?: What about the financial situation at Rhizome ?
MT: Rhizome comes out of the idea of the gift economy. We only
lot of the support is coming from individuals who participate in the
project. or example there are radio
stations in the States which are almost 50 percent paid by the listeners.
What we do is to ask our subscribers to make contributions. We funding Absolut .
recently got some grants from foundations
one from Rockefeller Foundation, from the National
Endowment for the Arts
?: So the Rhizome network is getting more and more
MT: It's a real shift. When we first started Rhizome, we couldn't get
any funding, we had no track record, we were not recognized in the field
by funders. That
really changed, even in the last six months
don't think it changes the character of what we do. Everything is still
?: What are the specific offers of the Rhizome
MT: Rhizome produces two free email services which distribute information
provided by and for the Internet community: Rhizome Raw (unfiltered) and
Rhizome Digest (edited) both containing announcements of new media art
projects, events, festivals, conferences and exhibitions, press releases,
calls for work, reviews of new media art projects, interviews with new media
artists and commentary on related issues. Raw is rather important because
it's this kind of unfiltered, unmoderated new media discussion thing, and
there are around 350, kind of hard core subscribers. The Digest is for everybody else who is
too busy to read 40-50 emails a day from the Raw, it is filtered in the
Rhizome TextBase, a searchable library of over 1500 articles. You can do a
search on gender or interactivity, person reality or flash and you will come
up with articles and also artworks. We indexed every article with keywords,
the name of the person who wrote the article and topics, the type of the
text, review, interview or commentary.
?: Do the people know that they are listed in this
MT: This depends
If someone objects to it, we will take it off.
?: What is the difference between Rhizome Raw and
Nettime for example?
is that Nettime is focused on theory and politics and the culture mode
of the net. Our focus is on new media art, the emerging social and cultural
issues and critical concerns that intersect with contemporary art and
emerging technologies. We don't moderate the Rhizome Raw List and sometimes
it happens also that people use the list for their concerns. For example,
during the war in Kosovo, there were a lot of postings about the war
and it had nothing to do with art or new media. There have been activists
that have used Rhizome as a vehicle. We just sen messages
in the background
Rhizome is a platform for new media art; today net art in
years genetic art... Another thing
Nettime does that too, but what is important for us is the human keywording
and the human indexing, at a certain level the search engine works much
better if you have intelligent indexing.
?: What is the relation between Rhizome as a new
media art platform and the institutionalized art world here in New York?
MT: The art world is
more than ever before. But it's a similar pattern to the video
art in the early 70’s. There are always a few leaders, a few visionary
people who pick up the interesting artist or
net art it was the Walker Art Center, and also the Postmasters Gallery,
the first gallery deal
with net art. Also Sandra Ge ring,
who has been showing new media art for a few
years. Or the Whitney Museum who is including net art in their Biennial
Show. But it even
started in 1997 with Documenta X in Kassel. The museums.
It will take a long time. It's just like video art: it
took 30 years. I think it has
also a good side. We have the time and the freedom to deal with the
?: Is the democratic idea of net art lost?
video art there been some
wonderful projects like Deep Dish TV Paper
Tiger and other experiments I went to a panel a week ago at Sothe by's
and there was a discussion about what was the most important thing in
art last year one of them
mentioned 'net art' and it was a little bit like the band was
playing on the deck of the sinking Titanic. Because
what net art has done to develop a parallel art world, a completely
independent network and we don't need them. I think it's also
good that net art is starting to deal with institutions, to get work
realized. The museums have a
lot of resources that can be used for new media art and it provides
an interesting form to make interventions. But I think it's a kind of
wasting time, to say that they did not do their job. What do you expect.
... A month ago, this 16- year old guy who offered his body to sale
on ebay.com, I think in a certain way, this was the most radical form
of net art today. Maybe it's just an echo of the conceptual art from
the 80’s, but what was interesting for me was, that this 16- year old
boy got international attention in about 5 minutes.
There is a parallel communication network. It's like one38.org, who collaborated
with hell.com, with jodi.org and he got international attention and
he lives in New Hampshire and he is 20-years old and that's totally
outside the art world and that's interesting.
?: Is the net art community getting more and more American?
MT: Oh..., the internet started up in America. Yes I do think in terms of
art, there is much more going on than a couple of years ago. But I don't
think that there is any less European, it's just that in America i
getting more and more exiting these days. Right now, in New York, there are
around 30 or 40 interesting net artists working, I think it' s the most
interesting place in the world in terms of net art. Actually I disagree that
the internet is getting more Amercian, actually the fastest growing world
on the internet is Asia.
?: So, what is the future of Rhizome?
now community is growing very quickly, net art in
general the growth,
chang stay independent.
Rhizome Communications Inc.
115 Mercer Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10012
Mark Tribe, Founder and Executive Director
Alex Galloway, Technical Director
Mary Beth Smalley, Director of Development & Communications
Xochitl Dorsey, Administrator
Board of Directors:
David Ross, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Jeffrey Cunard, Debevoise & Plimpton
Rachel Greene, America Online
Craig Kanarick, Razorfish
Scott Levy, Grant-Thorton
Prema Murthy, new media artist
Gloria Sutton, UCLA PhD Program
Mark Tribe, Rhizome
Thea Westreich, Art Advisory Services