Rhizome, an affiliate of the New Museum, isn’t a particularly new organization—it was established in 1996 to support art and technology. Yet as an arts organization founded on the internet and focused on fostering digital culture, Rhizome has been developing quite a few interesting tools and initiatives that help re-think artistic creation, and redefine what it means to create contemporary art within the context of technology and the internet.
Fostering a richer, more critical digital culture requires a body of work for artists and scholars to draw from, study, understand in context, and even cite. Since Rhizome is particularly interested in art that’s happening online, they’ve recently developed a tool called Colloq to preserve web content in a contextual archive. Other kinds of web harvesting treats web content as static objects or data sets, and it often requires painstaking scoping work to capture all necessary content. The Internet Archive, for example, has built an incredible archive of web pages, but more dynamic web content is often lost with their approach. In contrast, Colloq treats online interactions and conversations as events or performances to be recorded.