Art F City Is Liveblogging the Rhizome Telethon

by Paddy Johnson Whitney Kimball and Corinna Kirsch on March 19, 2014 · 1 comment From the Desk of AFC

From Rhizome's 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM telethon session. Rhizome Editor Michael Connor shares his screen with the telethon audience.

From Rhizome’s 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM telethon session. Rhizome Editor Michael Connor shares his screen with the telethon audience.

Starting at 11:00 AM EST, Rhizome will be hosting a 24-hour telethon with hourly performances, all livestreamed from Lu Magnus gallery. This craziness is not to be missed, so we’re liveblogging it.

Did you miss out on Tom Moody reading the comments he’s left on the Rhizome blog over the years? Were you working during Ann Hirsch’s Rhizome Reality TV Show? No problem, we’ll be recapping this all day long.

And because this telethon is a fundraiser after all, show Rhizome some love.

Thursday, March 20th
Liveblogger: Whitney Kimball

[11:00] In closing, Rhizome plays a best-of montage from The Jerry Lee Lewis Telethon, spanning the years.

“You will never walk alone.”

[11:00] Donations continue to roll in, as Connor and Kaplan sing to “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. Rhizome is over its goal!

They remind us that many of your donations will be well spent on Rhizome Commissions.

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 10.57.07 AM

[10:57] Connor and Kaplan are now on the beach. Kaplan: “We owe a debt to each of you, and our goal is to honor what you’ve given us in the next year…”

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 10.54.15 AM

[10:54] Michael Connor: “I don’t even know what that was.”

[10:51] Smiling faces, promises of bagels for Tom, and a Bodenständig 2000 dance party!

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 10.49.55 AM

[10:50] They’ve just hit their $20,000 goal, and the last gift was from Tom Moody. Applause for Tom Moody!


[10:45] Rhizome’s telethon is in its last 15 minutes!

Donate $500 in the next 30 mins and Michael will give you his old iPhone 4, w/ his texts on it, as well as 1 month of @edfornieles texts too

If in the next 10 minutes, you give a $50 gift, you’ll get a tour of Rhizome’s new space. If you give $150 you get a tour and a trip to Russ and Daughters with a free bagel!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ryder Ripps with Zachary Kaplan

Ryder Ripps with Zachary Kaplan

[8:00 pm Ryder Ripps brands]

[Live Blogger: Paddy Johnson]

[8:14] So far we’ve talked about Rolex watches, fear and branding. Also, why Rhizome was so significant to Ripps career. Ripps is saying that big companies “don’t get” the web. “Just give people content they love.”

[8:16] Randomly: Anyone else notice that Zachary Kaplan’s voice sounds remarkably like Cory Arcangel’s?

[8:17] Kaplan: You just met Julia who is in the food industry world. Half the people tweeting in her world are advertisers.

Ripps: If a brand understands what’s current…they can make a good ad.

[8:20] Brand critique begins! H&R Block is tabled for critique: Ripps begins: H&R Block is a necessity brand. Their bread and butter is access. Ripps says that if you can access them easily, then that’s more money for them.

[8:24] Moving on, some basics: A brand is a product. It’s not an idea.

[8:25] Wishing market expert and Nectar Ads Founder Veken Gueyikian was speaking with Ripps. I bet Gueyikian would have some interesting ideas to add.

[8:40] On to the idea that brands are people and celebrities are brands.

[8:41] Suffering from some tech difficulties over here – my computer doesn’t seem to want to stream the telethon. Since I didn’t have the drink Julia Kramer made for everyone else, I think I may need to find one of my own. Live blogging on hiatus (for now).


[7:00 pm Julia Kramer from Bon Appetite cooks]

[Live blogger: Paddy Johnson]

[7:55] Sorry guys. Our live blogging was interrupted by meetings. We’re back. (Briefly). It’s worth mentioning that Zachary Kaplan is still on the camera. Julia has just made drinks for him, Ryder Ripps, and a blurry figure I believe to be Nick DeMarco. Turmeric seems to have been involved.

[7:59] A brief break while people head downstairs for some unidentified purpose. We’ll keep you abreast of what’s going on offline as soon as we get further intel.

[6:30 pm, “Thank You” screen by Nick Demarco]
Liveblogger: Paddy Johnson

[6:35] EMF’s “You’re Unbelievable” plays while thank-you credits to donors paired random headshots spin by on the screen. Well played, Rhizome. [Correction: The headshots are taken from google searches for the donor’s name.]


[5:00 pm, Alex McLean live coding with electronic music]
Liveblogger: Paddy Johnson

[5:04] Alex is using code to change the beats we hear. This is a nice break from some of the talk heavy programming we’ve heard. Not a lot to say about the music just yet. Lots of blips and bleeps.

[5:07] Restart with a kick snare.

[5:21] Now’s not a bad time to tune in. Vocals!

