Although museums have expanded their electronic programming rapidly in recent years, the New Museum in New York, thanks to its 2002 purchase of the non-profit art-and-technology Rhizome, has been at it longer than most.
Now that closely watched organization has tapped one of its staffers for a new leadership position.
Rhizome has appointed Aria Dean as its the new editor and curator . Dean, who also works as an artist independently, was previously the net art and digital culture assistant curator of the organization.
Dean told ART news. “I grew up on reading Rhizome in college and really came to contemporary art and net art through it, so it has a special place in my heart as a publishing platform,”
The Net Art Anthology, an important resource which provides restored versions of groundbreaking digital works and historical texts relevant to them that she oversaw with Michael Connor, Rhizome’s artistic director, was among Dean’s largest projects to date for Rhizome, which operates a blog as well as exhibits, public programming, and commissioning of new works.
The anthology surveyed almost three decades of art and subsequently turned its offerings into a book and a show for the New Museum.
Dean at Rhizome will continue to focus on such research-based work. She said the group will focus on several subjects over the coming year, online radicalization, the use of digital currencies, and the role of technology in indigenous cultures.
Dean’s promotion comes in the midst of major art-tech changes, with Moscow’s Garage Museum of Contemporary Art launching an ambitious new online art website, and London’s Serpentine Galleries investing in augmented and virtual reality works.
Dean said. “The niche that Rhizome has existed in gives us a very particular sort of expertise,”
Dean added that: “Our lens is useful as a way to think about all these things museums are already looking at, but we can dig deeper into certain sides of it.”


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