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tom moody

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...more recent posts

Like the mortuary residents in Philip K. Dick's novel Ubik, some of the posts on this weblog are still ticking away in the comments section, enjoying happy and productive half-lives. The following are recommended threads:

A rousing discussion of Golan Levin's Dialtones (a Telesymphony), a new media work in which audience members' cell phones become musical instruments. After kicking it off with my customary gentle critique, artist/poet/critic/WFMU dj Kenneth Goldsmith and various digital media tree-ers chimed in, and then Levin himself responded. The nitty gritty is gotten down to here.

The discussion of 28 Days Later shifts to the film's stupid "alternate ending" strategy and iffy racial politics.

In the Marsha Cottrell vs Seldon Hunt thread, Digital Media Tree-er Mark posts a nifty chart of DCT coefficients and I try to bluff my way through a discussion of image compression technology.

In the thread on Soviet Synthesizers, Bruce Sterling's 1995 speech about "dead media" is excerpted. That brilliant bit of argument should be required reading in any college-level new media curriculum.

- tom moody 7-30-2003 11:08 am [link] [5 comments]

"With this lance of PVC, foam, and duct tape, I challenge you to joust."

"And with this lance of similar materials, I respond to your challenge." (Guy in foreground: "So, we're thinking about Thai later--are you up for it?")

More pictures from the 2003 Chunkathalon (Saturday, July 26th, 2003, North 7th and Kent, Williamsburg, Brooklyn): "a series of death-defying contests that includes...the 40 lap, powerslide competition, baby rescue, apocalyptic quickfix, the 'help-me-up,' the gauntlet, derby, flaming wall of death, jump, hurl, and spew, as well as the World Chopper and Tallbike Jousting Championships. All chopper, tallbike, etc. bike clubs [were] respectfully commanded to attend."

UPDATE: Other pictures from embedded chunkajournalists are coming to light! James Wagner has a dynamic action shot on his blog of one of the jousts, and bloggy also has great photos. (Still more pics here.) Also, check out this documentation on the C.H.U.N.K. 666 website of the possibly even more frenetic 2002 Chunkathalon, held in Portland.

- tom moody 7-27-2003 10:59 am [link] [9 comments]

Cube tower slideup, by artech-x03, 80 times
an html/internet/curatorial/appropriation piece

- tom moody 7-26-2003 9:22 pm [link] [5 comments]

The film 28 Days Later is a mishmash of influences (Omega Man, George Romero's zombie trilogy, John Wyndham's "cozy catastrophes"*), but it still packs a wallop. As fellow PreReviewer Sally McKay says in an email:
The fear in this film (Danny Boyle is director, from Trainspotting, etc.) is really contemporary. Globalization protest is an undercurrent, the main character is a bike courier, and the plot is a viral plague. All this content is punched home by the fact that it's shot with consumer-technology cameras. Sort of an open-source feel to the whole thing.
The use of MiniDV is discussed in this article on Anthony Dod Mantle, the cinematographer, and the gritty, grainy texture of the video and the filmmakers' keen eye for composition & detail make an unbeatable combination. Seeing the movie a second time you become more aware of how artful (not arty) some of the images are (semi-spoilers): the eerie scenes of a completely depopulated daytime London (the Dod Mantle article explains how this was done); hundreds of colored plastic rain-collecting buckets spread like a Tony Cragg piece on the roof of Brendan Gleeson's flat; the Constructivist vortex of high tension wires outside the bike messengers's parents' home (in the extreme foreground of the shot); the weirdly Photoshopped rows of flowers on the road to Manchester; the heavy sheets of rain at the military checkpoint in the last reel; the messenger's view of the jet contrail through a tangle of silhouetted branches. Many of these shots would have been effective if done on regular film stock, but the video gives the movie a documentary urgency, so the best compositions seem accidental, which is even better.

