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MTAA-RR » bio:

short bio

Michael Sarff (M. River), born 1967, Iowa City, Iowa
Tim Whidden (T.Whid), born 1969, Elyria, Ohio

Both members of MTAA live and work in Brooklyn, New York.

Michael Sarff and Tim Whidden formed the artist collaboration MTAA in 1996. The home for MTAA’s various on- and off-line activities is

MTAA has presented work at The New Museum, MoMA PS1, The Whitney Museum, Postmasters Gallery and Artists Space, all in New York City; Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY; 2010 01SJ Biennial, San Jose, CA; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; The Beall Center for Art and Technology, UC Irvine, CA; The Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA; and SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA.

International exhibitions include Translation is a mode, Kunstraum Niederoesterreich, Vienna, Austria; Made In Internet, ARTBOOM Festival, Krakow, Poland; The Art Happens Here (part of iCommons Summit ‘07), Dubrovnik, Croatia; Link-a, Madrid, Spain; Split Film Festival, Split, Croatia; Netizens II, Rome, Italy; and The 2nd International Video Art Biennial, Tel Aviv, Israel.

The collaboration has earned commissions, grants and awards from Creative Capital, 01SJ Biennial, EMPAC, SFMOMA,, Eyebeam and New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc.

Long MTAA Biography

MTAA (M.River & T.Whid Art Associates) is a Brooklyn, New York-based conceptual and net art collaboration founded in 1996. Please read this explanation of MTAA naming.

m.river cartoon portrait M.River was born in Iowa in 1967. After some time he moved to Ohio where he met his friend T. Whid in art school. After a bit of time in a Michigan grad school, M. River began his life as an artist in the then untamed outbacks of Brooklyn, NY. In Brooklyn, he rejoined his friend T. Whid (around 1997 or so) and together they began the collaboration known as MTAA.

When not working as a Net / Conceptual / Early 21st Century American Artist, M. River works as a carpenter at a “world class museum” to pay his bills. M. River may be the only Net Artist in the world to have received his forklift operator license from the National Safety Council. When not making art or building walls, M.River enjoys music, camping, the beaches of Long Island, Rolling Rock beer (no endorsement, it’s not that great a beer) and bicycling the streets of New York.

M. River’s five favorite topics for online chat currently are:
  1. I still belive in Net Art
  2. Classism in contemporary America
  3. Painters
  4. Para-Normal Architecture
  5. Text as art
t.whid cartoon portrait T. Whid was born and raised near Lake Erie in Northern Ohio. After a stint in art school, he relocated to Brooklyn, NYC. During the early 90s, T. Whid was involved with underground comix. His work, created with the poet Chistie Haag, was published in zines like “World War 3”, “Bloody Wymen” and “Top Shelf”. T. Whid also co-edited and co-published the short lived Brooklyn comix anthology “Burger”. Around this time T. Whid also designed and painted a large cartoon mural at the Bronx roller rink “The Key”. This mural is enjoyed by thousands of skaters each year.

In 1996, T. Whid, with his friend, M. River, formed the on-going art collaboration MTAA (M.River & T.Whid Art Associates). During the daytime T. Whid works at an on-line media company as a graphic designer. When not at his job or creating art with MTAA, T.Whid enjoys music, watching movies, bicycling the streets of NYC, fine dining, and playing Unreal Tournament and chess.

MTAA’s examinations of networked culture, the economics of art, digital materials, and the institutional art world take the form of web sites, installations, sculptures, and photographic prints. Their work has been commissioned by The Alternative Museum, Creative Time, and The Whitney Museum of American Art and has been exhibited by PS1 Art Center (New York, 2000), The Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, 2000) and Eyebeam Atelier (New York, 2002).

See MTAA’s resumé for a full account of their creative activities.

1997 - 2006 M.River & T.Whid Art Associates. Some Rights Reserved. is licensed under a Creative Commons License with the exception of Website Unseen titles which are covered by agreements with individual collectors and otherwise where noted.