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tom moody

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YouTube: Frank Zappa, "Pound for a Brown," orchestral version. This is one of the prettiest tunes FZ wrote--originally from Uncle Meat ("A Pound for a Brown on the Bus"). It's nice to see it getting this treatment, even though Zappa thought the classical music consumption/production system was basically ludicrous.

- tom moody 4-21-2006 8:16 pm [link]

Donna 2

- tom moody 4-21-2006 10:10 am [link]

Via MTAA comes the news that Harlem gallery Triple Candie is doing a Cady Noland survey show, consisting of re-creations of her past artworks based on the Internet and other documentary sources. The re-creations are not approved by Noland, who "dropped out" of the art world in the mid '90s but "tightly controls" her work; this is not to say she disapproves--according to the press release she simply "was not consulted or notified."

Noland is a proto-slacker, neo-scatter artist whose themes are consumerism, nihilism, and politics as refracted through tabloid media; she achieved instant notoriety in the late '80s/early '90s with installations of beer cans, machine parts, and other urban or post-industrial detritus. Triple Candie sees her as an influence on a large range of current artists, including Wade Guyton, Sarah Lucas, and Banks Violette.

I'm curious what Noland's reaction to this will be. The press release says she "haunts the art world like a ghost" while scrupulously limiting the exhibition and publication of her work. This project is kind of fascinating coming so soon after Jack Pierson pitched a fit over the sign letter sculptures at Barneys that resemble his conceptualist/assemblage works. Pierson followed Noland in the art world's every-couple-of-years "new car rollout" hype cycle (both showed at the influential American Fine Arts gallery), but he stayed in the game and became a successful market entity. Does she care that Triple Candie is doing this? Would she have the clout or stamina to stop faithful re-creations of her work (as opposed to a mere window-dresser's homage)?

And finally, doesn't Elaine Sturtevant's inclusion in the current Whitney Biennial, showing exacting Duchamp knockoffs, legitimize this project (and delegitimize Pierson's huffing and puffing)? Some interesting questions here.

- tom moody 4-19-2006 7:59 pm [link]

GIF Shows

The solo show I'm doing next month is titled "Room Sized Animated GIFs." The ArtCal listing is here (thanks to ArtCal--the listing is in RSS now will go "live" a week before the opening). The choice to use, in the title, a banal everyday computer "file extension" (.GIF) that hasn't quite risen to the level of a household word was deliberate. The point is not to be tech-elitist but rather that there is nothing more un-elite than an animated GIF, your grandmother has several of them on her homepage, but the word "GIF" is nevertheless seldom bandied about in the medieval, still-painting-centric artworld.

Another show I'm in taking the humble GIF as its theme is described on Marisa Olson's blog:
Hi, there. I've unashamedly followed the masses to Myspace, and there I've erected a page for an upcoming exhibit I'm curating. Please check it out and become our friend:

The show is called The Gif Show (I briefly considered Meet the Giffords, Meet the Giffordz, Gif Starz, and Choosy Moms Choose GIF). It opens May 3, at San Francisco's beloved RX Gallery, and is co-presented by Rhizome. The artists are 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). Everyone's showing GIFs, and some are also showing videos, works on paper, sound, and other cool related stuff. Together, their work shows the diversity of forms to be found in GIFs, and many of them comment on the broader social life of these image files.

Hence the Myspace page... GIFs grow, breed, and comingle sparklingly on Myspace. Please come be our neighbor, there, and help us spread the word about the show. (More curatorial & opening party details to come, here, in a bit.)

posted by Marisa S. Olson at 12:01
Why GIFs? They're a relatively "open source" way to get ideas, in the form of moving images, out to broad audience. They are low or no cost to make, consume very little bandwidth, no one has to buy or download a proprietary player to play them. They have their own special charm, minimal in the way garage rock is minimal. Scaling them up to room size, showing them on TV screens as opposed to computer monitors, exhibiting individual frames in a grid, are ways to inject this aesthetic into physical space, which has its own demands, limitations, and pleasures.

- tom moody 4-19-2006 7:23 pm [link]

More YouTubin'--it's weird, I hate TV but I can watch these little blurry things all day.

Can "Paperhouse" live 1970 - awesome - Czukay and Suzuki: "no shirt no service" (also here--louder sound, worse video, loads slower).
"Mushroom"--probably my favorite Can song--suspect the video was made later than 1970.
Boards of Canada "Gyroscope" (for the video) - lots of geometric patterns and mismatched letters - watch out, Jack Pierson's gallery will write you an angry note.
Boards of Canada "In a Beautiful Place" (for the music).
Atari Teenage Riot - "Revolution Action" - ahh, the dotcom era.
Clipse "Grindin" --that '80s beatbox sound will never die. [link replaced Aug 2010]
808 State "Pacific" (1989) - the sublime.
Aphex Twin "Come to Daddy" - the ridiculous. I remember James saying in an interview he woke up and his girlfriend was in the bed next to him wearing one of those masks and he freaked out.
Roxy Music "Do the Strand" (The '80s were invented in 1973--and see Eno in "outre" drag).
Roxy Music "In Every Dream Home a Heartache" (Eno wearing that feathery thing--with VCS3 and tapes on stage).
King Crimson "Lark's Tongues in Aspic" 1972 (feat. Jamie Muir, who was in the Music Improvisation Company with the late Derek Bailey. Troll repellent: yes, it's "pretentious").

