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We began installing my show at artMovingProjects yesterday. I'm approaching this as an experiment and a reality check. The gallery consists of one large-ish white box room, so the decision was made some time ago to show my video work and not my 2-D work (drawings and paintings made with the computer). For reasons of light levels you can't have projected video in the same room with overhead-lit pieces--the two would cancel each other out.
It's ironic to be talking about "my video work" because until a few months ago it didn't exist. I had been doing animations and short films for the Web but never thought much about putting them in a physical space. But I was getting asked to submit videos to things, so I've been scaling up existing vids and thinking more about scale in making new ones.
Up until recently I'd only seen much of this work on the computer or a small TV monitor. Now we're going through the process of seeing how things look large and hearing how the sound works in a big room. It's premature to say where we'll end up Friday, but it's looking like less-is-more is the order of the day. Probably the show will feature only pieces with no sound, and the music lecture performance thing on May 19 will emphasize the "music video" pieces.
The silent pieces are on the peaceful hypnotic looping side--this OptiDisc one is looking like a likely centerpiece. Coincentally Google Images just archived the Net version recently and it's been getting a lot of traffic. The music vids, where my own tunes have some visual accompaniment, are aggressive beyond my hopes on a big scale, as in rock and roll. "Exit Maurice," "Sensor Readings," "End Notes," and "Guitar Solo" do more than "hold the room"--they pretty much grab it by the throat. I'm tempted to have one of these be the "centerpiece," but am kind of leery of videos with soundtracks in a gallery that play over and over. As in, I usually hate it. Still thinking about this.
Two shows opening this week:
Tom Moody, Room Sized Animated GIFsAnd, Rhizome.org Net Art News on The GIF Show*:
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
166 North 12th Street
May 5 - June 25, 2006
Opening: Friday, May 5, 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Music Performance/Lecture: May 19th, 8PM
Note: gallery closed June 8-11
Animated GIFs, the tiny, blinking, often annoying image files that draw your eye to particular parts of a Web page, have been around since the Net's early days. There is a sizeable do-it-yourself culture built up around them, which now includes a second generation of Web and gallery based art using them ironically and/or proactively.
For the past several years, Moody has been drawing GIFs in a simple paint program and posting them on his blog. The gallery will project two of these pulsing, but defiantly lo-fi animations huge on opposing walls of the space. Others will be displayed on monitors scattered on the floor.
The gallery will also feature a lecture/performance by Moody where he will present some of his music. These catchy compositions, made with a combination of old computers such as the Macintosh SE as well as more current soft synths and samplers, have a punchy concision similar to his GIFs. The styles range from videogame Electro to a string quartet piece written for a softsampler. --from ArtCal
The GIF Show, an exhibition opening May 3rd, at San Francisco’s Rx Gallery, takes the pulse of what some net surfers call ‘GIF Luv,’ a recent frenzy of file-sharing and creative muscle-flexing associated with GIFs (Graphic Interchange Format files). Curated by Marisa Olson in a West Coast Rhizome collaboration with Rx, the show presents GIFs and GIF-based videos, prints, readymades, and sculptures by a range of artists, including Cory Arcangel, Peter Baldes, Michael Bell-Smith, Jimpunk, Olia Lialina, Abe Linkoln, Guthrie Lonergan, Lovid, Tom Moody, Paper Rad, Paul Slocum, and Matt Smear (aka 893/umeancompetitor). GIFs have a rich cultural life on the internet and each bears specific stylistic markers. From Myspace graphics to advertising images to porn banners, and beyond, GIFs overcome resolution and bandwidth challenges in their pervasive population of the net. Animated GIFs, in particular, have evolved from a largely cinematic, cell-based form of art practice, and have more recently been incorporated in music videos and employed as stimulating narrative devices on blogs. From the flashy to the minimal, the sonic to the silent, the artists in The GIF Show demonstrate the diversity of forms to be found in GIFs, and many of them comment on the broader social life of these image files. The opening is sure to be just as lively, with music by Eats Tapes and visuals by Nate Boyce. Spread the luv! - Rhizome.orgThe MySpace page for The GIF Show has a lot of new material added.
*Update, 2011: The Rhizome link has been changed to http://rhizome.org/editorial/2006/apr/29/gifs-galore-and-more/
From US News and World Report:
Skewering comedy skit angers Bush and aidesSome kind of personal smear will no doubt be surfacing about Colbert: "not today, not tomorrow, but when he least expects it." Bush is like the character Paul Lazzaro from Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five. Nursing grudges and getting payback is what he's all about.
By Paul Bedard
Comedy Central star Stephen Colbert's biting routine at the White House Correspondents Association dinner won a rare silent protest from Bush aides and supporters Saturday when several independently left before he finished.
"Colbert crossed the line," said one top Bush aide, who rushed out of the hotel as soon as Colbert finished. Another said that the president was visibly angered by the sharp lines that kept coming.