Ann Hirsch

[4:00 pm, Ann Hirsch’s Reality TV Show]
Liveblogger: Paddy Johnson

[4:00] Zachary Kaplan (of Rhizome): That was quite a show!

We’re waiting for Hirsch to arrive, so Zach’s just killing time here.

[4:06] So Ann being late is part of her schtick? No idea.

[4:20] Zach, interviewed by Ann, asks how far away they are from their goal; less than $3,000 is his answer.

[4:23] Ann is observing that Zach is a leader at Rhizome, as the community manager, and that maybe he should be the boss at Rhizome. Heather Corcoran, his current boss and The Executive Director, is bossy. Cue the second Rhizome intervention in 30 minutes, this time staged, and by Heather. Rhizome employes now discussing who is boss and whether Ann’s piece is appropriate.

Ann: This is my work. It’s edgy.

Heather: Do something better.

[4:29] Ann, alone, talks to the camera and reflects on the current situation. Her piece is definitely mimicking the reality show structure.

[4:32] Rhizome is apologizing.

[4:35] With the reality show cut short thanks to Heather’s intervention, Ann and Zach now brainstorm new projects for the telethon. First idea: Hack Art F City.

[4:46] Ann Hirsch tries to cry on camera to do the “crying piece”, but fails. Now she’s berating herself for being a terrible artist.

[4:47] “I just love Rhizome *so* much,” Ann Hirsch says. “I just wish everyone would give them all their money. They’ve supported me so much.” Zach explains that Rhizome commissions off beat art work like Ann’s. A very compelling appeal.


[3:00 PM Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal and Friends Give a Reading]

Liveblogger: Paddy Johnson

[3:28 PM] Good Lord. Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal is asking for money so she can buy a new car. Not really an effective joke since I doubt it’s going to bring money for Rhizome, guys.

[3:31] Tracy has discovered Corinna’s comments and is unhappy she has not wooed her with her poetry.

[3:33] Circling back to the teenager comment again. Current theory amongst the hosts is that Corinna’s comment was actually a compliment. Corinna?

[3:39] A reading: I don’t understand why you are reading when you could be fucking. Israel could be shoving a sock into your mouth…fucking your brains out.

So the study findings are real; the millennials really are unfuckable.

[3:47] Tracy finally dumped the coconut oil she’d been holding in her mouth for, like, 20 minutes. If I’d been able to jot the phone number she’d been announcing on the livestream in time, I would have pledged money to Rhizome to make her stop.

[3:51] Corinna’s piping in behind the scenes here, saying that she didn’t mean to be mean to Tracy or anyone currently on the livestream.

Glad that’s resolved.

[3:55] Another appeal for support for themselves. *eyeroll*. Talk of Tracy’s tits possibly being exposed aaaaaand a Rhizome intervention! It’s a wrap.

Liveblogger: Corinna Kirsch

[3:05 PM] This is teenager-y poetry. Hmmmm. Not quite my cup of tea. Here comes a poem about being a twink.

[2:00 PM, Curator Lindsay Howard critiques your artwork online]

Liveblogger: Corinna Kirsch

[2:02 PM] Lindsay is not at Lu Magnus with the Rhizome crew. Zach is channeling her presence from the web right now, but there’s some technical difficulties.

[2:38 PM] There’s some activity now that Michael is up on screen. Something about vaudeville history and Little Nemo, but I came in mid-sentence. Now we’re watching the 1911 film to see some examples of how the film constantly shows the illustrator’s hand physically making a picture. History lesson: Little Nemo is a meta-film about making a film that emphasizes the sheer amount of physical labor that goes into making a film. And now we know.

[2:50 PM] Michael is talking raster versus vector graphics.

[2:56 PM] Okay, it’s official: Tech difficulties will mean no Lindsay critique. : /

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 1.19.08 PM

[1:00 PM, Rhizome Director Heather Corcoran Broadcasts Some of Rhizome’s Favorite Hits]

Liveblogger: Corinna Kirsch

[1:10 PM] Heather says it’s time for lunch, so take a break and listen to some jams. Just another glimpse into the Rhizome family. Also, the Rhizome staff really looks like they’re straight out of Pulp Fiction.

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 12.34.37 PM[12:00 PM, Tom Moody Reads Comments He’s Left on Rhizome Over the Years]

Liveblogger: Corinna Kirsch

We know that Tom showed up half an hour early, so this session got off to a timely start.

[12:04 PM] It’s hard to hear Tom. Just tweeted @Rhizome to try to fix this.

[12:10 PM] The mailman arrives!

[12:12 PM] Tom Moody reads rhetorical questions he’s left on the blog. “Is slowness a valid experience on the Internet?” He says he’s surprised that people actually wanted to reply to his rhetorical questions.

[12:18 PM] Tom talks about why he likes Petra Cortright for how she uses Google as an experience. I don’t know what year he wrote this comment; I’d like to know if he still feels that’s a valid reason for liking art—that it replicates a similar style and function to Google.

