Check out essay, Project Projects: Slides, PowerPoints, Nostalgia, and a Sense of Belonging

by Orit Gat on Rhizome.

BLEU NUIT from Sabrina Ratté on Vimeo.

My videos are often the result of experiments with tools and softwares that anyone can have access to. The challenge is to find ways to use these tools in order to create new forms and new perspectives on the aesthetic of video. I am mostly inspired by the diverse manifestations of light; artificial, electronic or natural. Recently I’ve been exploring the possibilities of generating light through video feedbacks, and in finding new ways of using presets included in different editing softwares.

~ Sabrina Ratte on her creative motion process | Source: Triangulation Blog

If I haven’t mentioned it (total plug for Rhizome), when you become a Rhizome member, you get access to The Download, a monthly featured artwork available ONLY to members! Totally worth it. Although this is only the 2nd installment, it’s been a treat to receive the official The Download e-mail!! Just some food for thought…

Sadly, I was unable to embed my latest Rhizome Download, Activated Memory (2011) by Sabrina Ratte to this post. In its place is another one of her pieces, Bleu Nuit. At the moment, I’m writing an essay on Nik Hanselmann and his video and programming art work (which I’m hoping to send off for review and editing soon). It’s safe to assume that I’ve looked at video art and re-visiting older new media works (i.e., La Mamelle/ART COM, Bruce Newman, and Bill Viola). In the process of finding text that speaks to Ratte’s work, I found a great new blog, Triangulation. Definitely worth a visit and some great reading as well.

Being a Rhizome member certainly has its benefits. For some time, I only had a username and password, which didn’t do much. I couldn’t add art events, I was unable to add new artists as favorites to my profile, and couldn’t really engage with other Rhizome members. Last month, I finally decided to give Rhizome my $25 to get my virtual hands on some artwork and the ability to leave comments on some well written critical pieces on art and technology. In any case, The Download (available to members only) launched this morning. The first downloadable artwork is Ryder Ripps: Ryder Ripp’s Facebook (2011). Ripps’s digital piece is reminiscent of Kenneth Lo’s conceptual work, Every Stone Thethered to Sleep (2010), that showed early this year at Southern Exposure gallery in San Francisco. They both look at the nature of memory and how one connects with the rest of the world.

Looking through Ripp’s Facebook photos and videos, one may wonder how a bunch of file folders containing Facebook photos and videos can be considered art. Then again, that’s the point, to discuss. I have friends post fancy edited photography of their kids and landscapes. Is that art? Well, personally, I don’t think so and here’s why. People want to show you something (i.e., My kid is cute., The sun setting over the Pacific Ocean is gorgeous., etc.). There’s an assertion and assumption that what is shown to you is a thing of beauty. Right? I mean, that’s why people post photos of themselves in the best light. For goodness sake, I do that with my profile pictures!

My point: Art such as Ryder Ripps provoke us to perceive in different ways. When photographs and sculptures based on social networking are brought to a viewer’s attention, whether it be a download or an exhibition in a gallery, these artworks aren’t blatant or spoon-fed cuteness or pretty retinal delights. Works such as Ripp’s want us to think about what’s in the background, why something is important, what might be missing that we’re not seeing, or just plain humorous and absurd. Remember, artists are like film directors, they’re only going to show you parts of a whole so you can gestalt the rest.

In any case, looking forward to looking through more of Ripp’s photos and videos. Now, you maybe asking yourself, “She paid $25 to look at artists photos and videos?” The answer is yes but I’ll have a lot more to discuss at a dinner party than you…I’m certain. 😉

Rhizome is dedicated to the creation, presentation, preservation, and critique of emerging artistic practices that engage technology. Through open platforms for exchange and collaboration, our website serves to encourage and expand the communities around these practices. Our programs, many of which happen online, include commissions, exhibitions, events, discussion, archives and portfolios. We support artists working at the furthest reaches of technological experimentation as well as those responding to the broader aesthetic and political implications of new tools and media. Our organizational voice draws attention to artists, their work, their perspectives and the complex interrelationships between technology, art and culture.

~ Rhizome Mission Statement, which can be found on their website