a new kind of landscape

An internet abstract painting:

Landscape, by Borna Sammak

A field of animated "paint strokes" that appear to be digital samples from landscape images--sprays of foliage, reflections on water, hunks of sky. They bear the traces of removal from whatever photo source they came from--specifically a jagged white pixelated outline surrounding each form. The "painting" consists of one all-over rectangular field of these patchy shapes, moving down and to the right. While this is happening, horizontal and vertical bands consisting of daisy chains of individual, like patches sweep down and across the rectangular field in a slow, jerky videogame-like crawl. Several of these bands are moving simultaneously and independently of each other like marchers in a halftime game. This is an atomized, media-derived experience of nature, formally complex and Pollock-like but unromanticized. It is on a large scale so as to fill a web browser. Every viewer's experience will be different depending how their computer handles the data in random access memory. This is an elite, highbrow style of art made accessible and entertaining with animation bells and whistles, widely distributable so everyone can enjoy it on their laptops.

Surf Club Commentary

Just left this comment for Marisa Olson on Rhizome. The topic was her review of the Double Happiness* blog:

Hi, Marisa,
Good summation of what Dubhap and other surf clubs do ("is chock-a-block with the fruits of inordinately long websurfing sessions: frayed gif mashups, hilarious if sometimes unnerving audio loops, shameless resizes calling for inconsistent page widths, ekphrastic word/image paradoxes, and very often beautiful collages of similar images (graffiti tags, gummi bears, umbrella hats... Google Image Searches are their friend)")
Am curious, though--Why did you never write this kind of formal exegesis about Nasty Nets, on Nasty Nets, as a member of Nasty Nets?
Or, put another way,
Why is it that everyone talks like an 18 year old in the comment sections of the surf club blogs?
Lots of surf clubbers aren't 18 and can write very well. There seems to be an unspoken convention that only "Dude" and "You rule" are appropriate language for comments.
It's OK to have the formal "one-way," print-style writing on Rhizome but it would be nice if it could be the beginning of an equally articulate conversation in comments (or passing between blogs) rather than just drive-by props*.
Best, Tom


Update: No response to this other than a joke from someone (not Olson) about the unruly internet.

*Update, 2011: The Rhizome link has been changed to http://rhizome.org/editorial/2008/apr/9/let-it-spin/

hand-held lie detector pseudoscience

These photos are from MSNBC, not the Onion:

lie detector 1

lie detector 2

lie detector 3

After the 9/11/01 attacks a bunch of smart people said it wouldn't be a good idea to invade Afghanistan and Iraq because then those countries would become US colonial possessions and those are never easy to manage and having such possessions would make us no safer. This turned out to be the case. Now the US is stuck trying to run those countries without enough troops to do it so they have to use our tax dollars to hire people from abroad. Lots of those people understandably can't be trusted to help us manage our colonies so here's the Defense Department's solution: a handheld lie detector to be used for screening non-US personnel. If there is a problem, American knowhow can always come up with a space gizmo* that wouldn't be admissable in our own courts but would cow our colonial subjects exposed to movies like Men in Black. Trying to come up with a word to describe this device and its intended uses the best Unqualified Offerings could come up with was "evil." That will work.

*that uses algorithms and stuff