Rhizome (organization)

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Rhizome is a not-for-profit arts organization, that supports and provides a platform for new media art.

Rhizome at the New Museum
Founded 1996
Founder Mark Tribe
Type Art Non profit
Headquarters 235 Bowery, New York, NY 10002
Executive Director
Zachary Kaplan
Key people
Matthew Conlen, Michael Connor, Dragan Espenschied, Zachary Kaplan
Website rhizome.org


Artist and curator Mark Tribe founded Rhizome as a small email list in 1996 while living in Berlin.[1] The list included a number of people Tribe had met at Ars Electronica [2] By August, Rhizome had launched its website, which by 1998 had developed a significant readership within the Internet art community.[3] Originally designated a business, Rhizome became a nonprofit organization in 1998, switching to the domain-name suffix ".org.".[3] In an interview with Laurel Ptak for the Bard Center for Curatorial Studies and Art in Contemporary Culture Archive, Tribe explains "I thought of it as Artforum meets AltaVista (AltaVista was one of the first web search engines), as a kind of bottom-up alternative to the top-down hierarchies of the art world."[2]

Rhizome established an online archive called the ArtBase in 1999.[4] The ArtBase was initially conceived exclusively as a database of net art works. Today, the scope of the ArtBase has expanded to include other forms of art engaged with technology, including games, software, and interdisciplinary projects with online elements. The works are submitted by the artists themselves.[5] In addition to hosting archived work, Rhizome's digital preservation work includes conservation of digital art and updating obsolete code.[6]

In 2003, Rhizome became affiliated with the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York.[7] Today, Rhizome's programs include events, exhibitions at the New Museum and elsewhere, an active website, and an archive of more than 2,000 new media artworks.

The organization has published one book with Link Editions, "The Best of Rhizome 2012" edited by former editor Joanne McNeil.

Rhizome Commissions Program[edit]

Founded in 2001 to support artists working with technology, the Rhizome Commissions Program has awarded 72 commissions as of 2012.[8] Projects realized through the Program represent some of the forward-thinking and innovative works of media and internet-based art.

In 2008, Rhizome expanded the scope of the commissions from strictly Internet-based art to the broad range of forms and practices that fall under the category of new media art. This includes projects that creatively engage new and networked technologies or reflect on the impact of these tools and media. With this expanded format, commissioned works can take the final form of online works, performance, video, installation or sound art. Projects can be made for the context of the gallery, the public, the web or networked devices.

Among the artists awarded a Rhizome commission: Heba Amin, Aleksandra Domanović, Aram Bartholl, Knifeandfork, Mendi & Keith Obadike, Trevor Paglen, Jon Rafman, Tao Lin, Tristan Perich, Angelo Plessas. Brody Condon, Jona Bechtolt, Kristin Lucas, Evan Roth, Rafaël Rozendaal, eteam, Steve Lambert, Zach Lieberman


The Rhizome ArtBase is an online archive of new media art containing some 2110 art works. The ArtBase encompasses a vast range of projects by artists all over the world that employ materials including software, code, websites, moving image, games and browsers to aesthetic and critical ends.

Notable exhibitions[edit]

Montage: Unmonumental Online[edit]

Time Shares[edit]

  • Time Shares is a series of online exhibitions dedicated to exploring the diversity of contemporary art based on the internet.
  • Time Shares

The Gif Show[edit]

ArtBase 101[edit]

  • Exhibition presents 40 selections from Rhizome's online archive of new media art, ArtBase.
  • Works are grouped by 10 themes: dirt style, net cinema, games, e-commerce, data visualization and databases, online celebrity, public space, software, cyberfeminism, and early net.art.

Seven on Seven[edit]

Since 2010, Rhizome has held an annual conference pairing technologists with artists to create something new in 24 hours. .[9] A piece created by Ryan Trecartin and Tumblr founder David Karp called "River the Net"[10] was later curated in a New Museum exhibition on art informed by internet free culture.[11]

Artists that have participated in Seven on Seven: Evan Roth, Aaron Koblin, Monica Narula, Ryan Trecartin, Tauba Auerbach, Marc Andre Robinson, Kristin Lucas, Michael Bell-Smith, Ricardo Cabello (mr.doob), Liz Magic Laser, Zach Lieberman, Rashaad Newsome, Camille Utterback, Emily Royston, Aram Bartholl, Xavier Cha, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Naeem Mohaiemen, Jon Rafman, Taryn Simon and Stephanie Syjuco.

Technologists who have participated in Seven on Seven: Jeff Hammerbacher, Joshua Schachter, Matt Mullenweg, Andrew Kortina, Hilary Mason, Ayah Bdeir, David Karp, Andy Baio, Ben Cerveny, Jeri Ellsworth, Kellan Elliott-McCrea, Bre Pettis, Chris Poole (moot), Erica Sadun, Jeremy Ashkenas, Blaine Cook, Michael Herf, Charles Forman, Aaron Swartz, Khoi Vinh and Anthony Volodkin.

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]