States of Independence
Dazed's ultimate guide to US creativity

Enter the WTF vortex with Rhizome

The pioneering US art website commissions rising artists Edward Shenk and Victor Vaughn to rework an American icon

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Edward Shenk and Victor Vaughn

As part of our new summer US project States of Independence we've invited our favourite 30 American curators, magazines, creatives and institutions to takeover Dazed for a day. 

Today, it's the turn of Rhizome, the New York-based website-cum-platform that has celebrated, created and discussed fine art at its intersect with technology sicne before most of us had dialup. Started as an email list in 1996, its now a commissioning body, a community and a magazine hosting events from the global technologist x artist series Seven On Seven to e-cigs creativity. For their day, they'll be showcasing a pair of rad downtown artists, discussing conspiracy theories and telling us the major motors in US net art now. 

For our day, Rhizome commissioned two of the most interesting American artists out there to make a series of images for Dazed, and you can see the results above. The images were created by New York-based artists Edward Marshall Shenk and Victor Vaughn. The two have collaborated for a number of years, not least on a two-person exhibition, "Oh Mirror in the sky, what is love?," in 2012 at Reference Gallery in Richmond, VA. Both grew up drawing, cartoons and photo-realistic compositions — King Of The Hill is a perfect fit then as it's a slow-paced animation that just as easily could have been a live-action TV show. Their collaboration often examines and follows a 'fan fic' communal image-making practice, taking up characters from popular culture and creating loose narratives around them that meet their darker interests in loss, obsession, discomfort, and numbness. Whereas Shenk's mimic the show's possible universe, Vaughn's grow absurd and dream-like. However, the authorship is communal, shared, and re-worked, and curated by interaction. 

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