Gifotrope – take control of your gifs

In the latest edition of “little things that we make for other people to use (but probably no one will,)” we’re proud to announce Gifotrope.  Gifotrope is a bit of code that helps you take control of gifs by breaking them up into little pieces that only animate when a user is scrolling.  You can’t read well while you’re scrolling, so something else interesting visually could and probably should be happening during those times.

The Present Prize #3 Nominees

The Present Prize#3: Research-Based Studio Practice
Nominees are:

Laurie Halsey Brown

Torreya Cummings

Brian Conley

Fiona Connor

Collin McKelvey and John Davis

Sasha Duerr

Jaimie Healy

Allison Holt

Helena Keeffe

Myrna Knode

Daniel Nevers

Scott Oliver

Megan Prelinger

Phil Ross

Miljohn Ruperto

Paolo Salvagione

Andrew Venell

Anne Walsh

Samira Yamin

A partial history of how artists, cultural producers, and content providers have experimented with funding and support models during the Internet Age.

As a result of the reaction and conversation that happened as a result of Art Micro Patronage, Oliver and I had been talking a lot about how the struggle of the net artist to get paid for their work is not unique.  The internet and the development of technology in general has generated a whole new class of cultural producer, yet very few people have figured out how they can possibly make money off of the work they produce.  From giant newspapers to the casual instagrammer, no one seems to have a solid plan to make it work.

This idea was a good fit for Nora O Murchú as she was putting together a publication for Run computer, Run, part of the GLITCH Festival at Rua Red in Ireland: exhibitions, a symposium, and a publication that focus on the current economic, political and cultural factors that are shaping the Internet.  The festival will discussed and explored how the practice of the digital artist is transitioning, not only with the growth of digital technologies, but are increasingly being informed by offline factors that are affecting how the Internet as a creative platform is being developed.  So Nora asked me to gather some of my thoughts together along these lines and contribute something for the publication.

a snippet of the timeline

In the process of trying to write about and chronicle these changes, I decided that the best thing to do was to create a timeline in order to look at these pieces of information in context during the past ~15-20 years as the internet progressively became integrated into our daily lives.

In this timeline, I’ve tracked lists of how :

  • Net Artists have Tried to Make Money
  • Alternative Funding Models in the Arts
  • Technology Advancements have Facilitated Giving
  • The Media has Experimented with Paywalls
It’s fun to look at, especially if you’re a nerd like me. It’s fun in 3D too (lower left corner).  If I’ve made any glaring omissions, please contribute points to add in the comments.


Indexhibit v2 Tutorial Website

Since Indexhibit Version 2 is still somewhat new, and we offer to install it for our hosting clients, we thought we would build something that would encourage familiarity with the platform, help people understand how it works before (and after) installation, and help us learn its advantages and pitfalls.  Periodically, we update the site with something we’ve been fielding questions about.

Happy website making!

Indexhibit v2 Tutorial Website

We want to help you get your portfolio website up.

So we’ve decided to team up with Southern Exposure in order to teach a class on how to do just that.  Sign up – space is limited.

You can read all about it here. 

Congratulations to The Present Prize: Net Love Nominees

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be getting some additional information from these artists and building a platform for the public voting phase. In the meantime, get to know the projects!

We Who Feel Differently by Carlos Motta

Supercruft and Live Disasters by Andrew Venell

NSKYC by Mike Bodge by Andrey Yazev

Cultural Differences by Taryn Simon and Aaron Swartz  (declined to participate)

Cloaque founded by Carlos Saez and Claudia Mate

Open_Close.txt and The Internet Makes Me Happy by Emilio Gomariz by Packard Jennings

C RED BLUE J by Chris Sollars

HD Jellyfish Footage by Julian Dawe (declined to participate)

Peter Hasson: Praying Ping Pong by Jesse Nichols by Anthony Antonellis

Molteni Net Works by Maria Molteni and the New Craft Artists in Action

Sanctuary by Aaron Vincent Elkaim


Artists from this month’s AMP show + curator Dena Beard talk! March 22nd. @ProArts


Inverse Internet Operating Manual Live Artist Talk

7:30 p.m., March 22
150 Frank H Ogawa Plaza  Oakland, CA 94612

Join the artists of Inverse Internet Operating Manual and curator Dena Beard to reverse engineer the World Wide Web. Cycling between physical and virtual states, they will impart daring instructions for browsing, poaching, crowd-sourcing, misusing our favorite non-site. Finally, exasperated, they may ask: how do we look at art online?


This talk will be broadcast live at
Pose your questions in person, via the website, email (, or twitter (@AMPatronage).

Hosted by Art Micro Patronage, a project of The Present Group.




Bad at Sports: Hyperjunk Response

Nicolas O’Brien, one of the artists in the current Art Micro Patronage show, “Can’t Touch This” curated by Karen Archey, also writes a column entitled Hyperjunk on the Bad at Sports blog.  He was kind enough to include us in his most recent post, ”Hyperjunk: Observations on the Proliferation of Online Galleries,” a thoughtful survey and analysis of current online galleries.

