tom moody

(stealth?) negative sell for booze

Unsystematically Oppositional is buying Sauvignon Blanc at the yuppie wine store. At the counter, as he sets down his merchandise for purchase, he notices a brand of rum, prominently displayed next to the register, called "Three Sheets."
He comments on it to the fresh-faced Employee ringing him up. The following convo ensues:

Unsystematically Oppositional: Three Sheets -- that's not very romantic.
Employee (feigning politeness): What do you mean?
U.O.: That's a brand you buy when you're just looking for something to get the job done.
Employee: How so?
U.O.: Uh -- the expression "three sheets to the wind"? It means stinko... blotto.. hammered...
Employee: Ah, hadn't heard that. I will recommend it to anyone who says they plan to spend Valentine's by themself.

(Both laugh.)


- tom moody

February 13th, 2016 at 2:29 pm

Posted in general

"Half-Calf," "Two Themes"

"Half-Calf" [5.6 MB .mp3]

"Two Themes" [3.5 MB .mp3]

Am sort of using Linux Ardour, with its plugins, as a loop generator, and then assembling the loops into songs in Windows Cubase. (Cubase is still faster and more reliable for me as a final editor.)
I am using Ardour's MIDI out to trigger a (hardware) modular synth, and then recording the output back into Ardour and combining it with softsynths. One of the softsynths is Calf Plugins' Fluidsynth, which plays "soundfont" samples. I found a collection of soundfont files based on the E-Mu Orbit synth module, from the '90s, which is where the rave nostalgia in "Half-Calf" is coming from.

- tom moody

February 12th, 2016 at 10:02 am

Posted in music - tm

upcoming: event at Sunview Luncheonette

On February 27 I'll be discussing my work and pontificating about (to the annoyance of many dumpers) at a live event in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY, organized by Joe Milutis. The other participants are Nico Vassilakis and Cat Tyc, who'll be talking about their own respective projects (and not about per se). Below is the text from Sunview's announcement of the event:

a nighght of image-textonics
Tom Moody ~ Nico Vassilakis ~ Cat Tyc

Join us at the Sunvievv Luncheonette for a panel of thr33+ artists to discuss, present,
question and preform the variegated commonities and rnultiptyxtodimensional worls of
visual poetics, from Mallarmé to Enhanced by the possibilities of the
innernots, yet against the grain of the meme, our night of vispo projected into the future
and back again, captioned captioning and escaping captions closure, will answer what.
Unseen practices, the avisual of the visual twice-seen (bisvisual, revisual, reversual),
hypervisual, dividual, invisible and invisual.
With a live stream of throughout the evening (or until someone gets an eye
poked out.)
February 27 @ 8pm at Sunview Luncheonette, 221 Nassau, Brooklyn


Nico Vassilakis wrestles letters to free them of their word scrum. Many of his results
can be found online and on his website, Staring Poetics - http:// Alphabet Noir, a book of texts about seeing writing & visual
poetry, is forthcoming from c_L Books. Also, a book of poems, In The Breast Pocket Of
A Fine Overcast Day, will come out later this year from Deadly Chaps Press. Nico is
vispo editor for COLDFRONT magazine.

Cat Tyc is a Brooklyn based writer/artist whose work exists on the precipice of poetic
mediology. Her video work has screened locally and internationally at spaces that
include the Microscope Gallery, Anthology Film Archives, CUNY Graduate Center,
Brooklyn Museum, Kassel Fest and the PDX International Festival where she also acted
as a curator of poetry on a bill combining poetry with experimental film presentations. In
2006, she was awarded a Flaherty Seminar Fellowship. Her video work has been
anthologized in the "Journal of Short Film" series distributed by Ohio State University.
She is co-curator and co-director with Victoria Keddie of the Poet Transmit, a live/recorded
broadcast series that explores the projective possibility of poetics in
transmission. Her most recent writings have been published in Weekday, The Sink
Review and 6x6. Currently, she is in her second year as a MFA Candidate in Writing/
Activism at Pratt Institute.

Tom Moody is an artist and musician based in New York City. His low-tech art made
with simple imaging programs, photocopiers, and consumer printers has been exhibited
at artMovingProjects, Derek Eller, and Honey Ramka galleries in New York as well as
other galleries and museums in the US and Europe. His videos have been screened in
the New York Underground Film Festival, Chicago Underground Film Festival, Dallas
Film Festival, and other venues, and he and his work appear in the film 8 BIT, which
premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His blog at,
commenced in February 2001, was recommended in the 2005 Art in America article "Art
in the Blogosphere." His music made with the home computer and various electronic
gear has been heard at Apex Art in NYC, WNYU-FM, and (internet radio).

Produced by Joe Milutis

*Milutis has written, "In Mallarmé's 'Sonnet in Xy,' he uses the mysterious word 'ptyx.' Some have said this word is precisely meant to have no image. If some poetry resists (at least in this case, but in many others) the demands of the 'poetic image,' is that because the idea of poetry + image is a fatal combination? That is, in what ways does text + image merely create a redundancy, or distract with plenitude or close down mystery? Is there something in visual poetry that returns to the avisual or anti-informatic 'ptyx'? What does an image demand? What does a text demand? Is the difference still tenable? Does image-text create a web of communication? Of translations? Or does it exist in-and-of-itself, resisting info, resisting meme?

- tom moody

February 11th, 2016 at 8:10 am

Posted in general

"Hardly Soft"

"Hardly Soft" [3.9 MB .mp3]

The main melody was done with Calf Monosynth in Linux Ardour. It was mixed with several Moog Concertmate parts in Cubase Windows.

"No Windows" got some slight EQ and volume tweaks. [3.7 MB .mp3]

- tom moody

February 6th, 2016 at 1:25 pm

Posted in music - tm

make your PC like a phone!

