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Re: <nettime> rhizome: burn rate [3x]
nettime's cultural investor on Wed, 22 Jan 2003 13:41:56 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> rhizome: burn rate [3x]

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   Re: <nettime> rhizome: burn rate                                                
     eduardo {AT} navasse.net                                                             

   Re: <nettime> rhizome: burn rate                                                
     "Brice Bowman" <brice {AT} bricebowman.com>                                          

   Re: <nettime> on rhizome                                                        
     natalie myers <portholeaccel {AT} yahoo.com>                                         


Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2003 03:13:05 -0600
From: eduardo {AT} navasse.net
Subject: Re: <nettime> rhizome: burn rate

John Hopkins wrote:
- ----- Original Message -----
From: "John Hopkins" <jhopkins {AT} uiah.fi>
To: <nettime-l {AT} bbs.thing.net>
Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2003 11:06 PM
Subject: Re: <nettime> rhizome: burn rate

> "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.]
> 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


My response:

What is happening to Rhizome reminds me of what happened to Los Angeles
Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) http://www.artleak.org.  During its early
days, when the non-profit institution was run by artists. It was the place
were Mike Kelley and his contemporaries developed numerous performances in
the 70s & 80s.  Inevitably many art careers sprouted from the intense
creativity which this artspace promoted.

Today, LACE is no longer what it was in its early days.  Instead, the
artspace lands somewhere between an art gallery and a museum.  It has an
official curator that is also considered a director. And produces catalogs
for its major shows, when the funding is available.  The result is a
hybrid institution, that some Los Angeles artists embrace while other
simply dismiss as interesting at best.  Some artists from "back in the
day" think that the utopic dream of the early art community went down the
river. And, sometimes, these same artists think that it is a space where
interesting things can happen.  And so, LACE in a way, has developed its
own unique nitch in the Los Angeles Art Community.

At it is obvious, no one is sure what will happen to Rhizome.  In a way,
the portal (as some net-trekies call it) is a unique institution that has
deliberately created a rather unique position in the net-art community,
that does not quite add up to what the net was "supposed to be about."
This is, perhaps, not much different than what happened to LACE throughout
its history until today.

Perhaps the disappointment expressed by the net-art community about
Rhizome's recent shift to a membership fee is influenced by the same
narrative that Jonathan Fineberg calls the basis for "self-criticism" in
modernism. In the introduction to his art history book: ART SINCE 1940,
Fineberg recognizes Courbet as one of the first artists to rebel against
the art institution.  According to Fineberg, Courbet decided to put on his
own gallery exhibition after his painting THE STONE BREAKERS
was refused by an established exhibition space in France.  This was the
first time, according to Fineberg, that an artist took charge of his
exhibition as a way to critique the very same institution which in the end
came to legitimize his paintings.  According to Fineberg, this
self-critical practice has been in place ever since. And with this in mind
he sets out to point out important artists -- as oppossed to movements --
throughout his book.

This narrative of "self-criticism" that Fineberg proposes seems to have
been reinterpreted through the net once again.  Maybe the narrative found
its way into the net via the numerous netizens who relied on their studio
art background to develop net-art. However, there are other members who
come from diverse fields that are not concerned with Courbet's narrative.  
But it is quite a norm for just about every community to have some sort of
emancipatory narrative that often leads to dissent. And in the end,
dissent itself becomes an institution. So the stakes are much more
complex. Courbet's narrative is one of many others that are currently
bombarding Rhizome's recent decision on membership fees.

I endorse Rhizome for its ambitiousness.  I am not sure what is going to
happen, but the institution (ooohhh I used that "word") is willing to take
chances.  And that is something that has not been happening in recent
times. The approval of Rhizome's strategy for survival is another matter
that can be argued according to the particular political position
individuals may hold.  This can not be argued in the space of this e-mail.

A major downside of Rhizome's decision is that the site caters to a global
community, and some people around the world will definitely be affected by
such a shift. Some will even consider the fee as an elitist gesture of
neo-colonialism. But that is, perhaps, the price to pay in order to stay

So let the net community make the best of this situation.  Dissent is
already an established and predictable strategy. So what else is left?

Peace Out,

Eduardo Navas


Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2003 01:19:12 -0800
From: "Brice Bowman" <brice {AT} bricebowman.com>
Subject: Re: <nettime> rhizome: burn rate


I agree with your comments, and I would add, bluntly, that just about any
suggestion Mark hears other than immediate money infusion from someone, he
says "Mark told me that I was the only respondent who promoted hibernation
vs requiring cash subscriptions.", or the equivalent. I for one, have been
expressing for months now, that I much prefer Rhizome as it was before, and
am opposed to it's present desires.

Brice Bowman

- ----- Original Message -----
From: "John Hopkins" <jhopkins {AT} uiah.fi>
To: <nettime-l {AT} bbs.thing.net>
Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2003 9:06 PM
Subject: Re: <nettime> rhizome: burn rate

> Hallo all --



Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2003 00:17:16 -0800 (PST)
From: natalie myers <portholeaccel {AT} yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: <nettime> on rhizome

thank you really wonderfull as well he drank coffee out of the pot anyway
correct but the new strata remains for thoughs who pay for it and i would
say they are no different then CNN when BBC has better news and video
coverage anyway (CNN you have to pay for ) i support a BBC oh yes a neo
info-mation free hub called www n_one.org i will deadicate myself to it in
the next year fuck rhizome and if they ever so whatever ............ who
cares non for profit, profit........ Bring it on..... strata new about
ya...... i am so sick of suckers who claim one thing but their actions
speak louder then words ....... fuck you you fucking fuck a Canadain said
to me .....i feel like maffia ....... bring on the glass bead game the
info war what so ever what ever and in between ...... soon your d3emise
will conquer all your truth full efforts because you are selfish and
greedy.....  Sincerly, Natalie Myers
kevin lahoda <up {AT} treerunner.com> wrote: 'A rhizome may be broken, shattered at a given spot, but it will start 
up again on one of its old lines, or on new line... the line of flight 
is part of the rhizome.'
- --d+g, 1987

By its nature a most viable business model. so fuck it --whether you 
put your 5 mangos in or not: new ones will come to sprout.

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