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Re: <nettime> Rhizome [3x]
nettime's_digestion on Sun, 26 Jan 2003 14:17:31 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Rhizome [3x]

Table of Contents:

   Rhizome: Institution Lite Version                                               
     Cary Peppermint <mint77 {AT} restlessculture.net>                                    

   Rhizome&clubs; &hearts; Nettime&spades; &hearts; 7-11&diams;                    
     eyescratch <eyescratch {AT} terminal.cz>                                             

   Re: <nettime> Rhizome                                                           
     "Don Cameron" <donhome {AT} mudgeeab.com.au>                                         


Date: Sat, 25 Jan 2003 22:14:29 -0500
From: Cary Peppermint <mint77 {AT} restlessculture.net>
Subject: Rhizome: Institution Lite Version

I think the attacks and unnecessarily harsh criticism of Mark Tribe and
Rhizome is way lame and off the target of what could potentially be a real
discussion concerning the sorry "conditions of possibility" & support
available for art here in the US.

In this country and especially in NYC it would be impossible to run a
non-profit purely off the kindness families on Madison Avenue and government
support in the way that some organizations I have witnessed in Europe seem
to be operating.  This is the land where capitalism (even further
accelerated along by George Bush's version of America) is "killing" art
first and foremost.  NYC is most certainly on the front lines.  Sometimes
here it all that we can do just to hang on and/or exist at all in any
creative-cultural incarnation.

Rhizome seeks to be and is becoming an "Institution Lite Version." Here in
NYC/America artists need entities to help interface the public and generate
and distribute their ideas.  Notice I say "Lite."  I have had my criticisms
of Rhizome just as I have had of all Lite Institutions with which I have
interfaced... criticism is a way of working toward keeping an institution
"lite" and in a sense always in a state of becoming, never fully in charge,
never having fully arrived, in complete control or enjoying hegemony over
and beyond the artist or the public (ideally).  "Institution lites" I have
successfully interfaced in the past, include but not limited to Rhizome,
Franklin Furnace and The Kitchen. They have all allowed me to maintain a
creative positioning and simultaneously have exposed my work to a larger
audience of people that otherwise would not have been possible.  This makes
sense to me because my art (and I believe most art in this western system)
is in many ways about distribution.

"Institution-lites" are not the only networks through which I disseminate
information nor are they always the most "cutting-edge", energetic, raw,
restless or ideal spaces for executing my work however they are a necessary
and important part of the cultural landscape of this system.  Here in NYC
Rhizome must now charge their subscribers in order to exist and this is a
stark reality of the system within which we are immersed.

When I want to opt out of this system I have the (serious) privilege of
leaving NYC and going to my other home in the remote woods in the state of
Maine.  Art is free there, isolated, beautiful, quite, alone and it does
happen but no one sees it except for me.

I always end up going back to New York.

VIVA LA RHIZOME through all its difficult & varied incarnations.

- -Cary Peppermint


Date: Sat, 25 Jan 2003 22:33:38 -0500
From: eyescratch <eyescratch {AT} terminal.cz>
Subject: Rhizome&clubs; &hearts; Nettime&spades; &hearts; 7-11&diams;

I guess it's time to chip in on this debate. Rhizome, as the title 
taken, has long existed as the culture of the copy and the review. Even 
the $5 cover echos the Fugazi record sale at Tower. Rhizome, looking 
for street credibility in pricing, still disregards the larger 
contingency of those not living with the credit card that makes paying 
rhizome so easy.

"Fill in the digits and culture jam with the rest of us!"

Many of us live with the duality of nettime and rhizome, contributing 
that to this and this to that. Listening to the stream of consciousness 
of artists and the carefully worded criticism of writers gives a 
certain depth to this nebulous place. The incessant modeling of places 
in the datasphere on the service industry means we are traveling the 
boulevard and not the alleyways, with no chance to put up a barricade 
on any particular issue. I remember a model for exchange formulated to 
be a stock-market of ideas. We see this with the publishing sites that 
rate writers by proxy. This model is to a certain extent practiced by 
nettime through it's moderation. Geert Lovink disinterest in that 
elusive quality that is net.art contributed to the success of rhizome 
to a certain extent. Early on many net.artists migrated to rhizome to 
express their voice because they felt they had no recognition of their 
voice on nettime. Of course it also saw the birth of 7-11. So, if we 
boil it down to functionality, the innocent vocation of nettime is a 
kind of publishing forum of academic texts and rhizome is a hype 
generator of html art. Of course sublime things show through the cracks 
of both and that's why we tune in.

