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tom moody

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Rot Gut

If I'm sympathetic to the New Dumb Little Painting genre it's because I've done my share of them over the years. Here's one from '91: Rot Gut, acrylic on canvas, 10 X 8 inches, currently hanging in the Louvre in Paris, France.

- tom moody 9-23-2004 4:48 am [link] [3 comments]

Today is my last day reBlogging for the Eyebeam reBlog. Tomorrow the Eyebeamers will introduce my successor, Tim Shey, who will take it from here. After three weeks monitoring about 100 blog feeds and reposting 15-20 items per day (often with added pictures, text, or gratuitous comments), I would now like to articulate my personal reBlogging philosophy--hopefully you're sitting down. Here are my thoughts, for future reBloggers (and reBlog readers) to take or leave:
1. reBlogging is definitely an art, somewhere between curating and editing. I believe the Eyebeam reBlog can be as important and genre-defining as any of the major umbrella tech sites, umbrella art sites (if those existed) or heaven forbid, regular news sources, as long as original material from a pool of steady dedicated bloggers is given equal weight to clips. The purely anecdotal has value, as does free lance reporting. Accordingly, I tried to emphasize unique, personal blog writing and research over news items recycled from big media sources. By and large I did not reBlog slashdot, boingboing or kottke, assuming that most people were looking at them anyway. I also avoided the major media feeds, such as NY Times, Yahoo, Wired, for the same reason.

2. I favored items with text or pictures over blind links with pithy 3-word captions.

3. I tried to keep a balance of tech and art writing.

4. I included a heftier dose of politics because the major media are failing us in that regard and we have to do what we can.

5. I added a few feeds where people are posting original art to the Web: Look, See; SCREENFULL; Wooster Art Collective.

6. I was disappointed in the music coverage out there. A lot of electronic dance bloggers, for example, don't have RSS feeds or seem to be in a post-coital slump after they all found and linked to each other about two years ago.
Because of the rotation system, personal guidelines such as these won't harden into rules, resulting in the "soft bigotry of voluntarism." I look forward to following the reBlog after I Ieave, and invite everyone to visit my personal blog, where posting is about to increase markedly. I'll probably reBlog a few more items today, but wanted to get this up.

[Obviously this was written with self-reBlogging in mind.]

- tom moody 9-22-2004 11:33 pm [link] [7 comments]

I have an animated .GIF in the online exhibition "Sunday Afternoon," curated by MatCh-Art (Matthew Fisher and Christina Vassallo). The show of approximately 25 artists, described as "an interdisciplinary exploration of leisure, love and obligations," showcases, among other things, what Jerry Saltz has called "puberty escapism" and what I would call The New Dumb Little Painting, a style sweeping New York, if not the world. I don't mean the term disparagingly at all: antecedents would be Laura Owens and Karen Kilimnick and the reigning queen, I suppose, would be Dana Schutz (even though her paintings aren't very little). The style is marked by faux naive paint handling, disguising sharp, emotionally punchy, and/or socially-tinged observations; MatCh-Art and its earlier incarnations specialize in fairly intimate and ambiguous twists on the genre. Here's a great example, from the "Sunday Afternoon" show, Jeffrey Lutonsky's Fuck Ken Schrader, 2004, ink and pencil on paper, 14 X 17 inches:

Jeffrey Lutonsky

- tom moody 9-22-2004 5:43 am [link] [5 comments]

Did you read Robert Novak's recent column? The Bush inner circle appears to be telegraphing to the non-neocon righties that they plan to pull out of Iraq soon after the election! While in the meantime Bush continues to talk tough for the security moms.
Well-placed sources in the administration are confident Bush's decision will be to get out. They believe that is the recommendation of his national security team and would be the recommendation of second-term officials. An informed guess might have Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state, Paul Wolfowitz as defense secretary and Stephen Hadley as national security adviser. According to my sources, all would opt for a withdrawal.

