#1 RYDER RIPPS
Momentum is building for Ryder Ripps. A mere glance at the artist’s press page reveals he’s has had a very good year. Or ten. The website lists all the mentions he’s ever received, most of which are recent, save for a nod in a Times article in 2000 for his early use of the term “wifebeater.” Ripps was 14.
Was this a sign the artist would have a finger on the pulse of twenty-something America? Perhaps. To the best of our knowledge, no gallery has yet figured out how to monetize youth culture this fresh, but it’s pretty clear that if they don’t, he will. Based on his profile picture at the time of this writing, we believe he may be selling fake Facebook gold accounts—buyers beware!
In addition to his many Facebook escapades (the artist launches a new project on the site seemingly every other week), in 2009 he founded Internet Archaeology, a website dedicated to archiving graphic ephemera of early internet culture. Most, however, know Ripps as the co-founder of dump.fm, a popular image chat site heavily trafficked by artists. The site is responsible for spawning countless GIFs and art memes as well as offering a home to a tightly knit group of young, active artists making good work. Ripps has consequently seen his profile rise and we expect that will continue. Dump.fm’s no 4chan yet, but give it time. The site already hosts more than its fair share of offensive material, and may yet produce the same monstrous pit of creativity and depravity that artists have come to both love and fear in 4chan.
The L: How do you start a new piece/project?
Ryder Ripps: I make a lot and look at a lot on the internet. For me the net is a great sketchpad of sorts. It's way more difficult to forget an embarrassing body of oil paintings than it is to forget a string of embarrassing tweets.
Is there an artist/exhibition/artwork that's had an especially significant impact on your development either recently or at the beginning of your career?
Andy Warhol, Mark Zuckerberg, Susan Kare, Quake 3, Bryce 3D, 311, iStockPhoto, Ed Hardy, David Karp, Krist Wood, scotty2hotty69, Dipset, NIN, Britney Spears, Puffy, Julien Donkey Boy, Modest Mouse, 50 Cent, Ryan Trecartin, Alli Crawford.
Is there a show or work you consider pivotal to both your work and your career?
Sasha and John Digweed live at Twilo in 2003.
Is there another medium or style of work that you'd like to explore, or have started to experiment with?
No, just bigger.
How do you describe your work to your parents?
"Hey mom, I was in L Magazine."
A lot of your work involves facebook. Can you talk about why the social networking site is interesting to you?
Facebook is sort of our everything. All the most important things, the things which truly define character, what we like who we have sex with, what we do, is what Facebook is attempting to mirror. I'm interested in the ways we emote through a computer and the ephemera left behind in the process.
Internet Archeology archives and showcases graphic artifacts found in the early years of the web. Past providing a visual history of the web, what (if anything) do you think these images tell us about ourselves?
The graphic artifacts found in Internet Archaeology come from a time when people who wanted a place in the internet had to learn a bit of graphic software, some HTML and decide what they wanted to make a website about. This model is entirely different from the social networking model of todays internet. This change has its benifits, way more people now have a voice and we can access people and information at much better ease, but also some personality is lost. I think the personality of the earlier internet was more unique and formative. The artifacts of internet archaeology show us where we've been, who we are and how far we've come. Understanding an online aesthetic trajectory helps us understand all aspects of culture that visual language influences.
You co-founded dump.fm. Does the material made on that site ever influence your art work?
To me, the internet is entirely experiential. It isn't until you realize that there is no end to tweeting, there is no end to liking, there is no end to watching, consuming video and images, you start to understand that life is a constant pursuit to try to express yourself; a tension between saying something and listening to try to ultimately make yourself and the world better. dump.fm helps aid this process.