Ryder Ripps, Scott Ostler and I got a chance to meet and greet and discuss their irc-esque image + gif chatroom/emporium with Tim Baker of Delicious fame). The three of us discuss the initial starting points of dump – from invitation beta-testing to being featured in marketing “to-watch” mailing lists – and how this process has influenced the kind of participation that dump fosters. I suggest that the community of users on dump is it’s main draw, and that sense of belonging, or as Ryder sees it, “real human interaction” is what spurs the unbelievable amount of clever, crass, and often times hilarious postings.

Ryder and I go on to discuss how organized events on the dump calendar have created some of the most unique and widely circulated content. MySpace pic hunts and themed posting days display a kind of competitiveness that dumpers have with one another. Although nothing necessarily tangible rides on these micro-competitions, the cred of “favs” for deep surfing and/or pillaging of gif databases and obscure image collections are all efforts to contribute to a collective epic win.

Soon thereafter we discuss Dump’s relationship to a broader net art culture, it’s relationship as an alternative to what Ryder thinks to be a somewhat closed and/or overly academic system found in artist surf clubs. He critiques this mode of production for being too invested in data/files – and likewise turning them into fetish objects – and not invested enough in the journey/adventure you might have discovered along the way. He goes on to say that Justin Bieber would be a more acceptable role model for netarts than Cory Arcangel (perhaps as a model for malleability and readiness for manipulation/appropriation).

We briefly discuss how the idgig came to be born, and how his use, reuse, and multiple manifestations have been used within the constant recursive practices of artists on dump. Ryder suggests that the subsequent litigiousness of the parties that own the idgig’s face is also emblematic of how dump serves as an engine to combat the normative, and commercial types of expression more commonly found on the web. The headache of having conservative image providers like getty and i-stock photo has been an interesting battle for dump, but users don’t seem very dissuaded.

Lastly we address an upcoming show that dump has been invited to put on at 319 Scholes in NYC curated by Lindsay Howard. I ask Ryder what visitors should expect from the IRL instance of dump. The event will involve a live, full-screen feed of dump, as well as stations to upload images and interact with the international community of dumpers in real-time. Also an installation of current dumpers “most-fav’d” work will be on display in order to give visitors some perspective on the history and past-bests of the site. Ryder and I agree that people visiting the space will be both delighted and engrossed by what will be on display from October 22nd to the 31st, and of course people are more than welcome to register for dump in advance of the event.

Some semi-NSFW material below

Nicholas O'Brien