Getting out now would not end expensive U.S. reconstruction of Iraq, and certainly would not stop the fighting. Without U.S. troops, the civil war cited as the worst-case outcome by the recently leaked National Intelligence Estimate would be a reality. It would then take a resolute president to stand aside while Iraqis battle it out.
Novak is a paleoconservative and kinda sorta opposed the invasion so this may be wishful thinking on his part. But I don't think so. The neocons may have decided this thing isn't winnable and are looking to save their front man so they can fight (Iran) another day. I wish I could say Kerry/Edwards were an antidote to this craven duplicity but they also speak with bifurcated tongue on the issue. "We'll win this thing with European allies" and "We'll be out in four years" are just a lame campaign message.

- tom moody 9-21-2004 5:30 pm [link] [2 comments]

My print criticism continues to surface on the Web like submerged bodies rising in a Meadowlands pond. Here's my Artforum review of Randy Wray's 1996 Kagan Martos exhibition. I enjoyed looking at Wray's website, about which more later. Missed the last couple of shows, unfortunately, but in the paintings I've seen, the tension between abrupt bursts of ideas and obsessive time-filling noodling within the same piece is compelling. It's tempting to say they're Seinfeldian in that no subject becomes the subject. I still think I prefer the earlier, punchier works, but it's fascinating watching his thought process...mature? deepen? not sure yet (you, too, can follow this development by paging though the slightly-too-small but kilobyte-intensive website pics). He does use the computer now for developing ideas, but too much could be made of that--they're still about painting, sculpting, drawing, and paint-by-number handicrafts. You don't feel much "cyber" in the work--it could just as easily be elaborate Polke-esque stencilling.

Old scores: this piece, Nest, was the image I wanted to accompany my Artforum review, instead of the one they ran (it was the dealers' fault for sending in something else). This would have popped off the page in AF's black and white postage stamp format.

Randy Wray - Nest lo res

- tom moody 9-20-2004 9:56 pm [link] [2 comments]

Trax Records, the seminal Chicago house music label, just re-released some vintage recordings, and the Seattle Weekly's review of them is worth a read. I just purchased Acid Classics and my jaw elevatored down to hear this music I completely missed when it came out in '86 (!) through 1990. (I knew about House but had no reliable way to get my hands on the vinyl.) By now we've heard these moves a million times--the trancy squiggle of the Roland TB-303 is a musical institution--but these early, stripped-down psychedelic funk engines still sound radical. "Acid" is the most techno-y side of house, and the beats are as minimal as it gets, but still seductive and completely up to date. There's simply no comparison between this music and the "industrial" style of pre-techno that was appearing around the same time--Front 242, Nitzer Ebb, Single Gun Theory--whose beats were much more pounding, metallic, obvious, and, now, dated. (Although I still have a soft spot for Nitzer Ebb.) Laurent X's "Machines" and Adonis' "Two the Max" are brilliant.

- tom moody 9-20-2004 9:54 pm [link] [add a comment]

Animated Portrait Drawing

- tom moody 9-18-2004 8:04 pm [link] [7 comments]

In a comment to the previous post, Brent questions whether Chris Ashley's stationary HTML drawing and jimpunk's moving .GIF are comparable or compatible on the same page. My usual quip about showing video next to paintings in a gallery setting is that it's like bringing a baby to a wedding, but the browser is the great equalizer. A few more line breaks were added to the post so the pieces aren't quite so close together, but otherwise, yeah, I think they have more in common than not as art non-objects. Although neither artist is an Op artist in the old '60s sense, the pieces exploit optical tricks over and above their plain formal appeal: illusory depth in the Ashley and quite literal vibration in the jp. Moreover, they are fresh takes on the grid and opticality, which the New York Times and the Village Voice love to dismiss as the concerns of a bygone generation, in spite of all evidence to the contrary (e.g., the Infinite Fill show.)

- tom moody 9-18-2004 3:28 am [link] [5 comments]