tom moody

the resistance


via laqx
hat tip to travis hallenbeck

- tom moody

June 22nd, 2017 at 6:57 pm

overcoming "our" disillusionment

Geert Lovink's latest anti-social media rant starts out well with amusing quips:

“Artificial intelligence is not the answer to organized stupidity”—Johan Sjerpstra.
“Please don’t email me unless you’re going to pay me”—Molly Soda.
“Late capitalism is like your love life: it looks a lot less bleak through an Instagram filter”—Laurie Penny.
“Wonder how many people going on about the necessity of free speech and rational debate have blocked and muted trolls?”—Nick Srnicek.
“Post-truth is to digital capitalism what pollution is to fossil capitalism—a by-product of operations”— Evgeny Morozov.
“I have seen the troll army and it is us”—Erin Gün Sirer.

But then Lovink switches to first person plural causing me to vomit on the keyboard:

Our disenchantment with the internet is a fact. Yet again, enlightenment does not bring us liberation but depression. The once fabulous aura that surrounded our beloved apps, blogs, and social media has deflated. Swiping, sharing, and liking have begun to feel like soulless routines, empty gestures. We’ve started to unfriend and unfollow, yet we can’t afford to delete our accounts, as this implies social suicide. If “truth is whatever produces most eyeballs,” as Evgeny Morozov states, a general click strike seems like the only option left. But since this is not happening, we feel trapped and console ourselves with memes.

As the old '60s joke goes, "What do you mean we, kemosabe?" Some people didn't sign up for Facebook in 2007 -- because it smelled like a racket. Some people don't carry surveillance devices in their pockets just because everyone else does. Some people have made a good-faith look for alternatives to swiping and sharing, shy of a "general click strike."

Lovink's article appears in e-flux, which recently tried and failed to acquire the .art domain, speaking of the need for general click strikes. A Facebook for art, controlled by well-intentioned do-gooders, was narrowly avoided.

The rest of Lovink's article discusses positive uses of memes, or something. I haven't read it all. It was hard to get past that first paragraph. Will update if there is anything worth passing along.

- tom moody

June 21st, 2017 at 9:43 am

Posted in around the web, theory

personal shoppers don't get my art

You gotta love a gallery that goes out with a good rant. Am not sure if I've ever set foot inside Envoy Enterprises (87 Rivington Street, Ground Floor, New York, NY 10002) but I've received their press releases for a few years. Here's the final one:

envoy enterprises closing its gallery space

Dear friends,

As of August 4th, envoy enterprises will close its gallery space.
While e.e. will continue to exist, the time has come to take a step back and change the formula.

The reason for my decision is simple.... it is not fun anymore.

In my opinion the art industry has developed into an uninteresting, boring entity.

I have no interest in mimicking innovation. I have no interest in any kind of short-termism and I do not wish to be a part of an art industry in which a four leaf clover gets stripped of its extra leaf to make it fit into the standard idea of a clover.

I have no interest in being part of an art industry where eyes have been replaced by dollar signs; an eagerness to experience and learn replaced by hiring personal shoppers; and ambition, which once used to push the quality of art, reduced to a hunger for being listed in whatever top ten du jour.

On top of that, I find the continuous focus on 'art fairs' incomprehensible and its vulgarity staggering.
Is there really any one out there who believes people visit art fairs from a desire to improve their perceptions?

We should be improving people’s lives through art, we should be trying to create a world where art is living on every level, indivisible from life and for everyone to experience. Art should be about an attitude and about not being frightened of being thought of as uncool. It should be the antithesis of consumerism and aesthetic corruption that riddles the art world.

It should be about the idealization and aestheticization of daily life as opposed to guarding so-called critical high standards within the increasingly static art establishment and its ridiculous hierarchy.

It should be, but it is not.

Thank you to everyone who supported e.e. over the years. I appreciate your loyalty and love more than you can imagine.

I wish all of you a lot of kindness and a wonderful summer.

Jimi Dams

cf. Robert Nickas' 12-Step Program for 'Collectors'
The whole "art fair" thing got going in the late '80s/early '90s. It was a shitty trend that spread through the art world like Spanish Flu. Seems a bit late to be complaining about it but the hate is always welcome. "Personal shoppers" for art is a new one, but then I largely checked out of the gallery scene during the last period of obnoxious excess, the time of Bush Millionaires before the 2008 crash. There might also have been a brief era of reduced obnoxiousness that I missed, which would be the good old days in Envoy Enterprises' shorter timeline.

