Dorothy Howard, author of the latest pro-Facebook article on Rhizome, wrote this on her Facebook page:
Just published an essay where I use the example of Facebook Groups to argue that opting out of Facebook also involves a disavowal of crucial forms of vernacular culture and solidarity. Hi Facebook! I love you, despite it all..
In case you are missing the logic of this, it is:
Despite widely-circulated criticisms of Facebook as a privacy-blasting, government-spying, family-stalking, commercially-motivated attention-suckhole, significant numbers of naive souls continue to use it, thinking it's a place for democratic or even radical political or artistic organizing. We don't call them naive souls, we call them "the people," and as radicals ourselves we do not want to appear aloof from anything someone else perceives, rightly or wrongly, as democratic. So Howard urges not just a tolerant attitude towards Facebook stooges but becoming stooges ourselves by creating semi-ironic Facebook groups to discuss radical art and politics.
We can never be un-entitled enough. Help the people by helping Mark Zuckerberg -- he'll thank you for it.
Just a quick note that there is a panel discussion tomorrow (Sat, July 25) at 4 pm in connection with the "Control Panel" show at Honey Ramka gallery in Bushwick.
The moderator is Veronika Szkudlarek, who teaches digital painting at Ontario College of Art and Design. I and several other show participants will be on the panel, talking about the questions posed by Szkudlarek below. Please come! The location is: Honey Ramka, Brooklyn, 56 Bogart Street, 1st floor (across from the Morgan L stop).
The show, in part, generalizes your work as exhibiting a “machine aesthetic.” Do you see your artwork as (or is your practice) conversant with machines or mechanization?
Is your artwork in 'Control Panel' somehow in contrast with or in opposition to other kinds of work you make?
What are your thoughts on another artwork in the show?
Rhizome has another pro-Facebook post up, in this case a strange argument by writer Dorothy Howard that gives reasons for not being on Facebook (anti-privacy, commercialization), gives several examples of "alternative publics" outside Facebook, and then concludes with a plug for the author's newly-created Facebook group. Why stay on there if it's so bad? "These days," Howard writes, "Facebook is so widely used that opting out constitutes an act of defiance of the norm."
The article has drawn a few comments. I questioned Howard's demographics but more to the point, isn't defying the norm what artists and radical politicos are supposed to be doing? Howard wants to defy the norm and also receive "likes."
Below is an installation shot showing more of the work:
"Control Panel" is open through Aug. 2, at 156 Bogart in Bushwick, Brooklyn. A panel discussion of the show will be held this Saturday, July 25, at 4 pm -- more on that soon.
Someone asked "what is the deal with these Computers R Stupid posts?"
Computers not working as well as claimed, technically.
It's one thing when John Henry is replaced by a steam-powered railroad spike driver that's actually faster than he is. It's something else when he is replaced because a company merely claims that in a press release.
Computers (including social media) impeding communication.
Twitter is regularly mined as a news source when anyone who has used it can tell you it is a misunderstanding machine due to the character limit and terrible threading of conversations.
Computer mistakes and limitations providing fertile ground for artwork.
hat tip Sbarro Chica
A few times a week I eat at one of those corporate delis that promises the food is fresh and local, although it's probably neither. For about six months I used their loyalty card, which meant I got five dollars off roughly every tenth purchase. Yesterday I was told the loyalty cards had been decommissioned. Now the only way to get the discount is to install a smart phone app and pay by credit or debit card.
Wanted: more friends who skulk around without phones, paying cash, so we can feel better about ourselves as everyone gleefully receives their Borg implants (provided free by one of the six large banks).
This arrived via email today from Bandcamp, where I've been digitally busking:
Over the next week or two, we're rolling out an important change here at Bandcamp. Rather than payments for digital transactions going from the fan directly to you, those payments will be processed by Bandcamp and then paid out to you within 24 hours (higher-value transactions may take a bit longer to arrive). Our revenue share is not changing, and you'll continue to receive payments via your PayPal account. There is no action necessary on your part.
We've officially moved from the "too good to be true" phase of Bandcamp (the buyer's funds went directly to the artist's pocket and the agent took its cut after a certain number of purchases) to the "you'll get paid, I promise, I just need to hang onto the money a little longer" phase.
Bandcamp's "about" page does still claim that:
We continue to work tirelessly to build an enduring service, one that treats artists fairly, puts them in control, and is integral to them building sustainable careers. This approach has earned us our most valuable asset: trust.
Will be watching for subtle changes in that wording in the coming months. In the meantime, will be looking into setting up a "store" on tommoody.us for music sales, so the artist doesn't have to wait to be paid by some Silicon Valley dreamer whose angels are getting anxious. If that's too much trouble will return to posting mp3 links, this time accompanied by a big ugly graphic that says MR. TIP JAR with a link to my email.
Am pleased to announce a new Bandcamp release titled Crude Essence.
Noisy samples from field recordings, made in and out of the studio, are the heart of this release. Street voices, slamming gates, plastic bag dispensers at the deli, crackly vinyl "ghosts of the past," "sounds of the internet," old songs of mine cut up and granularized. Several voltage-controlled low res samplers were used. The songs are very short and structured. Strings also figure prominently -- synthesized and found.
Your support in the form of buying the LPs or songs is very encouraging, but all the material can be streamed. A cassette version is available!