"I've been there before, and I can see that he is [angry]," said a former top aide. "He's got that look that he's ready to blow."
Colbert's routine was similar to what he does on his show, the Colbert Report, but much longer on the topic of Bush, suggesting that the president is out of touch with reality. Aides and reporters, however, said that it did not overshadow Bush's own funny routine, which featured an impersonator who told the audience what Bush was thinking when he spoke dull speech lines.
In fact, some aides crowed over reports that the president easily bested Colbert in the reviews of both comedy acts.
Today is the third anniversary of Bush's aircraft carrier photo-op. On May 2, 2003, I posted these pics:
I mentioned at the time that "[t]he photo above and left is an Agence France-Presse photo. As documented here, the AP story changed the wording of the banner to make the protesters sound more violent, or desperate: 'Sooner or later US killers we'll kill you.' Hardly any US media ran the above photo, only AP's altered description."
Amazing and sad that after so many Americans and Iraqis have been killed, Bush is still in power and the press is still covering for him.
Matt Stoller at MyDD:
Stephen Colbert's incredible roast, where the room of pompous DC-tards wasn't laughing but everyone else was, has been seen several hundred thousand times on YouTube. The stupid and hackish Bush impersonation, replete with such witticisms as Laura Bush is "hot," isn't even listed. The people choose Colbert.You can thank Stephen here.
And on cue, Elizabeth Bumiller's article on the evening in the New York Times doesn't even mention Colbert, and talks about how Bush stole the show. Amazing. Ridiculous. In a few months, the insiders at the dinner will be claiming that they thought Colbert was terrific, that they were the only one laughing. That's how these people work. They'll hear about the legendary Colbert performance, and they'll rewrite history to make themselves seem savvy enough to "get the joke."
Anyway, it doesn't matter. This is the gasp of the royal pretensions of the punditocracy. And Colbert laid them bare, brutally. Thank you, Stephen.
Update: The New Pravda, I mean, the New York Times, mentioned the Colbert roast five days after the fact, but didn't convey that it was insanely popular on the Net, only that it was generating "controversy" in the "blogosphere."
Update 2: the blackout squad ramps up the aggression level: "public affairs channel" CSPAN claims "copyright" and YouTube pulls the Colbert video. I removed the link I had here to YouTube. It's still floating around--eventually I'll post links.
Paper Rad - teaser for Alfe "fake tv show" cartoon from their upcoming DVD from Load Records.
"There is a nucular war going on and you have the gall to dispute last week's fork audit?"
In other news, RV passed United 93 for box office sales this weekend. When it's all said and done, Americans still have their hearts in the right places. OK, on the strength of that I think we can start saying that the first big 9/11 exploitation film FLOPPED!
Steven Colbert's appearance at the White House Correspondents' Dinner last night was courageous, and great. Using heavy irony in the form of his "Fox News blowhard" persona, he told off Bush to his face, for Iraq, for Katrina, and for spying on U.S. citizens. From Editor & Publisher:
Colbert, who spoke in the guise of his talk show character, who ostensibly supports the president strongly, urged the Bush to ignore his low approval ratings, saying they were based on reality, “and reality has a well-known liberal bias.”The audience was NOT into it--reactions ranged from nervous titters to chilly silence. Bush was visibly displeased. The major news outlets are already spinning that Colbert went "too far"--wrong, he said everything we wished we could say.
He attacked those in the press who claim that the shake-up at the White House was merely re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. “This administration is soaring, not sinking,” he said. “If anything, they are re-arranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg.”
Colbert told Bush he could end the problem of protests by retired generals by refusing to let them retire. He compared Bush to Rocky Balboa in the “Rocky” movies, always getting punched in the face—“and Apollo Creed is everything else in the world.”
Turning to the war, he declared, "I believe that the government that governs best is a government that governs least, and by these standards we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq."
Colbert also made biting cracks about missing WMDs, “photo ops” on aircraft carriers and at hurricane disasters, melting glaciers and Vice President Cheney shooting people in the face. He advised the crowd, "if anybody needs anything at their tables, speak slowly and clearly on into your table numbers and somebody from the N.S.A. will be right over with a cocktail. "
Observing that Bush sticks to his principles, he said, "When the president decides something on Monday, he still believes it on Wednesday - no matter what happened Tuesday."
Also lampooning the press, Colbert complained that he was “surrounded by the liberal media who are destroying this country, except for Fox News. Fox believes in presenting both sides of the story — the president’s side and the vice president’s side." He also reflected on the alleged good old days, when the media was still swallowing the WMD story.
Addressing the reporters, he said, "Let's review the rules. Here's how it works. The president makes decisions, he’s the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Put them through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know--fiction."
Update: so-called public affairs channel CSPAN claimed "copyright" and YouTube pulled the Colbert video. I removed the link I had here to YouTube. You can find the speech elsewhere. I'll get a link up eventually.