It’s been a whirlwind long year for the Rhizome, which is wrapping up its 20th anniversary year with quite a bang.
Over the past 12 months, the New York–based digital arts organization relaunched its website, received a $600,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation to fund its digital preservation tool, Webrecorder, and began presenting a new two-year exhibition series called Net Art Anthology that will trace the history of net art and digital-based art from the late 1980s to today.
And now Rhizome has announced that it has received a $200,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, added two new board members, and hired three new staff members that will help round-out the organization’s expanding preservation and curatorial-editorial arms.
The Knight Foundation grant will be directed at further growing the Mellon-funded Webrecorder tool, but while the two-year Mellon grant was aimed at building out the infrastructural and programming behind the tool, the Knight grant will be focused on engaging the public in its use of the tool. Essentially, the Rhizome team will begin to work with various organizations, journalists, social media personalities, and artists to begin archiving their everyday experiences of the web.
“Using technology to help people more easily find and preserve information so they can make decisions about their lives is essential to building stronger, more engaged communities,” the Knight Foundation’s director, Chris Barr, said in a statement.
Rhizome’s board of directors has expanded to 17 members, adding Los Angeles-based artist and “conceptual entrepreneur” Martine Syms and investment management firm Lux Capital co-founder Josh Wolfe.
Syms, a rising star in the art world, has deep Rhizome connections—she participated in the 2015 edition of the organization’s annual art-meets-tech conference Seven on Seven and was included in the New Museum’s much-lauded 2015 Triennial, which was co-curated by Lauren Cornell, a former Rhizome director.
Wolfe’s Lux Capital funds scientists and entrepreneurs, focusing on augmented reality, robots, drones, neurostimulation, nuclear energy, self-driving cars, 3-D printing and scanning, and more. He is a columnist for Forbes and has lectured at MIT, Harvard, and NYU.
Finally, Rhizome has made three three hires. Lyndsey Jane Moulds is joining as software curator and will work on researching emulation, as well as collaborating with Assistant Net Art Curator Aria Dean on the curatorial-editorial side. Mark Beasley has joined as a Webrecorder developer, and Lozana Rossenova, who will focus on studying digital art curation, will be Rhizome’s inaugural PhD researcher in an exchange program with London South Bank University.