- tom moody

June 20th, 2017 at 10:00 pm

Posted in art - others

streets of passive aggression

streets of passive aggression

My cover drawing for the LP, based on [ahem, cough]. Many, many digital copies of this musical release are still available for purchase! Your support means I will never have to move to Patreon.

- tom moody

June 20th, 2017 at 1:16 pm

dinner conversation


When I lived in Dallas years ago, a friend described a nightmare date she went on, and I made this drawing to commemorate it.

- tom moody

June 20th, 2017 at 1:08 pm



The twitter executives in San Francisco shoved this in my face, so I'm shoving it back with a correction.

- tom moody

June 20th, 2017 at 12:51 pm

Posted in art as criticism

nature (windowsill) photos




This bird appeared on a neighbor's windowsill and posed for photos. Am guessing it's a fledgling falcon but I don't know what type. Feel free to email with suggestions.

Update: American Kestrel -- hat tip MBM.

- tom moody

June 15th, 2017 at 8:06 pm

Posted in photo 3

various zappa-related links

A YouTuber's review of Timothy Carey's film The World's Greatest Sinner. Frank Zappa wrote the score in the early '60s when he was a broke unknown and described it as the "worst movie ever made" during his legendary Steve Allen appearance. Career oddball Carey was essentially a performance artist working in the film medium, and enlivened two Kubrick projects, The Killing and Paths of Glory. TCM shows Sinner occasionally but I haven't seen it in its entirety (yet).

Interview with David Walley, who wrote the 1971 Zappa biography No Commercial Potential. Zappa hated the book because it dared to describe his faults, and he badmouthed Walley in interviews. Walley updated it in 1980 at the request of the publisher and updated it again after Zappa's death in 1993. The updates don't continue the "Zappaesque-collage-with-interviews" style of the original text and they have a sadder-but-wiser tone but they merit reading. Walley admired Zappa's music despite reservations about the "darkness" of his vision: "a universe of no hope and putdowns." The interview captures the love-hate spirit.

Walley notes in the interview that Zappa wasn't always the best judge of his own work -- including which older projects needed improvement. Never was this clearer than the disastrous 1984 CD remix of We're Only In It For The Money, where Zappa dubbed in new bass and drum playing to punch up the original sound. This web page goes into exhaustive detail on the changes and Zappa's shifting justifications for them.

I knew the Zappa kids were feuding after mom Gail died. It's interesting to compare this family interview from when she was still alive with this posthumous one. Apparently she didn't prep the kids that they'd be getting unequal shares in the Zappa Family Trust (30% each for Ahmet and Diva, 20% each for Moon and Dweezil). As Kazanian says (admittedly tangentially) in Dario Argento's Inferno: "[T]he only true mystery is that our very lives are governed by dead people." First Zappa by creating a monster creative legacy and then Gail by doling out who profits from it.

- tom moody

June 15th, 2017 at 8:05 pm

Posted in around the web

Streets of Passive Aggression LP on Bandcamp

Truculent album notes:

Synthetic sounds for a synthetic society (man). Passive aggression is the new "no." Rebellion against the boredom of the Mac/Windows/Smartphone creativity paradigm. Make something new-ish with old chips and dicey operating systems.
Eurorack, Ardour, Tracktion, Samples, Discontinued Beatboxes, ALSA/JACK. No "progress." Heroes with no faces.

- tom moody

June 14th, 2017 at 9:31 am

Posted in music - tm

"Plucking and Snipping"

"Plucking and Snipping" [mp3 removed -- please listen on Bandcamp]

Song made with Tracktion's Waveform digital audio workstation, running on Ubuntu Studio.
Sound sources include:
Tracktion's Collective synth/sampler;
Snippets from 1970s vinyl (which may or may not have been uploaded to YouTube by record companies pretending to be "street");
Recordings of a "live" Eurorack synth sync-ed to the DAW via midi-to-cv; and
Recordings (via ADAT) of a canned breakbeat clip playing in Ableton in a Windows PC.

Imaginary soundtrack for an ultra-benign Burger Time-style game involving picking flowers or mushrooms and some forest critter who steals them from your basket.

- tom moody

June 9th, 2017 at 9:47 am

Posted in music - tm