25 year-old online impressario Ryder Ripps is in Miami and representing for the Facebook set. His group show at Workshop Collective is called LikeArtBasel and features work by more than a dozen upstarts and big shots from a 14 year-old in Arizona to Ryan Trecartin. We talked with him about some previous projects and his foray into curating via his creative agency OKFocus.
The Standard: You’re a multi-talented guy. What do you do?
Ryder Ripps: I am an artist and developer concerned with producing work relevant to the internet and its culture.
Do you differentiate between your different roles - for instance, artist, curator, creative director, etc.?
I’m fortunate because in both commercial projects at OKFocus with my partner Jonathan Vingiano and artistic projects the end goal is basically the same - to create innovative work humanizing offline and online experience.
What is Internet Archaelogy?
Internet Archaeology is a web based project I started in 2008 in an effort to archive, preserve and acknowledge the cultural relevance of graphic artifacts from an earlier internet, with a focus on GeoCities content. I thought it would be a good way to connect with my past with my present and also meet people whoʼs work I was inspired by. This was my ﬁrst project on the internet, and I really had no idea what I was doing. I was pretty shit at web design, and I was in way over my head in terms of being a legitimate “archivist”. I just had conviction and believed the concept was good. I also became obsessed with hunting for amazing images and getting great response from the internet fueled this motivation. Coming across these GeoCities sites made by people like me in a different age of the internet – when making a website was predicated on deciding what you wanted to make a website about, learning a little code, making some sick graphics and throwing a page counter on there to tell the world, “I am here. You are here. I see you here.” I really like that aspect of the internet - making stuff, alone together.
How and when did you hatch the idea for LikeArtBasel?
Brad Horenstein, one of the event’s coordinators, and I were looking for a space to do an art show featuring under-appreciated art lacking proper representation at Art Basel Miami, and the art world at large. The curatorial concept came together about two months before the exhibition and features artworks that speak to technology or the internet using traditional mediums (painting, sculpture, etc.) As a reference to Facebook and commentary on Art Basel’s awareness of Internet/Technology aware art, the exhibition’s title, LikeArtBasel conveys my curatorial ethos.
Does LikeArtBasel like Art Basel, or is it anti?
LikeArtBasel is pro-innovation, pro-content and most of all, concerned with the advancement of art’s form and subject. We hope Art Basel supports these these things as well.
Who is in this show? Are they all artists in the conventional sense of an artist?
The show features 12 artists, some of which have never sold work, others have exhibited in The Whitney Biennial, some are an artist’s conceived persona/avatar, while others are not avid internet users. Believing that art’s power is intrinsically social, LikeArtBasel is curated under the basis that an artist’s new found clout is measured in quantities of Facebook “Likes” - not Biennials. The artists featured are as follows: Joey Card, Petra Cortright, Sterling Crispin, Nick DeMarco, Bea Fremderman, Rachel Lord, Will Neibergall, Rafael Rozdendaal, Liz Rywelski, Zach Shipko, Ryan Trecartin, and myself.
One is 14. What kind of work does he make and how did you meet?
Will Neibergall, aka Glasspoporn is in fact 14, him and I met on a website I started called dump.fm, where friends come together and use images to converse in real-time. Will’s piece for LikeArtBasel is a small sculpture featuring items taken from his room at his parents house in Tempe, Arizona. The work is relevant as a physical representation of life as a teenager who never remembered a time before the internet - something I think many of us have difficulty understanding the social and cultural implications of. Will also is a rapper and producer - like his art, his music is honest and human in addressing subjects relevant to a culture who’s native language is the internet.
Working with any other notable teens?
Also featured in the exhibition is 17 year-old artist Rachel Lord. We have worked together in the past and plan on creating a Skype inspired Mural together.
What do you need at all times when you’re travelling?
My iPhone I can’t live without, I even write poems/odes to it.