Now, in terms of majordomo this or that, we have to look at the 
functionality of both. Only members are allowed to post on rhizome 
while nettime takes all and tries to construct through moderation and 
filters a discourse which can be openly referenced. One is kind of 
scene, while the other is a reflection in a strict sense. Both are 
current in their output but the picture painted is obviously very 
different. Are we really witnessing the death of both? Can someone come 
up with the perfect package that would give credibility to the exchange 
of monetary value to some well funded institution? At the base of the 
names nettime and rhizome lies a Deleuzian quality, which in his final 
moments, recognizing the cancer, topples from the third story window. 
Which wings to grow in this philosophical conundrum? Can cancer in the 
virtual be so forgiving? Even as a thousand plateaux rush up at us? 
Possibly reach out to the next tree structure is the first thought.

If we begin to think of those that might come after, those just 
stumbling upon these discourses, wouldn't it be nice to leave something 
behind, unfinished for sure, that might inspire further creative 
efforts? Something with use. Just listening to James Brown and coming 
to realize in a small way that nettime and rhizome are not very 
accessible. Building this access definitively is worth a grant from 
some avid reader. This, to a certain extent should be a demand of the 
newly anointed customer, the omnivore, gobbling both free and paid 
content. The adage of "Isn't paying for the machines and maintaining 
their upkeep to view the content enough?" reaches the next level, which 
is not subscription, but more like "We create with it!" Can we agree 
that we are not just looking for a series of plugs to content?



Date: Sun, 26 Jan 2003 16:11:18 +1100
From: "Don Cameron" <donhome {AT} mudgeeab.com.au>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Rhizome


(you wrote) "I am terribly sorry to read people don't understand that to
make Rhizome going, costs working hours which it means money".

As someone who questioned the methodology of charging all users access to
Rhizome (contributors, members as well as new and existing guests to the
site); I doubt the answer is as simple as citing a lack of understanding of
business realities amongst the larger Internet masses.

For my part; I understand only too well the economics of running an NFP,
just as I understand some of the numerous methods available for achieving
financial sustainability - not all of which relate to increasing income
through applying charges or through the receipt of Government or corporate
contributions; just as many relate to reducing significant overheads
(through utilising the contributions of volunteers or moving e-groups to
free hosting servers etc.).

In my reading of various responses the issue seems to be not so

1/ $5.00 is undoubtedly nothing to a New Yorker; although how does this
amount of US currency equate to a South American or African citizen? -
Perhaps Rhizome is designed to be "US-Centric" in which case this hardly
matters... however if not; if Rhizome is designed to be global in reach and
delivery; the matters of currency conversion and the available spending
power of participants are highly pertinent to any charges applied by the NFP

2/ Rhizome seemingly has developed a fairly solid community-base; and
assuming that amongst this community $5.00 doesn't matter, the community is
likely to remain fairly constant - however is Rhizome seeking to grow and
develop? - Charging for access to a web site is hardly likely to foster new
visitations, for who would pay to visit something completely unknown amongst
the myriad of competing (and free) alternatives?

3/ Artists whose works appear on Rhizome are presumably seeking wide
exposure (otherwise they would not place art on the 'net) - yet by charging
a viewing fee I suggest that a great many casual visitors will now abandon
Rhizome... artists will no longer have access to the main-stream viewing
public... Placing  a charge on public access severely restricts the size of
the available audience. Once again this may be something that is desired (to
reduce bandwidth overheads etc.) however without a clear explanation of the
reasons behind these new costs, who is to know?

I'm sure there are a great many additional concerns to these... yet lacking
a clear explanation of the underlying policies and the alternatives sought
to achieve financial sustainability, how is anyone to know if the charge has
any basis other than to increase the wages of the NFP administrators? (and
of course we are all entitled to ask because this is a registered charity we
are talking about) - IMHO we will all have to make up our own minds and
choose to use the service (or not) depending on our own determinations.

... or have I totally missed the plot and is Rhizome not a registered

Best rgds, Don


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