However, there are a couple of points in the article that caught our attention, specifically in regards to our project.  In the spirit of keeping the conversation going, we’ve included some responses below:


If an ideal environment of an artists working online lies within the personal computing web-browsing experience, then why the need for relocating these works into another specific website/framing? What is “more accessible” about an online gallery then an artists personal website? Are the tropes from the traditional gallery system still playing too significant a role in the way in which net-art is being presented?


With Art Micro Patronage the idea of the curated group show is central.  We’re trying to encourage criticality about what is happening online by hiring curators to bring together artists whose work explores similar themes.  The internet is incredibly diverse and far flung which makes the process of synthesis and curation that much more important.  I trust some institutions and curators to do the research and outreach to bring to my attention artists whose work I may not have been exposed to otherwise, but also to highlight what is happening more broadly.  So maybe it’s not the works themselves that are rendered more accessible, but rather the connections between them.

To favor one system over the other, or to underscore the supposed ignorance of major cultural institutions for not having more net based art, can position the artist, work, or community as having ingrained entitlement due to its novelty.


I’m not sure I agree that it deserves entitlement due to its novelty.  In the late 90′s and early 2000′s there were quite a few institutions that were collecting and attempting to show net art.  But most gave it up.  At that point there was an exuberance about the novelty of anything and everything that was happening online.    However now I believe we’re at the point where the technology has caught up and the novelty has died down, and because it is so ingrained in our culture, the work that is happening online in a cultural context deserves critical attention.  It was in part the recognition that artists working online isn’t novel at all that motivated us to do this project.

Further, we hope to continue expanding the idea of what is considered “netart”.  We intentionally found curators working in diverse parts of the artworld in order to cull different works and types of shows.   For example, our next show curated by Dena Beard highlights the work of primarily social practice and conceptual artists who use the web to document their more ephemeral practice or as a site of exchange.  While these may not be “net artists”, the internet is an important part of their practice.

Art Micro Patronage is LIVE!

What started as a few vague ideas about the possibilities of micro-donations mixed in with questions about “collecting” digital artwork is now a full-blown, beautifully designed, web application for supporting online artists.

Art Micro Patronage is an experimental online exhibition space enabling you to view and support artwork that is ideally experienced on the internet. Built on the generosity of people like you, AMP is a vehicle for a new generation of art patrons, who are willing to associate their appreciation of great work with

actual dollar amounts, no matter how small.

We’re extremely proud, and also curious if anyone will use it.  So please, check it out. Each month we’ll present a new online exhibition.  And while you’re there, become a micro-patron of the arts by giving a small donation to the artists who pieces you like.


David Horvitz will put your tweet in the Library of Congress. Last day: Today!

TPG 9 artist David Horvitz (@davidhorvitz) has been commissioned by Creative Time to produce a hard copy of every tweet containing the hashtag #VadeMecum (Latin for “Go with me” and meaning a reference book designed to be carried) between June 17 and June 23. On June 24, he will carry the materialized tweets by train from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., following the route of the first transcontinental telegram (sent in 1861 from San Francisco to President Lincoln in the nation’s capital). Upon arrival in Washington, D.C., the entire collection will be submitted to the Library of Congress and donated to a public archive, where it will remain accessible.

Through the project, Horvitz will give his audience’s tweets literal and metaphorical weight. Serving as an anachronistic messenger in an era in which distance is no longer an obstacle to communication, Horvitz will re-engage with the relatively slow pace of the physical journey as a meaningful and transformative phase in the life of the message.

Read more here about the Creative Time Twitter Projects

View tweets here
View David’s transcriptions of the tweets here

Call for Curators: Shows of Internet Art on Art Micro-Patronage

This fall, Oliver and I will be debuting our new project: Art Micro-Patronage.  It’s an experimental exhibiiton platform that tries to figure out good ways to both display and fund artwork that is ideally viewed online.  As visitors navigate through the monthly exhibitions, they will be encouraged to become micro-patrons of the arts, associating their appreciation of the works with small monetary values. Only patrons will be able to view the exhibitions once the shows are over and they will receive a link and image as recognition for their generosity.

And we’re looking for curators!

Here are the specs:

What are we looking for?
We seek tightly curated shows of works that are ideally experienced on the internet.  Shows can be organized thematically or formally.  Some possibilities include (but are not limited to): artists working with twitter and facebook, digital artwork, video, sound, animated gifs, interactive works, web-based campaigns, physical works that address or involve the web in some way, documentary websites of artists working with intangibles.  We would like these to be group shows of between 7-15 artists and we would like the curator to write 400 – 600 word intro to the exhibition.  Shows will last 1 month.

