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Re: <nettime> rhizome: burn rate
John Hopkins on Wed, 22 Jan 2003 08:25:20 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> rhizome: burn rate

Hallo all --

also being disturbed by the further reification and centralization of 
the "history" of networks and creative actions of the past decade, I 
would make the observation that I did send the following post to Mark 
Tribe when he/rhizome solicited reactions to the question of 
hibernation or asking for cash infusions for survival.  I said:

"go into hibernation.  rhizome has become an institution, a 
centralized broadcast system, a mechanism for attracting money and 
redistributing it.  this has nothing to do with networking and 
everything to do with traditional run-of-the-mill art-world 
institutions.  [the PR language of your announcements places rhizome 
there literally, explicitly.]  what has happened to rhizome is what 
happened to the independent tv collectives of the late 60's early 
70's.  the collective centralized and started the endless hunt for 
cash to legitimize and fortify its "organization" in order to 
"compete" among cultural institutions.  [they forgot about 
distributed community-based action. they forgot about community.]

I'd say hibernate, ESPECIALLY if hibernate means getting back to 
distributed systems and decentralizing the flow and not aiming to be 
something other than another node in a living system.  the 
accumulated praxis of daily living is what maps the real impact of 
"artistic" endeavor, not how central one becomes to ANY flow.  think 
of everything that is rhizome, then think of everything that is not 
rhizome, add the two, then dive in to the unified field...

I, for one, need no centralized distribution system to "participate" 
in my network.  I don't rely on nettime, rhizome, 7-11, neoscenes, or 
any other system.  I rely on point-to-point dialogue, sustained and 
attentive.  I liked rhizome better when it represented less than a 
handful of en-faced people.  now it is an institution.  I don't need 
any more institutional influences in my life.  I need more 
point-to-point to displace what institutional penetration there still 

Mark told me that I was the only respondent who promoted hibernation 
vs requiring cash subscriptions.  Didn't anyone else tackle the 
issue?  As a distribution system rhizome had a good track record to a 
point.  it is only when that system began to work as an accumulation 
system paired with very selective re-distribution that it evolves 
into a more traditional structure of cultural patrimony.  there is a 
difference, and there is a clear choice to shift fundamentals or ... 

hmmm.  and of course, not to mention Raul's comments.  it is 
DEFINITELY on the slippery slope of cultural elitism, but on the 
other hand, one does not need to look in the direction of rhizome for 
tips, there are many other healthy networks out there.  it is only 
annoying that people who DON'T have (or don't trust) their own 
sensibilities, when they view an organization like rhizome as the 
arbiter of net.art taste...  It's tragically limiting and misses the 
power of networker and networking.  reducing the whole thing to an 
archive and daily press releases of pre-digested pablum...

can't anybody offer rhizome a free majordomo account?


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