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Rhizome ArtBase 101 surveys salient themes in Internet art, a practice that has flourished in the last ten years. The exhibition presents forty selections from Rhizome.org’s online archive of new media art, the ArtBase, which was launched in 1999 and currently holds some 1,500 works by artists from around the world. Featured works are grouped by ten unifying themes and include seminal pieces by early practitioners as well as projects by some of the most pioneering emerging talents working in the field today. Encompassing software, games, moving image and websites, Rhizome ArtBase 101 presents the Internet as a strapping medium that rivals other art forms in its ability to buttress varied critical and formal explorations.

Rhizome ArtBase 101 is currently on exhibition at the New Museum of Contemporary Art. At the Museum, all 40 works are installed on computers and some have additionally been elaborated into installations. Rhizome Members receive half price admission to the New Museum during the run of the show, June 23rd – September 10th. **Please note that as our membership is constantly fluctuating, we will submit an updated list of our Members to the New Museum admission staff each Friday over the Summer. Practically, this means if you become a Member on Tuesday of a given week, your membership will not be noted at the front desk until the following Monday.

For the duration of the exhibition, all 40 works will be available here to the general online public. Many of these works would usually be accessible only to Rhizome Members as they are located within our archives.

Projects described as DIRT STYLE counter the impulse to upgrade. Some works appropriate graphic detritus from the web in gestures that both celebrate and satirize digital pop culture. In extreme animalz: the movie: part I (2005), U.S.-based collective Paper Rad and Pittsburgh artist Matt Barton translated the outdated aesthetic of animated gifs into a sculptural installation exploring the spectacle and emotion we bring to these digital forms and their obsolescence. Here, collages of animated gifs of animals–sourced through Google’s Image search–are surrounded by similarly discarded stuffed animals found in thrift stores. For Rhizome ArtBase 101, their animations are available online, while the whole piece is available only at the New Museum. www.-reverse.-flash-.-back- (2003) is an example of French artist jimpunk’s deconstructed web-based work that makes use of HTML special effects, JavaScript and visual debris from the Internet. In www.-reverse.-flash-.-back-, browser windows–each a different colorful collage–pop up, stutter and careen across the screen, depriving the viewer of control including the ability to exit. In GOODWORLD (2002), New York artist Lew Baldwin uses a unique program to translate any submitted website into an abstracted field of RGB color blocks and decorative syntax. The program takes the most prominent image on a web page and turns it into a magenta abstraction, and transforms the rest of the site into chunks of other websafe colors. GOODWORLD neutralizes the web by draining content and generalizing all websites into aesthetically similar visual fields. Dirt Style works can also express nostalgia by repurposing analog technologies. In Dot Matrix Synth (2003), American artist Paul Slocum reprogrammed a dot matrix printer so that it plays electronic notes in accordance with different printing frequencies. For Rhizome ArtBase 101, Slocum accompanied the printer with an introductory sign that invites visitors to “PUSH BUTTONS TO ROCK OUT.”


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