Update, Aug. 2010: All these links are dead except Mushroom, Boards of Canada, and Clipse. Viacom - what a joke.

- tom moody 4-19-2006 6:07 am [link]

Sensor Readings on TV Monitor

Sensor Readings Screenshot 2

"Sensor Readings" [27 MB .mp4]

Tuvok reprograms the Lateral Sensor Array to play drum & bass from his homeworld. Or whatever. I'm actually not that big a Trek nerd (just the Borg episodes and, um, TOS), so, what does that make this, an ironic fan mashup? When it's all said and done this works better on a TV monitor than as a Quicktime. Kind of restoring it to its original home, several steps displaced.

- tom moody 4-17-2006 10:57 pm [link]

Digby theorizes that Bush can't fire Rumsfeld because they're deep in planning the next war (Iran), which they decided to launch right after a bunch of idiots re-elected Bush, making him think he had a mandate.
Bush just issued a statement of support for Rumsfeld. He is stubborn and refuses to change course, as we know. But if what Hersh reported back in 2005 is correct, Rumsfeld owns him. Back in the heady days of his 2% landslide, Bush authorized a covert war with Iran, with no congressional oversight and without even the cooperation of the CINQ's. This makes Iran-Contra look like the Canuck letter.

These retired generals are speaking for a military establishment that has been used like monopoly money by Rummy his fellow magical thinkers (like his "advisor" Newt Gingrich) who have spent the last five years attempting to destroy the military with their useless, incompetent war planning and their surreal Toffler-esque vision of a military that doesn't require an actual army.

I realize that the armed forces always resist change. But I think it's fair to assume, considering the Iraq cock-up, that Rummy doesn't know what in the hell he's doing. The military is finally saying "enough." We are witnessing a coup by media.

The congress has completely abdicated its oversight responsibility, the media is shallow and incompetent, our allies are considered irrelevant, the UN is being run by a nutcase even more far-out that Rummy and the wishes of the people are, as usual, not considered. It looks like the only institution in America that can bring us back from the brink of a tragic, tragic mistake is the military itself.

- tom moody 4-15-2006 10:50 pm [link]

Carol Vogel's New York Times story today on the art world topic of "younger and younger, what can you do about it?":
Jack Tilton arrived at Columbia University on a recent Saturday with a camera around his neck and a venture capitalist by his side. It was a busy day for Mr. Tilton, a Manhattan dealer known for exhibiting the art of graduate students. He looked at the work of 26 students in their first year of a Master of Fine Arts program at Columbia, then struck out for New Haven to do the same thing at Yale. John Friedman, the venture capitalist, made that part of the tour a week later.
Tough lead paragraph, it's sad that it's come to this for Tilton--shooting fish in a barrel, hungry for love.

Update: Aaron Yassin says in the comments:
It's unfortunate that this is the topic for the rare article on the visual arts for which the New York Times chooses to devote one quarter of the front page. What bothers me as much is when Carol Vogel says this: "...while first-rate artworks for sale decrease, dealers and collectors are scouring the country's top graduate schools..." The implication that the reason for this phenomenon is that all "first-rate" work is hard to come by is preposterous. Rather, this seems typical of our culture’s infatuation with youth. Instead of just admitting this, Vogel has to make some other kind of excuse like focusing on buying the work of younger and younger artists is really because there’s nothing else available.
My reply:
"...while first-rate artworks for sale decrease, dealers and collectors are scouring the country's top graduate schools..."
is the widely-accepted wisdom of our current tulip mania bubble market. Almost no one in the market is in a position to disagree with this.

Vogel deserves more credit in my opinion for exposing this shaky logic to the world, by interviewing students embarrassed by the attention, school administrators mouthing fatuities, etc. She's leaving it to the reader to draw the conclusion that youth=value is demented, that the dealers and collectors are insecure and/or skanky, and that the schools are pimps, or at best, enablers.
The great unspokens here are that 95% of art graduates stop making work once they get out of the supportive, structured environment of school, unless they get "picked up," and then they start doing bad work about two years out of school (and stop altogether a few years after that). The five percent who keep making art, year-in year-out, pickup or no pickup, are nutty, driven individuals and a pain in the neck for dealers. But it is from that possibly sexually unattractive minority, not "the country's top graduate schools," that most work (and therefore most good work) comes. Youthful energy is important, but in more cases than "the market" is prepared to admit, it wanes quickly.

Update 2: It's doubtful there are hard statistics on the art world dropout rate. Who would finance such a study? Based on years of watching "scenes" come and go I'd say the 95/5 numbers are conservative.

- tom moody 4-15-2006 5:46 pm [link]