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What happened to the "peace dividend"?
From a Salon interview with James Carroll, author of the book House of War (no link to amazon--I'm not part of their blogger payola network, sorry, and sorry for the link to subscription-only Salon; it's all about money these days):
The most important example of the momentum I'm describing in this book, this unchecked momentum, is what happened at the end of the Cold War. Because by the end of the Cold War a massive military machine had been set up and the thing that justified it, our enemy the Soviet Union, disappeared. Yet that machine was not dismantled.For future viewing (haven't seen it, just posting the link): Why We Fight on Google video (not the Frank Capra version).
There's the big clue of the momentum I'm talking about. How is it that in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993 -- not so long ago -- there was a lot of talk about something called the peace dividend, but it never came? The American military did not significantly change its posture with regard to nuclear weapons, even under Bill Clinton. Why did that happen? It's the great unanswered question. And because it happened that way the responses of George W. Bush to 9/11 have all been extremely and unnecessarily militarist. We responded to 9/11 as though we were in the thick of the Cold War. The great symbol of that is an anecdote from the 9/11 Commission, which is that when we finally scrambled jet fighters to respond that morning, they went out over the Atlantic Ocean looking for incoming attacks from the Soviet Union. The other great symbol is George W. Bush fleeing to the command bunker at Offutt Air Force Base, the Strategic Air Command bunker that had been created by Curtis LeMay. That's the perfect symbol of our problem. It's not so much him I'm faulting here. [Oh, go ahead. -tm] What I'm suggesting is there was this unchecked Niagara current, a current that flows from the Pentagon to the disastrous cliff just ahead of us.
Yes, another plug for my show, opening tonight. No, this skull won't be in it, room sized, it's just to "get your attention." (I got it from an "assorted GIFs page" and scaled it up.) Please join me at artMovingProjects, 116 N. 12th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 7-9, for some vino and pulsating low-res animations in a variety of sizes, some with sound, some without. I hope to have some pics up by tomorrow. Thanks for the shouts from AFC, MTAA, TONY, and ArtCal.
A helpful "no murder" pledge from Steve Gilliard:
Some bloggers, mostly right wingers, after being embarassed by the conduct of some of their peers, have created a pledge of Online Integrity. Which, if one is aware of the rules of the internet and common decency, is as useful as a third nipple.
One should not have to be told to be decent.
But if we're going to have pledges, I think we need to pledge not to kill other people. Murder is so destructive and if we all agree not to do it, then we can have a better world. Here is the News Blog's 15 point no murder pledge
1. You cannot hire a man to kill your wife in a custody dispute. Murder is not a legal option in marital discord
2. Driving by homes and firing automatic weapons is unacceptable behavior.
3. Ed Gein is not a role model
4. Neither is Jeffery Dahmer
5. You cannot use Saw or Hostel as training films for kidnapping and torturing strangers
6. Axes are for wood, not virginal coeds
7. Just because someone steps on your brand new Nikes, you cannot cut their arteries with a boxcutter
8. Hitchhikers are not deer, you cannot hunt, gut and make jerky of them
9. Killing someone for insurance fraud is unlikely to work, ask Fred MacMurray
10. Farms are not disposal areas for meth dealing bikers on the wrong end of a drug deal. And, no, you can't store the hookers you kidnap and strangle there either
11. Just because you hate your neighbor, you cannot wire C-4 to his engine block, then wait for the explosion. And I know some of you can do just that.Don't.
12. I know your mother in law is annoying . Feeding her seconal and then letting her drive is STILL MURDER. Sure, your hands are clean, more or less, but your actions led to her death
13. Even if he has a gun, if you shoot someone in a home invasion, you've committed murder
14. Even though your wife left you, barging into her parents home, killing everyone inside and driving away is an overreaction.
15. Just because you own a high powered rifle, doesn't mean you can climb to a roof and start picking people off
Now that people understand the rules, they should follow them
"LoopB4YouLeap" [mp3 removed]
The B-4 is a software synthesizer version of the Hammond B-3 organ. Here an insistently stereo-panning riff gets the Glass/Reich/Ratledge treatment; I envision doing more rock-y sorts of things with those notes in the future. And normally when I see the phrase "loop-based musical styles" I reach for my revolver, but it's OK if I do it. Ha ha.
Draft checklist for my exhibition at artMovingProjects, opening Friday, May 5.
1. OptiDisc, DVD-R, projection dimensions variable
2. Double Centrifuge, DVD-R
3. Eyeshades, DVD-R (see above)
4. Guitar Solo, DVD-R, music by the artist
5. Sensor Readings, DVD-R, music by the artist
The e-card for The GIF Show, opening tonight at Rx Gallery in San Francisco, is here. A del.icio.us directory of the works in the show, including my vid "End Notes" (featuring my GIFs and ones I made with jimpunk), is here. Curator Marisa Olson says "Of course, many of these [works in the directory] will look quite different, installed in the gallery... What's not there, as of now, are Tom Moody's drawings, Lovid's fabric pieces, Guthrie Lonergan's gif avatar video, or Paper Rad's "Welcome to My Homeypage" gif video..." (link added to quote)
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/