tom moody

tiny mix peaks



On the eve of the Twin Peaks reboot launch, Will Neibergall published a thoughtful essay at Tiny Mix Tapes about this particular TV-series-as-meme and how it's viewed by millennials (or at least the one writing the article): a failed show that resonates as a fictitious America even less palpable than it was to its original target audience. "One of the many reasons you love Twin Peaks," he writes, "is that its characters feel like people you know in real life, even though everything else in the show feels very unfamiliar. Twin Peaks makes you nostalgic for a time you don’t remember and a place that doesn’t exist."

From this reaction, Neibergall extrapolates how an even-further-removed generation will appreciate the show:

Maybe those viewer-subjects live in a huddled condition, in what philosopher Peter Sloterdijk calls “ecological stress communes,” pressed inland and away from cultural centers now remembered and revered like ancestors, jostled about by resource scarcity, plagued by ridiculous fantasies of aliens and sea people punctuated by actual disaster, war, and collapse. Or maybe these troubles loom on their horizon. In the face of these real nightmares, do they dream of ending up in a place like Twin Peaks, of grappling with its fake demons? Maybe future Twin Peaks viewers see in it a refreshingly provincial vision of encompassing crisis. A town where a yellow light still means “slow down” resonates abstractly with them. They are absorbed by the dark forces stirred out of the brown-gray American forest, by the murder of the cocaine-addicted homecoming queen and secret prostitute. Maybe, naive to the reality of their own circumstances, they feel like Dale Cooper chasing after those elusive and idealized spirits.

Neibergall wonders whether the 2017 version will be any good:

[W]ill Twin Peaks really walk and breathe more freely, as if awoken to a new life, and find something like that original sense of purpose? Or will it lose its way again in the smoke and mirrors of a shoddily constructed model of the public?

Twin Peaks 2017 pressed on with the occult narratives that seemed scatterbrained in 1991, creating actual mythology out of a hairball of modern paranoiac concepts. The atom bomb and its proximity to Roswell. Causality loops controlled by mysterious "lodges" and entities that seem to work at cross-purposes. A red-curtained room with chevron-patterned floor that serves as atrium to those nether-spaces. Human suffering in the form of a creamed corn-like substance that vomits inexplicably out of character's mouths. A parade of unexplained urban "types" having late night conversations in Twin Peaks' impossibly large bar. Audrey Horne's afterlife in a hellish marital scenario. Musical acts that all seemed to have moved to LA to be "Lynchian." A cornucopia of aging and/or mothballed actors, still strutting their stuff.

These elements mesh somehow into a poignant whole that binds the loose ends of the original series and redeems it retroactively. Whether its characters still feel "like people you know in real life" takes back stage in the Lynch/Frost uber-saga, or counter-saga, of supernatural interventions in mixed-up, SNAFU'd America.

Whether any of it will be of value to future eco-stress communards can't be guessed. Judging from current fan involvement on the Twin Peaks Wiki and other sites, the show speaks to the here-and-now. Mythologies begin with cults, and it's not unimaginable that this one might blossom, so that when our descendants ponder when it all went wrong they will know -- when the Woodsmen appeared above the gas station, of course. "This is the water and this is the well. Drink full and descend. The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within." In Bob's name we pray.

It's "just a TV show," but also a kind of poetry of shared repressed nightmares. Including, but not limited to, Wally Brando.


- tom moody

November 24th, 2017 at 8:19 am

Posted in films, theory

accidental art from [eric schmidt's company]

Clement Valla published an article on in 2012 that I missed about weird Google Earth "mistakes" (hat tip E.D.). Didn't realize (and kind of don't care) that Google uses a tabletop 3D model as an intermediary image between "satellite" and "street" views and imperfect translation "through" the CAD rendering creates deformed landcape incidents such as bridges that appear to hug the earth like snakes, rather than soaring in the sky.

As I wrote to E.D. in an email:

I missed that Rhizome [Valla] article. (It's funny that his commenters found the same effect on iOS.)

Some of the images are notably bizarre. Google should not be proud -- this is like their dirty linen. [As for their] 3D effect where the user switches from satellite view to street view and is taken on a bird's-eye thrill ride through time and space onto the tabletop of street reality: experiencing all that theatrical overkill in the course of something as mundane as looking up a local sandwich shop drives me a bit crazy.

Valla says they aren't glitches but they are! The mistake is using fake 3d reality as a conduit between photo views of sky and street. Why do that?

Weirdly squashed bridges I view as symptomatic of our not-ready-for-prime-time culture, which treats all innovation as a success regardless of whether it works.

Kind of like self-driving cars (speaking of squashed).

After sending the emails was doing an ordinary search and used it as an occasion to "freeze" some of those imperfect (but artistically tasty) "transitional" images.

