Rhizome.org has a few days left in its fundraiser. I just donated and recommend that you do the same!
Notions of "net art" and "new media" change over time and we have nothing like a consensus on whether these even exist. Still, the idea of a digital commons where this can be hashed out has merit.
Rhizome's relationship with a museum (the NewMu in NYC) adds a provocative element to the mix: the possibility of institutional legitimacy or illegitimacy makes people genuinely angry, whereas in most digital situations the appearance of democratized crowdsourcing gives every decision a layer of cottage cheese affability.
My own writing about Rhizome was described last year by an AFC attack ninja as venomous when at the most it was mildly critical (it's all available for perusing if you want to have a venom hunt). The same ninja
said my writing about Rhizome impeded Rafael Rozendaal's career!
The escalation of mild to venomous and the potential for artist career destruction would not even be considered if the attack ninja hadn't perceived something to be at stake in writing about Rhizome. This may be a strange and roundabout logic in support of donating but it's worth dollars and cents to me.
[It should also be noted that the administrator into whom I injected the contents of my venom sacs has since left the organization, no doubt limping from the effects of the deadly poison.]
Journalist Andrew Sullivan plans to go solo and offer his writing by subscription on the Web; he claims to have already raised $400,000 from readers. A key component to the success of his business model will be public amnesia, says Mark Ames, in a lengthy compendium of Sullivan's egregious writing and editorial missteps over the years.* The worst of these were attacks on antiwar voices in the aftermath of 9/11. People who turned out to be right were branded "fifth columnists" by Sullivan. As Ames dramatically phrases it:
Like a lot of imbeciles, Andrew Sullivan reacted to September 11 as if it was a test of Andrew Sullivan's mettle, starring Andrew Sullivan as the protagonist in an epic battle between good and evil, with the fate of mankind hanging in the balance: Red Dawn meets Revelations by way of [NAME OF TOM CLANCY BOOK POPULAR AMONG BELTWAY WAFFENDWEEBS]... Lots of pompous cliches, and flapping flags in the wind...
No account of Andrew Sullivan’s journalism record can be complete without recalling his role as one of the most vicious and cowardly henchmen policing critics of Bush’s wars after September 11, at the peak of the terror hysteria, beginning in late 2001, through the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath. When it counted most, and when baiting critics had a frightening, deadly power to it, Andrew Sullivan took advantage of that weapon like no one in the blogosphere. It was only later, after the Iraq invasion and after the damage had worked its way through the domestic cultural veins, and after tens of thousands of lives were gone — and more importantly for Sully’s calculations, after the Bush wars started going bad, and his ability to plausibly persecute "decadent left" critics vanished, replaced by a desperate need to defend the war cause rather than offend its critics — that the new, libertarian Andrew Sullivan war critic emerged.
I remember - I hate the guy. And within a year his subscription model will tank and he'll be seeking another media perch for his horrible opinions. The true sadist thrives on institutional support.
*Update: I de-linked Ames' essay after his publisher, NSFW Corporation, put all their content behind a paywall. The old bait and switcheroo.
Update, Jan. 2015: NSFW tanked and Ames posted the essay again on his current platform, Pando Daily. The occasion is Sullivan's "retirement" from blogging. Yay!