, Artistic Director, Rhizome.

Major support for First Look is provided by the Neeson / Edlis Artist Commissions Fund. Additional support is provided by the New York State Council on the Arts and the Toby Devan Lewis Emerging Artists Exhibitions Fund.

BDSMozart is commissioned by Rhizome as part of Performa '15. Special thank you to Michael Kapsalis for his hospitality in providing his own home for this performance.