Alex Katz and Wayne Thiebaud saw the future!


larger view



larger view


(detail of above)

related: Weird Stretched Zombie

tags: uncanny valley, don't be evil, accidental art, modernist painting

- tom moody

November 22nd, 2017 at 8:58 pm

Posted in computers-R-stupid

now with longer tweets

tommoody‏ @tommoody
4m4 minutes ago

was laughing retroactively at the Scott Kildall/Nathaniel Stern PDF about their project "Wikipedia Art" where they used the word "Brooklynite" as my identifying credentials, as in, those damn Brooklynites saying what is and isn't art

tommoody‏ @tommoody
17m17 minutes ago

i have a show opening Dec 15 at Honey Ramka gallery called "Pre-Post-Internet" -- might as well get out front and claim this turf

tommoody‏ @tommoody
20m20 minutes ago

if @furtherfield must break links in the name of website redesign "progress," could they please add, on the "Sorry!" landing page, the sentence "Any old links can be accessed on our archive by adding 'archive.' to the beginning of the URL"

- tom moody

November 21st, 2017 at 9:14 am

tax code ideological warfare

Benjamin Studebaker, The Republicans are Trying to Use the Tax System to Attack Their Political Enemies:

We’re seeing lots of good pieces which point out that many of the claims the Republicans are making about their tax plan are not true, that the plan favors the rich at the expense of the middle. But today I want to make another point about the plan, one that doesn’t seem to be getting the attention it merits. You see, it’s not just that the Republican plan helps the rich and hurts the middle. Those distributive consequences are real, and they matter, but this goes deeper than that. The Republican plan specifically targets liberal and left-leaning groups in the country for tax increases. It is an assault on the political neutrality of the tax system.

The tax system is anything but politically neutral (get married, own a home) but Studebaker points out two targets of the current plan: grad students (taxing doctorate candidate stipends) and blue states:

The Republican plan also intends to prevent Americans from deducting their state and local income and sales taxes from their federal taxes. This means that if you live in a blue state with higher taxes and more generous public services, the federal government will double tax you. The goal of this is obvious–to drive business and investment out of high-tax blue states. In the short-run, this enriches low-tax, cheap-service red states. In the long-run, this forces blue states to lower their income and sales taxes to remain competitive, turning them into red states. Lower taxes at the state level means gutting public services and dishonoring pensions. Gutting public services takes money from the public schools and from the state universities. It helps privatization campaigns convince ordinary people that government programs aren’t worth maintaining, which leads state governments to divert even more resources away from the public system to voucher-based private alternatives. Those funding diversions further run down the public services, leading to a spiral of state abandonment.

Lest we lay all this on "Republicans," let's note that the Clintonites also favor "austerity," just perhaps not this blatantly.

- tom moody

November 21st, 2017 at 7:08 am

Posted in around the web

"Scheduled Appointment Part 2"

...another track (previously unposted) from my latest Bandcamp release, Full Metal Algo

Made with modular synth riffs edited into a song using Tracktion's Waveform DAW.

The main modules used here are Doepfer's A-154/155 sequencer, A-190-8 MIDI sync, A-112 sampler/wavetable, and A-166 logic modules; Manhattan Analog's Discrete SVVCF filter; and ADDAC's "Ultra WAV" player. Portions are recorded from the Elektron Octatrack. "Found" 808 drum hits (playing in Waveform's sampler rack plugin) provide the main rhythm. The last four bars use Waveform's Collective sampler/synth.

- tom moody

November 17th, 2017 at 9:59 am

Posted in music - tm

AI duh


- tom moody

November 14th, 2017 at 12:44 pm

Posted in computers-R-stupid

"Short Song of Distortion"

...from my latest Bandcamp release, Full Metal Algo

Made with modular synth riffs edited into a song using Tracktion's Waveform DAW.

The main modules used here are Doepfer's A-154/155 sequencer, A-190-8 MIDI sync, and A-166 logic modules; Manhattan Analog's Discrete SVVCF filter; and ADDAC's "Ultra WAV" player. A "found" 808 loop is used (in Waveform) to help glue it together.

- tom moody

November 14th, 2017 at 10:44 am

Posted in music - tm



looking at older posts to see what's still on the web

- tom moody

November 7th, 2017 at 3:20 pm

i want all my garmonbozia (pain and sorrow)

Several trusted viewers recommended the new Twin Peaks. Yep (as in, they were right). Experience the radical "Episode 8" and necessarily anticlimactic "Episode 18."
Most bizarre moment: "Episode 7," when the Evolution of the Arm appears unexpectedly in the middle of a tense action scene and demands "Squeeze his hand off!"
You may have to look up garmonbozia -- fans will tell you about it.
Kudos to David Lynch for directing all 18 episodes. That is amazing.

- tom moody

November 7th, 2017 at 3:20 pm

Posted in films



- tom moody

November 5th, 2017 at 10:49 pm

Posted in photos - cell