In 2007, the New Museum presented a conversation between the artist Ryan Trecartin and Rhizome Director Lauren Cornell as the inaugural program of the New Silent series. Riotous and multi-layered, Trecartin’s ambitious videos updated moving image practice for the Internet age, with the artist’s fast-growing body of work which explores the impulses and attitudes of a generation whose self-perceptions and relationships are deeply tied to media. Often structured like iChat dialogues, Trecartin’s narratives ricochet between characters and actions, gleaning information and enacting existential dramas at hyper-speed. His characters, all constructed collaboratively with his actors, include independent avatars, people composites, culture collectors, and cyber queers - all twisted and true emblems of what the artists calls “a potential part-cyber today”.
The conversation was the second in a two-part screening and conversation, with Trecartin and Cornell, which featured short videos and excerpts from A Family Finds Entertainment (2004) and I-Be AREA (2007).
The New Silent was a series of programs, presented by the New Museum and organized by its affiliate organization Rhizome, that explored contemporary art engaged with emerging technology and examined the ways digital technologies alter our lives and experiences of urban spaces. The series comprised screenings and performances, as well as a critical conversational strand, which brought together leading scholars, artists, critics, and public figures to illuminate the complex interactions between technology, culture, and creative practice. Named for the generational theories of Neil Howe and William Strauss, the New Silent presented artists working at the furthest reaches of technological experimentation as well as those responding to the broader aesthetic and political implications of new tools and media.