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tom moody

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The NY Times ran another in its endless series of chin-scratchers on "Internet Art" yesterday. The writer talked to a few of the players but couldn't reach any conclusions, so he opted for the annoying "on the one hand/on the other hand" format, while still trying to make it sound like some Rubicon had been crossed. Or retreated from. Or something. He mentions one noteworthy fact as evidence of the "death of Net Art"--that the Whitney included no internet section in the Biennial this year--but then doesn't talk to the current Biennial curators to ask why that decision was made. (Maybe it's just because the terminals never worked.) Instead, he tracks down the curator of the 2002 Biennial and gets some exquisite hot air on the subject.

Below is an annotated version of the article.

March 31, 2004
Internet Art Survives, but the Boom Is Over

IT'S dead. It's thriving. It's everywhere and nowhere.

Like most things in the online world, the state of Internet art is subject to no small amount of exaggeration. During boom times, as art made with ones and zeroes entered Chelsea galleries [Postmasters] and blue-chip museums, the new form was seen as the wave of the future [by reporters and publicists]. But now, ask an artist or a gallery owner or a blogger about it and you are likely to get a groan [; ask an artist about it and you're likely to hear that no one calls it Net Art anymore; ask a blogger about it and he will mention a hundred wack things he's found lacking any institutional imprimatur.]

- tom moody 4-01-2004 6:26 pm [link] [4 comments]

Bill Davenport XVII

Bill Davenport, XVII, 1994, wool needlepoint (stitched by Olga Vannucci). My earlier discussion of Davenport is here, and more needlepoints from the series are here (click on thumbnails for enlarged views).

- tom moody 4-01-2004 4:15 am [link] [5 comments]

cuechamp recently posted a music mix titled "source code" [(76 min - 72MB - .mp3], consisting of the original songs--mostly from the '70s--that were subsequently, heavily mined for sampled drum breaks by hiphop and drum & bass producers. If you've listened to any music other than country (and maybe even that) for the last 25 years you will also recognize many of the piano stabs, vocal hooks, and random cowbells in these R&B, funk, and fusion classics (they were also very popular with house and garage producers). cuechamp doesn't layer or mash up the tunes: one song respectfully follows another in a nice flow that would also make it an excellent house party soundtrack. Here's the tracklist:

1. chase the devil - max romeo and the upsetters
2. amen, brother - the winstons
3. think about it - lyn collins
4. apache - incredible bongo band
5. ready or not - the delfonics
6. take me to the mardi gras - bob james
7. i'm gonna love you just a little more - barry white
8. shack up - banbarra
9. you can't hide from yourself - teddy pendergrass
10. scorpio - dennis coffey
11. fate - chaka khan
12. dance to the drummer's beat - herman kelly (I love this one -tm)
13. all this love that i'm giving - gwen mccrae
14. get out of my life woman - lee dorsey
15. far beyond - locksmith
16. ashley's roachclip - soulsearchers
17. i love you more - george duke
18. champ - the mohawks
19. praise you - camille yarbrough
20. funky drummer - james brown

It would be interesting to create graphs showing all the subsequent uses of sound bites from this "source code." If you sorted them by length you'd probably find the samples get longer in proportion to (1) the age of the track using the sample and/or (2) the economic strength of the samplee. This is because of an "invisible attractor" force in current creative endeavors called The Law. Early house and hiphop was made in the day before humorless poor sports like The Turtles started suing and winning cases for their precious string snippets. Nowadays the samplee becomes an involuntary creative partner in the new production, depending on the amount of lawyer fees he/she can afford (or recoup on contingency). Such issues are discussed in Lawrence Lessig's new freeware book, also linked to on cuechamp's page.

Here's a relevant quote pulled not from Lessig's .PDF but from a NY Times article about the Danger Mouse Grey Tuesday protest, before the article disappeared into the Times' proprietary vault:

Jonathan Zittrain, a director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, said the issue is indeed a gray one. "As a matter of pure legal doctrine, the...protest is breaking the law, end of story," Mr. Zittrain said. "But copyright law was written with a particular form of industry in mind. The flourishing of information technology gives amateurs and home-recording artists powerful tools to build and share interesting, transformative, and socially valuable art drawn from pieces of popular culture. There's no place to plug such an important cultural sea change into the current legal regime." (emphasis added)

- tom moody 3-31-2004 9:00 pm [link] [2 comments]

More Virtual Actual Craft Projects

Peter Coffin ASCII Weaves

Peter Coffin, ASCII Weaves, from KnitKnit #2


Elliot Winard, iPod Cozy, also from KnitKnit #2

- tom moody 3-30-2004 7:10 pm [link] [add a comment]

Virtual Craft Project

Make a needlepoint of the paperback cover image for William Gibson's collection Burning Chrome. See explanatory notes under pics below.

Burning Chrome Cover

The above "video cyborg" by Richard Berry is très 1987 (but kind of good)--check out those Max Headroom stripes in the background. This is just a scan of a paperback cover, but my idea would be to contract out the sewing so that a detail would look like the image below (assuming anyone has about a year):

Bill Davenport

Nintendo Ocean, 1994, by Bill Davenport. This Houston-based artist had a ten year jump on a lot of the lowtech Komputer Kraft stuff that's going on now, with the Providence collectives and whatnot. He did go to RISD, but in the '80s. This 8.5" X 12" needlepoint was stitched by Olga Vanucci. Note: the image is cropped at the top and more cyan than the original. More needlepoints from this series are here (click on thumbnails for enlarged views), and a 2002 exhibition of Davenport's faux-lumpen sculptures and crafts, which I prefer to his recent trompe l'oeil book cover paintings, is documented here.

- tom moody 3-29-2004 11:50 pm [link] [7 comments]

Clamdigger Friendless

- tom moody 3-29-2004 6:52 am [link] [5 comments]

A new piece of music I made: "Eine Zwei Drei" [1 min - 1.37MB - .mp3]. I find it kind of sinister. Coming this soon after talking about Monotrona, it might be compared to that, but I'd say it's closer to Laibach. That's it--a kind of abject, basement Laibach (Slovenian dirge-y synth stuff, but this is goofier.)

- tom moody 3-29-2004 6:50 am [link] [6 comments]

Joe McKay's preReview, where yrs truly occasionally moonlights with trenchantly uninformed coverage of Hollywood crapola, was named "Unfortunate Site of the Week" by Time Out NY this week. Here's what they said: "Everyone's a critic--only some people think they're so smart they can review a film based on previews alone. Encourage them to get a life by not going to for 'prereviews' of soon-to-be-released films." This is what's known in the preReviewing trade as an "inverted psych maneuver" or the less technical "stroke'n'slap." Tell'em not to go and then give'em the URL, ri-iii-ght. Yet beneath that passive aggressive unplug you can smell the stench of fear hovering over a trade that knows its day is about over. I mean, these people expect you to shell out at the box office for a product you know you'll hate, and then plunk down coin AGAIN to read what they say about it. preReview on the other hand saves you both payments and is actually entertaining. So by all means, don't pick up Time Out NY this week to read their plug of McKay's site.

- tom moody 3-28-2004 5:28 pm [link] [add a comment]