View current page
...more recent posts
On the earlier comment thread(s) about Flash, Photoshop, etc. the patent issues with respect to GIFs were mentioned. A website called Burn All GIFs discusses this. In a nutshell, a particular company owned the compression tech behind GIFs and could potentially sue every website with a dancing hamster or viking kitten raising a sword. So we should, therefore, purge our sites of all GIFs in protest. But the patents affecting GIFs expired in the US in 2003 and everywhere else in 2004, so what's the problem? I can't keep track of all the moral issues I'm supposedly on the wrong side of. PNGs, the alternative to GIFs, are made with Microsoft programs (animated PNGs, anyway)--that's better? When web browsers stop recognizing GIFs we'll all move to something else. Some will spend years of their lives converting their GIFs to PNGs or whatever--now because it's the "right thing to do" or in the future because nothing will recognize GIFs. You can go insane thinking about this stuff.
Update, from the comments (well, my comment): They really should take the "Burn All GIFS" page down. Since it's not blog style, it's difficult to tell where the rabble rousing anti-GIF rhetoric stops and "never mind, the patent's expired" message starts. The website is still pushing the "switch to PNG or you will feel the licking flames of hellfire" message really strongly.
From the comments:
Why, if there are so many interesting things in this [Cory Arcangel] interview and also this excerpt, the discussion will always start with "I like Flash", "Flash ain't bad", "I like Flash", "it is a tool" etc?? ... i have seen this with 98% of all articles where Flash is mentioned.I also especially hate the "smudge tool."
Strangely, Photoshop is still out of this circle. Photoshop is also mentioned here, but never anybody jumps in and says it sucks or it is gr8 or just a tool or whatever. Actually Photoshop is mentioned everywhere and never such strong opinions as about Flash pop up.
Let's change that! Who will start?
- drx (guest) 3-31-2006 3:15 am
Allow me to say as strongly as I think you'd like to hear, I hate Photoshop. I hate its characteristic '70s airbrushed look, I hate the "bicubic mush" from resizing (your term, drx, and it's great--I'm thankful Paul Slocum told me about "nearest neighbor" resizing or I'd be screwed with these pixeled bitmaps I do), I hate all those "artistic" paintbrushes, I hate the instantly recognizable effects ("mezzotint," "craquelure"), I hate the lazy "surrealist collages" people make with Photoshop, I hate working with layers, I hate the un-intuitive interface, I hate Adobe, which has criminalized the gray area of intellectual property disputes, I hate the constant upgrades that add features no one needs (I'm still using a version of 5 that came bundled with a scanner)--I mainly use Photoshop for cropping and maybe tweaking the contrast of a photo for the blog. I hate making art with it.
- tom moody 3-31-2006 3:40 am
Receptors (Jeremy Kolosine) performing at the Bent Festival last year. (I took this pic and never got around to posting it.) He's coming back to NY this weekend: performing Saturday, April 1, at 9 pm, at vertexList in Brooklyn. His live show is a mix of 8-Bit instruments including the Atari 2600, NES, Gameboy, and Sidstation, with live, mostly Vocodered vocals. One of my favorite tunes of his is "The Devil's Backbone," which is a weird, seemingly impossible mix of videogame Electro with elements of folk/bluegrass Americana (there's a lyric about a train coming down a mountainside, but I confess I don't know what the song's about.) Hope he performs it this weekend.
Paddy Johnson interviews Cory Arcangel:
FANZINE: In fact it was a friend, Yael Kanarek, that organized your first talk in 2001 at Eyebeam. I remember this talk because you said some rather nasty things about Flash––the crux of your argument being that you should understand how a program is built if you are going to use it, and that Flash makes everything look the same. I saw your lecture at Columbia University in 2004 online, where you appear to have changed your opinion a little. Though you don't speak specifically about Flash, you do mention that you now believe that as long as you understand software imposes an aesthetic then it is fine to work with it. What was it that made you change your mind?