How does it work?
We will encourage visitors to the shows to donate small amounts ($.50, $1, $5) directly to the artists as they navigate from piece to piece, similar to a “like” button only with pledging and a navigation element: if they press a donate amount, they are moved forward to the next piece in show.  AMP will take a small administrative cut from the proceeds in order to cover the transaction fees and to sustain funds for the next set of 6 (we have secured funding for the first set of 6 shows). Only the patrons will have access to the show after the month is over; the general public will still have access to the written piece by the curator and see the list of artists that were involved with the show. Patrons will also be given recognition and links on a donor’s page for each show (and each piece while the show is up).  Curators will receive a stipend of $200 upon completion of their project.

We have also set aside money for web development with each show, so we can work with you to figure out the best viewing experience to suit the artworks’ particular needs.

Please explain your proposed show and give 2-4 examples of pieces along the lines of what you’d like to highlight.
Submit your contact info and proposal to:  submit [at]

The Present Prize! Voting has begun.

Vote on the winner of the first Present Prize:
a $1K travel grant for a Bay Area artist.

The Present Prize is an intermittent artist grant funded by web hosting fees and awarded by the community of hostees with help from the general public. Each grant period will have a new theme targeting an underfunded area of the creative landscape.

For our first prize, we have teamed up with the Collective Foundation to create a $1K travel grant to a Bay Area artist in order to address a possible reason why Bay Area artists often leave the area after a period of “incubation”. Joseph delPesco, founder of the Collective Foundation speaks eloquently about the reasoning behind this grant theme on the SF Moma blog. (excerpt below)

“Unlike most first-world countries we don’t have a cultural agency at the state or federal level that funds artists’ travel. I have an untested theory that if Bay Area artists had support for mobility that they would be more likely to stay. While the last sentence may sound counter-intuitive, I think one reason artists leave is the relative isolation of the Bay Area in relation to the art centers. More to the point, It appears that most of the artists who have stayed are those who have been able to develop projects and find exhibition opportunities outside of the Bay Area.”

Nominees* for The Present Prize:

Ajit Chauhan, Alison Pebworth, Amanda Eicher, Andrew Venell, Christine Kesler, Lindsey White, Margaret Tedesco, Matt Borruso, and Nathaniel Parsons

We want to YOUR discerning eye!

This stage of the voting is open to all members of the public.  View proposals and give us your preference in randomized arena-style matchups**.  Voting is open until February 28th, 2011. VOTE NOW >>

*Artists were nominated by two groups of hosting clients whose fees contributed to the creation of this grant.  Artists were then contacted to provide short statements about where they wanted to go and why, an image, and a weblink.

** One of the things we were concerned about regarding the voting process was that we wanted to involved the public, but didn’t want it to just be an online popularity contest.  That’s why we decided on the head-to-head matchup style and a proposal-centered presentation.  We hope that this encourages voters to more fully consider the proposals merits rather than simply voting once for their friend and leaving.

LIFE photo archive hosted by Google" class='title'>LIFE photo archive hosted by Google

Images from Life Magazine going back to 1860′s, hosted by Google

Follow TPG Issues via RSS

Just a quick nerd note, we added a new RSS feed to the blog and TPG that simply alerts you when a new issue is released.

It’s Here

New Media, New Modes: On ‘Rethinking Curating: Art after New Media’

Nathaniel Stern takes a look at this new book by Sarah Cook and Beryl Graham, co-editors of the CRUMB site and list (the Curatorial Resource for Upstart Media Bliss

How to keep calm and stay positive in competitive market

Lauren Venell shares some simple steps to stay productive and keep positive for any sort of creative worker.

How big is the Deepwater Horizon oil spill?" class='title'>How big is the Deepwater Horizon oil spill?

It’s big.  Use this map to compare it to lands we know and love.

Google Font Directory" class='title'>Google Font Directory

Google is hosting new web fonts for everyone.  Way to make the internet look better!  Now we don’t have to choose from those 5 old options anymore.

It’s voting season


Once a year, we produce a Subscriber’s Choice Edition.  We narrow down the proposals to five and allow our subscribers and the past year of artists and critics to vote.  I think we have a really strong group of proposals this year. Check them out here.

The finalists are:

Supermarket Sarah" class='title'>Supermarket Sarah

I don’t normally post anything clothes/fashion related, but this website is an interesting model that I’ve never seen before.  Too bad they’re in the UK!

Next Page »

Web hosting that supports artists.


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Lego Hello World
I wish all my printers were made of legos.

LIFE photo archive hosted by Google
Images from Life Magazine going back to 1860′s, hosted by Google

Coming Face To Face With The President
Well crafted story about an under-heard point of view.

In California, Pot Is Now an Art Patron
A new funding source for the arts – reaping big rewards and funding many projects.  It’s pot.

Notes on Portraiture in the Facebook Age

Celebrity Book Club: A List to End All Lists
Because, well, it’s sortof awesome.

Are "Artists' Statements" Really Necessary?
The pros and cons about that nemesis for most artists.

This to That
You tell it what you’ve got and it’ll tell you what to glue them together with.

Work of art: Online store for buyers, sellers
Not the TV show!  Kelly Lynn Jones from Little Paper Planes is interviewed on her project, gives us a cheat sheet to local affordable art resources.

How to make a Daft Punk helmet in 17 months