It is rumored that Heather Corcoran will be Rhizome‘s new Executive Director, a reliable source tells us today. Corcoran is a freelance curator and media expert who’s currently based in London. She will start in October and replaces outgoing Executive Director Lauren Cornell.
Corcoran fits AFC’s speculations last month that Rhizome would select an international figure relatively unknown in New York, though it’s unclear how established she is elsewhere. In addition to her curatorial work with FACT, a large Merseyside-based nonprofit that supports “art and creative technology”, she’s worked at Space Media Arts in London and InterAccess Electronic Media Arts in Toronto.
Corcoran may be the first director of an American arts non-profit to have created a Linux distribution. She was a developer on the free software project pure:dyne, a thumbdrive-based GNU/Linux distribution for media art. In other words, she’s a tech head, which may be of some use as Rhizome develops its conservation program.
That said, we wonder how well Corcoran will fair in the New York fundraising world. Cornell’s shoes are particularly big to fill here, and Corcoran has less experience in this field. It will take some time to get up to speed.
We’re particularly interested about what this means for the direction of Rhizome, as Corcoran’s interests dovetail with those at Eyebeam. That wasn’t always the case with Cornell, whose curation aligned as much with traditional museum programming as with the technology world. Rhizome has not yet responded to our request for comment.
Update: A previous version of this post used the word Breaking! in the title. It has been changed to better reflect the lack of confirmation from Rhizome.
Update: Rhizome’s Twitter account denied the rumors, tweeting “not true”, only to delete the tweet minutes later. It’s archived on Top.sy.