Arts Watch: Rhizome’s Seven on Seven Conference Comes to the New Museum

What started out in 1996 as an intimate email list made up of some of the first artists to work online has evolved into Rhizome, an organization “dedicated to the creation, presentation, preservation, and critique of emerging artistic practices that engage technology.”

Through the years, Rhizome has amassed a digital art archive—ArtBase–that has grown to contain nearly 2,500 artworks and projects from artists all over the world.  Three years ago it launched the Seven on Seven Conference as a way to bridge the gap between art and technology—and has quickly became known as a venue for sparking innovation among top minds in art and technology.

The third annual Seven on Seven Conference, which takes place this Saturday at the New Museum, promises more of the same. Seven leading artists are paired with seven influential technologists, in teams of two, and are challenged to create something new—an app, social media, artwork, product, or whatever they imagine—in 24 hours, and then present their creation to an audience. Past conferences have spawned video-sharing applications, a kinetic sculpture, and an iPad app that blends physical movement with photography. The conference kicks off with a keynote by renowned technology writer Douglas Rushkoff, on how global trends in technology are influencing the future of culture. To cap it off, the audience is invited to an after-party, to celebrate with the participants, in the museum’s Sky Room.

Participating technologists are Jeremy Ashkenas, Blaine Cook, Michael Herf, Marissa Mayer, Aaron Swartz, Khoi Vinh, and Anthony Volodkin. Artists are Aram Bartholl, Xavier Cha, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Naeem Mohaiemen, Jon Rafman, Taryn Simon, and Stephanie Syjuco.

Conference Schedule: 12 p.m. – Keynote; 12:30-2 p.m. – Presentations; 2-2:30 p.m. – Lunch by City Bakery; 3-6 p.m. – Presentations; 6-9 p.m. – Afterparty. Tickets are tiered: a VIP $250; general admission $100; and this year, an Artist/ Developer discounted ticket will be offered at $35.