Established in 2012 and co-organized by the New Museum and Rhizome, First Look is a digital art commissioning and exhibition program representing the breadth of art online—from interactive documentary, to custom-built participatory applications, to moving image-based works, and art for mobile VR. Encompassing a substantial array of work that continues to expand, the program explores the formal, social, and aesthetic possibilities of emerging technologies on the web.
First Look was inaugurated for the New Museum’s 35th Anniversary celebration, as part of a complete re-envisioning of the Museum’s website newmuseum.org which included several key online initiatives. The series reflected a strengthening of the New Museum’s ongoing commitment to the digital realm as a space for art making and its relationship with Rhizome, a leading online platform and longtime affiliate organization in residence at the Museum. New Museum curator Lauren Cornell initiated the program and curated the exhibitions and programming for the first two years.
In 2014, the Museum announced that First Look would be co-curated and copresented by Rhizome. Since then, First Look has featured digital projects curated by Cornell and Rhizome curator Michael Connor, presented on both the New Museum and Rhizome websites: newmuseum.org and rhizome.org. The collaboration capitalizes on both institutions’ expertise in digital art and has broadened the audience for the program. Cornell said of the collaboration “The New Museum and Rhizome are both uniquely committed to art engaged with digital technology. Bringing our curatorial efforts and communities together around this program lend[s] even greater support to featured works.”
Browser-based & Digital projects