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tom moody

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...more recent posts

Protein synthesis as an epic hippie folk dance (classroom film--1971): [YouTube, via Patrick May in AFC's comments]

- tom moody 6-25-2007 6:57 pm [link]

More on the Rhizome 2007-2008 Commissions, from the comments:
The part of your post that bothered me was where you talked about ShiftSpace. This is a great project. The trend of Web 2.0 has been to wrest order from the chaos of the early web; ShiftSpace is a project that intends to re-inject this spirit of anarchy. For example, the comment criticizing your writing ("how long has your criticism sucked") was removed from this page; ShiftSpace would allow this comment to remain on the page for other users to see. It could be read as a critique of the increasingly moderated Wikipedia, and it's attempt at "authoritativeness"; it's infused with nostalgia for the early web when people produced their own messy pages instead of buying into the myspace prefab system; it's a classic example of a "not just art" project. [...]
- anonymous (guest) 6-24-2007 7:28 pm

With much of this art the proposal is the work. Once you've come up with your sentence explaining the tech innovation and how it benefits others you're done.


The comment criticizing my writing ("how long has your criticism sucked") was fictional. [...] You assumed it was real and I deleted it--interesting.
-tom moody [6-24-2007 8:03 pm, 6-24-2007 8:13 pm]

I would agree that "the proposal is the work" if I wasn't aware of how many artists do a terrible job of writing about their work. Those sentences usually end up being a pale reflection of the work. [...]
- anonymous (guest) 6-24-2007 8:32 pm

The goals of ShiftSpace do indeed sound worthwhile and noble but I have to confess I'm not very interested in art as sociopolitical activism, especially when the success of the project is presumed in the proposal.

I'm as concerned as the next person about the constrictions of these social networking sites but feel the way to approach them is to go elsewhere, and if there's no elsewhere then lobby for more elsewhere.

It feels like a contradiction to apply for a grant to an institution so you can be an anarchist, especially when the steps of your anarchy are carefully planned out and result in another ordered system.
- tom moody 6-25-2007 8:51 am

(previous comment self-edited for tone, substance--ShiftSpace would reveal my first draft--great)
- tom moody 6-25-2007 8:53 am

- tom moody 6-25-2007 6:00 pm [link]

cat percussionist

"Blowout (YT Remix)" [mp3 removed]

Audio remix of a YouTube posted to Nasty Nets [link removed].

Caveat: Some might describe this as "off color."

- tom moody 6-25-2007 12:33 am [link]

Since at least the '60s philosopher Walter Benjamin's essay "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" has been a favorite for conceptualist artists working with imagery to cite in support of their work whether it actually supports it or not. Benjamin's style is murky and delphic compared to say, Clement Greenberg's, making it easier for people to pick and choose suitable phrases from it, even though much of "WAAMR"'s content was aimed at a very specific set of political circumstances (the rise of fascism in the '30s--the print era) that would seem to make it inapplicable to someone making present day art. To the extent it is used as the basis for a discussion of multiples vs originals in the art market it is a blueprint for boredom, and not good boredom. That kind of talk is dull because it's mostly about money--the context here was Creative Commons licenses and how much freedom they give the artist to also sell work.

The "here" in the last sentence is a discussion over at Paddy Johnson's blog between artist Nathaniel Stern and commenter David McBride. McBride attempts to correct Stern's reading of the Benjamin essay and then they spend several paragraphs wrangling over what the essay means, both back in the day and now. It doesn't help that the two aren't speaking the same language: Stern uses "meme" as an adjective ("meme'd") and McBride thinks he means "copied"; Stern thinks "aura" as Benjamin uses it is a form of "value" (it was really more like "residue of religious power"). Then there's the question of whether "to exploit" is good or bad. These appear to be generational misunderstandings. In any case the back and forth is interesting, if only to convince you to stay out of Benjamin country and stick to something informative and fun like "Avant Garde & Kitsch."

- tom moody 6-24-2007 10:47 pm [link]

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- tom moody 6-24-2007 8:15 pm [link]

More commentary on the 2007-2008 commissions Considered as XYZ Art post. People aren't offering any specific examples of where the analysis fails, they're mostly just telling me to shut up.
you could also apply the XYZ method to art criticism: take artwork X, apply categorization schema Y, produce art review Z.
- anonymous (guest) 6-21-2007 3:52 pm

You could, but some specifics would help.
I'm not sure there are any categorization schema any more except the old reliable, "mere description."
- tom moody 6-21-2007 4:46 pm

Right. Then why are you using the XYZ schema to critique art? As a critical process, it is more reductionist than the creative processes that you are criticizing.
- anonymous (guest) 6-21-2007 5:12 pm

Well, we disagree, there.

I'm flattered if you think XYZ is a critical methodology, or as you say "categorization schema."

I think the point of your comments is that it would be better not to question the Rhizome commissions.

Either that or there are so many other ways of critiquing them being articulated out there that mine should be disregarded as the weakest alternative.

- tom moody 6-21-2007 6:02 pm

- tom moody 6-24-2007 6:22 pm [link]


GIF by unknown artist X 72

- tom moody 6-23-2007 11:18 pm [link]

Every Enemy is Al Qaeda Now

Bush and the U.S. press continue their collusive spin thing. Glenn Greenwald in Salon (may be behind subscription firewall):
That the Bush administration, and specifically its military commanders, decided to begin using the term "Al Qaeda" to designate "anyone and everyone we fight against or kill in Iraq" is obvious. All of a sudden, every time one of the top military commanders describes our latest operations or quantifies how many we killed, the enemy is referred to, almost exclusively now, as "Al Qaeda."

But what is even more notable is that the establishment press has followed right along, just as enthusiastically. I don't think the New York Times has published a story about Iraq in the last two weeks without stating that we are killing "Al Qaeda fighters," capturing "Al Qaeda leaders," and every new operation is against "Al Qaeda."

The Times -- typically in the form of the gullible and always-government-trusting "reporting" of Michael Gordon, though not only -- makes this claim over and over, as prominently as possible, often without the slightest questioning, qualification, or doubt. If your only news about Iraq came from The New York Times, you would think that the war in Iraq is now indistinguishable from the initial stage of the war in Afghanistan -- that we are there fighting against the people who hijacked those planes and flew them into our buildings: "Al Qaeda."

- tom moody 6-23-2007 7:25 pm [link]