Rhizome Hosts Web Surfing Contest in the Rockaways

The logo for the internet surfing Trail Blazers contest, organized by Rhizome. Photo: Trail Blazers.

The Rockaway Beach Surf Club in Queens will host Trail Blazers, an unconventional surfing competition, at 1:00 on Sunday. Organized by Rhizome, the event will remain on dry land, with competitors surfing the web, not the high seas. The contest, a European import that began in 2010 and is coming to the States for the first time, challenges entrants to complete a trail from one URL to another solely by clicking on links.

For each round, competitors will have ten minutes to navigate their way from one URL, the designated starting point, to another, the goal. They will not be allowed to employ Google or other search engines, and will not have the use of a keyboard. To add to the challenge, the back button will also be off-limits. As the event description puts it, “just hyperlinks and a one-button mouse.” If you fail to complete the circuit before time runs out, you’re eliminated. The contest will end when just one surfer remains afloat.  8-bit musician and media artist Dragan Espenschied will serve as the competition’s host.

The event is sponsored by Arcangel Surfware, Cory Arcangel’s clothing lifestyle goods line designed for the lounging internet surfer who has no desire to get out of bed (see artnet News report). Prizes will include items from the collection, which includes sweatpants, bed sheets, and iPad covers.


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