Rhizome: The Born-Digital Institution

Presented by Rhizome, New York
Published by Sternberg Press
Spring 2016

Incubator Grant

Coinciding with Rhizome’s 20th anniversary, The Born-Digital Institution was a major, multi-platform initiative designed to develop new thinking about the meaning and potential of art-making and the role of cultural institutions in the post-internet age. The project consisted of three parts – a publication comprised of an anthology of essays by influential art critics and theorists published by Sternberg Press; two significant public forums at the New Museum featuring a myriad of artists, curators and thinkers in the field; and a series of three print/online image commissions by artists working in the medium. 

The publication – supported by VIA Art Fund – and related public forums were structured around two thematic concepts, Internet Conditions and The Networked Arts Organization. Both sections aimed to address the questions “what is the post-internet art institution?” and “how can an institution transform when it places primary emphasis on the digital?” These avenues elucidated the history of network culture, how the art institution negotiates complex communication structures and ephemeral technologies, and how institutional practices have evolved given 21st century digital conditions.


Image: Various Network Dispositions, courtesy of Keller Easterling.