[12:30 PM] Water break! Rhizome’s Zachary Kaplan asks if reading the old comments brings up old emotions at the time. Tom says it actually does come back in a “horrible rush.”

[12:33 PM] Oooh, time to talk about Moody’s flamer “New Media vs Artists With Computers.”

[12:38 PM] Funny that comments originally thought of as vitriolic seem tame when read aloud from a binder. I’d like to see all these comments in a book.

[12:54 PM] Tom Moody mentions it sometimes takes him hours to compose a comment. Good to know.

[12:58 PM] Okay, I wish there had been a dramatic reading of the comments by actors who pretended to be Tom Moody in 2008, 2009, et cetera. Maybe it could be done in historical costume. (Tom would probably hate this idea, I know. I just think it’d be great to see actors try to imagine the differences between commenters over the years.) Tom’s now reading a comment he left on Art F City, on a post about e-flux wanting to buy .art. Here’s part of that comment thread:

The beauty of art on the net is it’s spread around sites like .fm, .com, even .biz. E-Flux has the potential with this scheme to be a new Facebook of art (in the sense of “you have to be on it to play”). It is already Facebook-like in its maintenance of an exclusive mailing list.

[1:00 PM] So we wrapped up with Tom Moody’s comment on how “hermeticism” provides a valid way to talk about artists working online that isn’t postinterent. “The hermeticist artist keeps to herself in spite of the widespread and much-flacked availability of online connections in the social media era. While not shunning collaboration or eclecticism, the hermeticist artist believes “the buck stops here” with regard to artistic expression, “here” being the artist’s own judgment and decision-making process. The hermeticist artist still has a studio, even if it is located in a single device. The hermeticist pursues shamanic and occult practices in the face of consensus art-making.”

So what did I think after an hour of listening to comments? I’m sure Paddy has some points to make later on in the day (she’s on a bus coming back from D.C.). But for me, even though it was hard to hear Tom Moody throughout most of the hour, his reading reminded me of how I miss what used to be a more lively commenter community. We still have commenters, but not as many who necessarily stake out a position on how they see the art world and what they want the art world to be. Come back from Facebook. Come back from Twitter.

[11:00 AM, Michael Connor Composes the Day’s Post]

Liveblogger: Corinna Kirsch

Here we go! Rhizome staff Zachary Kaplan and Michael Connor are on-screen. It sounds like they’re playing video games. Zachary says that there’s only one viewer. (Yep, that’s me.)

“This is going to be a really fun day!” says Zachary.

“I’m not going to chat much because we have work to do,” replies Michael.

Well, that’s going to be the aim, but let’s see what happens within an hour. It’s hard to write a blog post in a limited span of time, so I’m glad Connor’s going to tackle this. And maybe we’ll get some advice along the way.

[11:01 AM] Oh, cool, some writing. Michael Connor is opening up Google Drive. He’s trying to figure out how to screen share right now. Okay, now the screen share looks like glitch art.

[11:03 AM] Michael stops writing. How will he ever write this post? “Sorry, I have to reply to this text message,” he tells the audience. “Okay, babysitter stuff.” Back to writing.

[11:10 AM] Good writerly advice from Michael: Eat before you sit down to write.

[11:14 AM] Now I don’t hear anything. But I do see the Google Doc. It’s kind of heartening to see someone continually delete half of a sentence, rewrite it, then delete it again. Writing ain’t always easy.

[11:19 AM] Michael explains the stream was muted because he was trying to stream WNYC. Noooo! That’s another distraction to writing. How will this post ever go up?

[11:30 AM] Tom Moody just walked through the door! Will Michael finish this blog post in time? At least he’s off Google Drive and on Rhizome’s backend by now.

But the clock is ticking!

[11:37 AM] Even a good blogger has to take a moment to check Tweetdeck.

[11:40 AM] “There’s things that I want to talk about that are getting in the way of the main point that I want to talk about,” Michael says. When you only have 20 minutes, it’s time to consult the Internet. Zachary consults WikiHow on how to end a blog post. WikiHow says you need to end on a bang. Michael does indeed write “BANG.” Genius!

[11:46 AM] Michael Connor: “This is a bad sentence. We’ll just leave it because we’re running out of time.” Noooo! Bad advice!

[11:56 AM] Zachary claims Michael has a spelling problem, but claims this is a joke.

[11:59 AM] It’s up. Wow. It’s nerve-wracking to write in front of an audience, but thankfully, we all got some good advice from Michael and Zachary. Remember to eat before typing, and consult WikiHow if necessary.

{ 1 comment }

tom moody March 20, 2014 at 6:59 am

Thanks for these notes. Corinna, regarding your question about artist Google use: for clarification, here’s a link to the text I was reading aloud (the slightly smoother blog version) about a Javier Morales post on Nasty Nets. Petra Cortright showed this Morales post when we did the Net Aesthetics 2.0 panel in 2008.

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