Rhizome's Spring 2015 Program

Rhizome | Fri Mar 20th, 11:30 a.m.

Looking ahead to next year's 20th anniversary, and renewing our consideration of what it means to be a born-digital arts organization.

Penny Goring, DELETIA – self portrait with no self, 2015. Part of 'Poetry as Practice.'

First Look: New Art Online

Online exhibitions copresented by Rhizome and the New Museum.

Poetry as Practice

View work
New poetry works are being published every Monday through April 6 as part of this online exhibition, which asserts that "there is no such thing as a blank page." Curated by Harry Burke, with works by Alex Turgeon, Penny Goring, and Tan Lin (with programming by Charles Broskoski), and forthcoming works by Ye Mimi, Melissa Broder, and not_I.

The Theresa Duncan CD-ROMs

Launching April 17

This online exhibition marks the culmination of Rhizome's crowd-funded digital preservation effort to make three pioneering feminist video games from the 1990s playable online. At a time when video game culture sorely lacked a diversity of digital experience, Chop Suey (1995), Smarty (1996), and Zero Zero (1997) were visionary CD-ROMs that, in the words of games critic Jenn Frank, dared "to represent the criminally underrepresented: that is, the wild imagination of some girl aged 7 to 12."

Kevin McCoy and Anil Dash collaborate during Seven on Seven 2014. Photo: Ed Singleton


Public programs in NYC and on the www.

Panel Discussion: The Theresa Duncan CD-ROMs

April 16 at the New Museum, New York

On the occasion of the online release of the Theresa Duncan CD-ROMs, Rhizome’s Artistic Director Michael Connor has organized an evening exploring Duncan’s work and contextualizing it within feminist gaming history and the artist’s body of work. Presenters include Dragan Espenschied, Digital Conservator at Rhizome; Lia Gangitano, Founder of Participant Inc.; Rachel Simone Weil, Founder of FEMICOM museum; and Jenn Frank, noted games critic.

Seven on Seven

May 2 at the New Museum, New York

Presented by Rhizome, the Seven on Seven conference pairs seven leading artists with seven luminary technologists, and challenges them to develop something new over the course of a single day. One of Rhizome's signature programs, the full lineup will be unveiled next week.

A Forum on the Born-Digital Art Institution

May 15 at the New Museum, New York

Much has been written about how museums, galleries, and other traditional memory institutions can extend their reach online. But what can an institution become when it develops with the network at its core? This forum will feature curators, programmers, and critics in conversation to inaugurate a significant research thread on the nature of the "born-digital institution" as Rhizome approaches its 20th anniversary in 2016, and it is co-organized by Executive Director Heather Corcoran and Assistant Director Zachary Kaplan.

Rhizome and IDEAS CITY

May 30 at the New Museum, New York

Rhizome will participate in this year's IDEAS CITY—a New Museum initiative exploring the future of cities with a special event, to be announced in April.

Ann Hirsch, Playground (2013). A Rhizome Commission. Performed at the New Museum. Photo: Oresti Tsonopoulos.


Other affiliated events, nationally and internationally.

Los Angeles

Ann Hirsch, Playground
March 28 at JOAN
Commissioned by Rhizome, Ann Hirsch’s Playground is a two-person performance loosely based on the cyber-sexual escapades of the artist’s adolescent self. Writing for Art Monthly, Morgan Quaintance described it as "a triumph for Hirsch and a landmark for internet-aware art." Angelenos can see the play at a new performing art space co-founded by Summer Guthery, Gladys-Katherina Hernando, and Rebecca Matalon.


Lance Wakeling, Fields Visits for Chelsea Manning
May 28 at Hackney PictureHouse, presented by Serpentine Cinema
Wakeling's film is a first-person travelogue based on visits to the surrounding areas of sites where Manning was detained. In the words of journalist Alexa O'Brien, the film is a reminder that "free thought is always dangerous to the status quo."


Orit Gat at Superscript: Arts Journalism and Criticism in a Digital Age
May 29 at the Walker Art Center
Rhizome Contributing Editor Orit Gat will participate in a panel titled "Credibility, Criticism and Collusion," alongside Ryan Schreiber (Founder, Pitchfork), Christopher Knight (Critic, Los Angeles Times), and Isaac Fitzgerald (Editor, Buzzfeed Books).

Ben Schumacher, Rebirth of the Bath House, 2014 Musée d'Art Contemporain, Montreal. Installation view


Support for new work by contemporary artists.

Ben Schumacher

In 2015, we will undertake a major commission from NYC-based artist Ben Schumacher, supported by a $35,000 grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. The project builds on his research on the history of undersea telecommunications infrastructures, from the 19th century to present.


Our Microcommissions program launches again in June - $500 for browser-based works, by open call with 250-word application and member vote. Last year, awards were given to Angela Washko, M. Hipley, Ben Grosser, Deanna Havas & Jack Kahn, and Lena NW & Julia Kunberger.

The Rhizome Commissions program is supported, in part, by funds from the Jerome Foundation, the Warhol Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Special project support is provided by the Canada Council for the Arts, and Michael Cohn / American Chai Trust.

Amalia Ulman, Excellences & Perfections (2014). Archived Instagram feed.


Preserving the fragile cultural practices of the digital era.

Dynamic Web Archiving

Over the past several years, Rhizome has been developing tools and methodologies for the nascent field of digital conservation. Our recent conservation efforts have focused on using our new tool Colloq—thanks to a grant from the Knight Foundation—and implementing it in singular test cases, such as Amalia Ulman's Instagram performance, the video embeds on VVORK, and, of course, Yelp.

Cloud-Based Emulation

As part of our restoration of the Theresa Duncan CD-Roms, we've established a cloud-based emulation infrastructure that allows users to access legacy computer environments in a browser via a server-side emulator. Our aim is to expand this in order to offer a much wider range of artworks in the near future.

Business Fish, © Quan Inc.


Online since 1996.


Every week, we publish new writing about net art and the aesthetic implications of technology. Recent highlights include Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal on the dick pic, Nora N. Khan on Business Fish, and Orit Gat on museums' online publishing initiatives.

A New Site

We're currently remaking rhizome.org from the ground up, in partnership with Wieden+Kennedy, and thanks to the labors of our excellent Senior Developer Matthew Conlen. More details will come soon, but at the core of the new site is an emphasis on the experience of art online, in all its diversity.

Top image: From Theresa Duncan and Monica Gesue/Magnet Interactive, Chop Suey (1995).

In addition to the support from generous individuals through our membership funds, 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; and the Warhol Foundation.

Like what you see? Become a member in March and receive this special tote bag designed by Beautiful Company!