Rhizome will present “The Art Happens Here: Net Art’s Archival Poetics” in the New Museum’s Lobby Gallery in New York City. Michael Connor, artistic director of Rhizome, and Aria Dean, assistant curator, curated the exhibit, which will be on view from January 22 to May 26, 2019.
Net Art History
The exhibit includes 16 artworks selected from “Net Art Anthology” (anthology.rhizome.org). Rhizome’s major online exhibition of 100 works from throughout net art history proposes a possible canon for net art. The exhibition culminates a 2-year research and preservation initiative, leveraging Rhizome’s unique expertise in the history of network culture and the display of born-digital art.
Dating from 1985 to the present, the works in “The Art Happens Here: Net Art’s Archival Poetics” make use of a wide range of mediums. They include websites, software, sculpture, graphics, books and merchandise—and represent a historical perspective on the breadth of net art practice. The artworks also offer distinct approaches to a central problem inherent in net art: how to come to terms with a dynamic, rapidly changing network culture while also actively participating in it.
Among the works on view will be Shu Lea Cheang’s Garlic=RichAir (2002), an interactive online trading game and performance in which garlic functions as currency in an imagined post-capitalist future; Alexei Shulgin’s 386 DX (1998–2013), the world’s first cyberpunk rock band, which performs MIDI and text-to-speech renditions of musical hits; Sister Unn’s (2012), an installation by Bunny Rogers and Filip Olszewski based on a mysterious storefront in Queens that led passersby to an equally enigmatic website, exemplifying the links between real and virtual space; and a new restoration of Mark Tribe’s Starrynight (1999), a landmark artist-made interface to Rhizome’s listserve archives that Tribe created with Alexander Galloway and Martin Wattenberg.
Digital Art and Culture
Rhizome champions born-digital art and culture through artist-centered programs that commission, present and preserve art made with and through digital networks and tools. Online since 1996, the organization is an affiliate of the iconic New Museum in New York City. For more information, visit rhizome.org.