*So called because, although apocalyptic, the action is largely confined to the British Isles and the protagonists never see the worst of it. Most germane here is the book Day of the Triffids. Giant ambulatory plants, offspring of crossbreeding experiments, are slow moving, responsive to sound, and lethal to humans--killing with a deadly stinger and feeding on the carrion. They aren't actually much of a threat until a strange meteor shower, watched all over the globe, strikes most of the population inexplicably blind. Recuperating from eye surgery perfomed before the meteors fell, a man removes the bandages from his eyes in a strangely empty hospital, and discovers a changed world...

- tom moody 7-24-2003 9:58 am [link] [11 comments]

It's summer, and I suddenly find myself in the mood to draw cartoons. It's kind of an avoidance technique for doing my abstract work, which is more complicated. I say cartoons, but they're really just drawings in a cartoon style. No, this isn't Trogdor to the right, or the Unidragon. I think of it as, oh, the unholy alliance of multinational corporate power and fundamentalist wacko Christianity that threatens to despoil the globe. You might interpret it some other way, though. Speaking of which, how about what happened to Saddam's sons yesterday? (NY Times: United States troops surrounded the house...and killed the two men in a ferocious shootout that gradually shredded the walls providing them cover.) I know I'm supposed to be all rah-rah about this--after all, their Dad tried to kill our President's Dad! Or less facetiously, they're the enemy, responsible for killing our troops, hrumph, hrumph. But who started this? Invading a country that posed no threat to us--what a stupid idea.

On a lighter note, below is a drawing called Gray Couple on Sofa. Both images can be clicked on for larger views.

- tom moody 7-23-2003 9:43 am [link] [9 comments]

These are sections of the World's Tallest Virtual Building (if link is busted see my update below), a collaborative pixelist project that should provide hours of astonished amusement. Unfortunately the bubble wall got trimmed on the floor with the homicidal bears, but you get the idea. This is another example of the internet being way ahead of all those seminars about "databases in collaboration" and whatnot, and it may be one of the few "exquisite corpse" ideas that actually works. I love how European it is, inevitable McDonald's "flythrough" notwithstanding. In case you're new to the pixel art craze (), each floor is drawn in the "fat bits" or zoom mode of a simple paint program, so we're talking uncountable hours of plugging in little squares to make this sucker. (hat tip to Cory A.)

UPDATE: I guess this site got too popular because the link is no longer good. If anyone notices it back up or at a new location please let me know. In the meantime, I saved a few of the images. They're not stacked like they're supposed to be. Think of it as an html jigsaw puzzle. UPDATE TO UPDATE: The site's back up! Yay!

- tom moody 7-21-2003 5:01 am [link] [5 comments]

Through weblog channels too circuitous to list, I came across this page of Soviet synthesizers. Who knew? Above is the Kvintet. Also, here's the New England Synthesizer Museum, which seems pretty comprehensive. Earlier Bill Schwarz posted a link to this site of electronic instruments from 1890-1990, which overlaps somewhat with the New England site. And as long as I'm dumping links, here's a site called the Obsolete Computer Museum. Check back later and I may have formulated something to say about all this. Or maybe not.

- tom moody 7-18-2003 12:44 am [link] [4 comments]

At White Columns this month, Douglas Melini presents a room-filling colossus of a painting titled, well, Colossus. Melini considers it a single painting but it's comprised of separate panels, intended to be arranged in different configurations and adapted to the space in which they're hung. The White Columns installation features ten of a total of thirteen panels. Each panel is comprised of many rectangular "patches," or groups of stripes, each superficially resembling a miniature Kenneth Noland or Gene Davis painting (the reference isn't that overt; just to get you in ballpark). The stripes are carefully applied using masking tape and acrylic paint. Where those earlier painters used fewer (but larger) stripes to bowl over the viewer, Melini creates a kind of hyper-optic, wraparound, LCD Age spectacle with his arrays of tightly-spaced bands. On the epistemological front, the crisscrossing patches act as frames for other patches in a constantly shifting play of context. (One gets this intuitively and not from any jargon-laden handout, by the way; could it be we're finally outgrowing the '80s?)

A more dramatic photo of the installation, by Walter Robinson, is here.

- tom moody 7-18-2003 12:17 am [link] [9 comments]