Tomorrow, March 19, 2014, at noon EST I'll be doing a reading for Rhizome.org's annual community campaign. The fundraiser takes the form of a 24 hour telethon of streaming video that runs from 11 am on the 19th to the same time on the 20th. Guest fundraisers have one-hour slots. Go to the Rhizome front page for the stream. [Schedule]
Have been an indefatigable commenter on the site for years, and veteran of new media slugfests where I go down swinging amidst a pile of bodies. Will be reading these comments aloud for an hour: on twitter I described it as "part poetry, part filibuster." To give you a flavor of the ordeal, please see the photo above, that's five-plus years of my Rhizome comments printed out, single-sided -- the tree-killer version. The flags are for ones that might work as "stand-alone" writing, as opposed to long strings of back-and-forth dialogue.
Will probably take breaks to sip water and hector viewers to donate. The goal is $20,000 and the total's currently at $13K.
Why contribute? Here's what I wrote last year:
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 New Museum 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.
The loyal opposition can't be seen writing puff-piece paeans to the organization's improved programming; hence this reblog of last year's passive aggression.