CORY ARCANGEL: Well in 2001, I was still a punk basically, and just thought it was my way or the highway. This was inherited from the BEIGE days, where we kinda rolled as a computer gang, and pretty much hated anything that wasn’t exactly like what we were doing. But I guess as we grew older we started seeing all this work that we loved that wasn’t necessarily 100% craft aware. In fact it was the opposite. I mean look at the Internet? How many amazing crappy Flash animations are there? And those are amazing!! Also, I began to see bad Photoshop art where the artist knew it was bad and was therefore OK. So I needed to find a way to accommodate this perspective.....otherwise I would be ruling out a lot of great self aware media art that is made these days. I had to have a way to deal with that in my own set of rules...
UFOs are real! Joe McKay has been photographing them. Talk about hiding in plain sight--all along they've been masquerading as ordinary streetlamps. Special lenses and McKay's tremendous personal courage allow us to see the alien vessels as they really are. (more)
Update: does this photo qualify as a Kaloogian? (Link removed. Wikipedia was considering adding "Kaloogian" as a word, named after California right wing congressional candidate Howard Kaloogian, who posted a picture of Instanbul on his website to "prove" how peaceful Baghdad is under the US' benign guidance. The proposed definition of "a Kaloogian"--meaning a piece of false or falsified visual evidence--was broad enough to include Photoshop-revealed space aliens. Looks like the wingers and/or word-purists won the battle and Wikipedia pulled it.)
Recommended: Guthrie Lonergan's 9 Short Music Videos. Reminiscent of BEIGE's cheesy blue (green?) screen vids, each is built around some corporate sound (ringtone, Microsoft boot-up noise, DVD intro) that craps up our daily lives. Also good: Bricks Video. And a lecture "Surfing the Internet in Public." Be sure to check out Ian Haig's "Men of the Internet" while you're there. Really need to spend more time surfing. So many gems, so little time...
Check this out, all you laptop bombadiers:
Eric Haney, a retired command sergeant major of the U.S. Army, was a founding member of Delta Force, the military's elite covert counter-terrorist unit. He culled his experiences for "Inside Delta Force" ... a memoir rich with harrowing stories... He serves as an executive producer and technical adviser for "The Unit," CBS' new hit drama based on his book, developed by playwright David Mamet...
Q: What's your assessment of the war in Iraq?
A: Utter debacle. But it had to be from the very first. The reasons were wrong. The reasons of this administration for taking this nation to war were not what they stated. (Army Gen.) Tommy Franks was brow-beaten and ... pursued warfare that he knew strategically was wrong in the long term. That's why he retired immediately afterward...
We have fomented civil war in Iraq. We have probably fomented internecine war in the Muslim world between the Shias and the Sunnis, and I think Bush may well have started the third world war, all for their own personal policies.
Q: What is the cost to our country?
A: For the first thing, our credibility is utterly zero. So we destroyed whatever credibility we had. ... And I say "we," because the American public went along with this. They voted for a second Bush administration out of fear, so fear is what they're going to have from now on.
The harm that has been done is irreparable. There are more than 2,000 American kids that have been killed. Tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis have been killed---which no one in the U.S. really cares about those people, do they? I never hear anybody lament that fact. It has been a horror, and this administration has worked overtime to divert the American public's attention from it. Their lies are coming home to roost now, and it's gonna fall apart. But somebody's gonna have to clear up the aftermath and the harm that it's done just to what America stands for. It may be two or three generations in repairing.
Q: What do you make of the torture debate? Cheney ...
A: (Interrupting) That's Cheney's pursuit. The only reason anyone tortures is because they like to do it. It's about vengeance, it's about revenge, or it's about cover-up. You don't gain intelligence that way. Everyone in the world knows that. It's worse than small-minded, and look what it does.
I've argued this on Bill O'Reilly and other Fox News shows. I ask, who would you want to pay to be a torturer? Do you want someone that the American public pays to torture? He's an employee of yours. It's worse than ridiculous. It's criminal; it's utterly criminal. This administration has been masters of diverting attention away from real issues and debating the silly. Debating what constitutes torture: Mistreatment of helpless people in your power is torture, period. And (I'm saying this as) a man who has been involved in the most pointed of our activities. I know it, and all of my mates know it. You don't do it. It's an act of cowardice. I hear apologists for torture say, "Well, they do it to us." Which is a ludicrous argument. ... The Saddam Husseins of the world are not our teachers. Christ almighty, we wrote a Constitution saying what's legal and what we believed in. Now we're going to throw it away.