Responding to our latest smartphone rant, reader lolumad writes,

Why not just use a smartphone emulator on your desktop? That way you can participate in the "majority's experience."

So we checked it out and look, the article is so smart it recognized our operating system (it's Mint, not Ubuntu, but close enough):


- tom moody

February 4th, 2016 at 8:25 am

Posted in computers-R-stupid

web recorder, heal thyself

So, recently announced it had been awarded a $600,000 grant to develop a "web recorder" that essentially does what the Internet Archive "wayback machine" already does. Our old friends at ArtFCity breathlessly and uncritically reported this development, so here is the critical, huffing-and-puffing version:

Just before it won the $600,000, Rhizome did a site redesign that broke much of its own content. Using webrecorder (beta version) I've been submitting reports of Rhizome page URLs that have missing text and/or formatting. One of these was fixed after I submitted a bug report. (I've also sent some emails -- they are aware of these issues but fixing historic content is clearly on the back burner as they forge ahead with new projects.)

Here's another example, Ed Halter's squib on the so-called "Rematerialization of Art," from 2008, which touched off some extensive commenting by yours truly and others. Ironically, this page can be viewed correctly on the Wayback Machine at but on Rhizome Halter's text has gone missing. The comments are there but they make little sense without showing what they are reacting to.

The same thing happened four years ago when Rhizome did a top-to-bottom site overhaul. Eventually most of the problems were identified and fixed, just in time for the current site overhaul, where everything was broken again. It's obvious where the $600,000 needs to be spent.

Update: The content of the Halter post has been restored. Next post in need of rescuscitation: (also missing text by Halter).

- tom moody

February 4th, 2016 at 7:16 am

Posted in computers-R-stupid

"No Windows"

"No Windows" [3.7 MB .mp3]

My first track produced on my PC running the Linux Mint OS. Ardour is the software used -- a DAW (digital audio workstation) that handles similarly to Cubase.
The sound sources are

--the Moog Concertmate keyboard, played live and recorded into Ardour
--some found old school synth beats
--Doepfer modular mini-synth, triggered by MIDI from Ardour and recorded simultaneously into the DAW
--Calf's Monosynth, a softsynth plugin for Ardour that can be played using an Ardour MIDI track and exported as audio
--"Reasonable," a default softsynth for Ardour MIDI tracks

For a soundcard I used Native Instruments' Komplete Audio 6 (hat tip Joel for suggesting this). The ALSA driver in the Linux "kernel" recognizes this class-compliant USB device; audio ins, outs and MIDI are ported to/from it using the JACK streaming & connection program. This took a few days of reading forums to set up (although Ardour installs JACK automatically, I had to add the NI hardware in a separate Jack control called QJACKCTL, and instructions on how to do this varied).

Am very happy to be able to make music pretty similar to what I've been doing on Windows and have a final mixdown without (unintentional) clicks or glitches.
MAJOR NEGATIVE: At present the only way I can run Ardour is with an unacceptable amount of latency (about a fifth of a second). When I reduce the sample buffer I get pops and the dreaded "XRUNS" -- dropouts in the audio. The next task is to try to optimize the PC (which has a fast-enough processor and lots of RAM) without interfering with other things I use the computer for. Ardour also has a tendency to crackle when moving windows and clicking graphics inside the interface while audio is playing. This is annoying but doesn't affect the final output.

- tom moody

February 3rd, 2016 at 1:00 pm

Posted in music - tm

to phone or not to phone

Dumper cheseball was pounding hard last night on a certain blogger's decision to double down on Linux PC art-making at a time when millions of sheeple are ditching their PCs for phones.
Apparently cheseball believes that if you are making "networked art" you must use the majority technology in order to respond to present-day culture.
Becoming obsolescent and losing an audience is certainly a concern for any creative type. Yet ultimately the work is still going "on the web" whatever hardware and operating system is used to make it. Whether it will be found on the web is another issue. Do you have to be on social to play or can you rely on search/word of mouth? Paying for a mobile plan doesn't guarantee a shot at a large audience.
Or is it that we're supposed to be making apps now, with the Apple store as the new commons? Arguably that's networked art but it's not the freewheeling, variegated network of interchangeable parts that the WWW was. Better to keep making autonomous objects (on Linux or any other means you can still mostly control), objects/processes that can be displayed, distributed, and remixed, for as long as the WWW model continues to exist. Regardless of what "millions" have decided to do.

- tom moody

February 1st, 2016 at 9:55 am

Posted in computers-R-stupid

Small Model Internet


This is my GIF from this year's version of The Wrong digital biennale, which closes today.
Links (which may or may not be taken down soon):
Utopia Internet Dystopia pavilion, curated by Valentina Fois
Small Model Internet (with interview)

I plan to keep the "official" (html + gif) version up indefinitely.

- tom moody

January 31st, 2016 at 9:38 pm

studio diary: music on linux

My five year plan (which is about four years ahead of schedule) is to move all my art and music production to a PC running Linux.
I made some progress this week getting my music studio set up. Linux Mint is a great all-purpose operating system but is not particularly "professional audio friendly."
So I've been getting a USB audio card to work with Ardour (essentially Linux's version of Cubase). There is a tricky interaction of drivers for the hardware, a low-latency streaming/connection protocol called JACK, and Ardour itself. I had to adjust the CPU governor to allow for maximum speed, which took a couple of hours of reading forums and watching out-of-date YouTube tutorials.
I'm hoping by later this week (or next) I'll have a new Moog Concertmate piece done using Linux instead of Windows for sequencing, recording and mixing. If I never mention it again it means I didn't get it working.
Hat tip to Joel Cook for suggestions and letting me vent in emails.

- tom moody

January 31st, 2016 at 9:37 pm

Posted in music - tm