tom moody

Archive for September, 2010

Pop portrait


I'm told the non-pointillist color version of this is from the anime Parasite Dolls. Frankhats posted an inverted black and white animation and I isolated this still and messed with it. I know it's just a GIF but this seems kind of, I don't know, Pop Art to me.

- tom moody

September 30th, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Posted in art - others, art - tm

GIF abstraction


Seacrestcheadle posted a color version of this on and I messed with it some.
Maybe you can use it for, like, your avatar or something.

- tom moody

September 30th, 2010 at 6:14 pm

fast data entry


black and white redo of popular GIF. Pretty sure this is from Ghost in the Shell but haven't seen it in a while--a late closeup one of the two girl robots who have been typing throughout the movie?

- tom moody

September 30th, 2010 at 6:14 pm

youtube breakbeats and electr.

waveform "drifter" (old nu skool breaks)

summer beach waveforms (found accidentally while searching for waveform "drifter"--not bad)

bonus, not drum and bass (rather, techno-house):

repeat orchestra "springtime"

- tom moody

September 30th, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Posted in music - others

Artist Statement for the '10s

Am thinking hard about re-evaluating my artist statement for the era of iPads and Facebook. I wrote this in 2000 and haven't substantially revised it.

"I'm amused by the lingering rhetoric of futurism--the Buck Rogers, 'machines-will-change-our-lives' spieling--that continues to surround digital production in our society. The computer is a tool, not magic, and possesses its own tragicomic limitations as well as offering new means of expression and communication. I am intrigued by the idea of making some kind of advanced art with this apparatus--objects, images, and installations that hold up to prolonged scrutiny in real space. At the same time, I am drawn to 'cyber-kitsch' in all its forms, whether in old programs such as MSPaintbrush, the amateur imagery that abounds on the Web, or the unintended poetry of technical glitches. My work proudly inhabits the 'lo-fi' or 'abject' end of the digital spectrum."

I have been accused of "battling Internet change" and the statement above was offered as Exhibit A.
The person who made this suggestion is a Mac user and a Facebook user who resents any suggestion that those might be corrupt empires. These are his lifestyle choices and are by definition not sleazy, so no critique will be brooked. He also doesn't appreciate the use of animated GIFs as a form of in-browser expression, believing them to belong to the era of avatars on bulletin boards.

Just because computer and Internet speeds have increased and the web has become a more streamlined place of consumption doesn't mean things work well, though. I seem to recall a recent smartphone that had to be held a certain way for the antenna to work, an operating system called "Vista," and a New York-based art-and-technology center whose reblog archives vanished one day without a trace--years of work by guest bloggers, poof. Entropy can take many forms, including groupthink, bureaucratic idiocy, and collusion between large conglomerates to wall off public bandwidth for private gain. What are the artist's options when faced with this landscape? Mine are still to try to maintain an independent bleat of protest that can be registered without "logging in" to a website that demonstrably wants to "use your data," and also, to make artwork in the zone that Dan Graham has called the "recently outmoded." This means a double-edged use of the GIF: it is both an old, dot com era relic, and also something that browsers still read and that can be used in new ways, to make fast-loading animations operating below the corporate level of interest, support, and editorial control. Obviously when some tipping point is reached of "numbers of browsers that can't read GIFs" (75%? 50%?) another semi-obsolete tech will have to be found. By then it may be html5.

Mr. Mac-and-Facebook likened the GIF to 8-track tape players--but that's wrong, it's more like xerox and cassette tape, as they were used in the '80s. So, in conclusion, will probably not rewrite my statement, but am interested in any feedback others might have on the relevance of these assumptions. Please email (see FAQ page) or visit me on some social media website where you have to login but ZuckerBorg isn't listening in trying to use you.

- tom moody

September 30th, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Posted in general

Facebook and Artists

Nice jpeg (I assume) of a painting by Mark Dagley from 1986, viewable on Bill Schwarz's page.

I clicked on the painting to find out more but it went to a Facebook login.
It sort of belatedly amazes me that "gallery artists" embraced Facebook, since from what I'm told it has one of the worst image handling policies (no GIFs, everything converted to jpeg, images transferred to a server the artist doesn't control, no outside linking, etc.--please let me know if I'm wrong about any of this).
You would think artists would resist such an odious scheme of corporate coercion, but ironically it was Zuckerbook that "brought artists online" after so many resisted blogs in the early to mid-'00s.
Compared to say, a Word Press blog, it seems like about the worst place in the world to show work.

Update: Things got a bit ugly when I criticized Bill's use of a Facebook link. He accused me of trying to freeze the internet and let me know exactly what he thinks of trying to repurpose animated GIFs for artistic ends. (Not much.) In view of those digs, it's hard for me to focus on his defense of Facebook as a great place to be an artist.

- tom moody

September 29th, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Posted in general

image pair

animated air conditioning coilscat animation frame

hat tips zoesaldana and volvox

- tom moody

September 29th, 2010 at 10:52 am

making an old sketch new-old

A few years back was making quite a few ink wash drawings on legal paper, steno pads, etc. The one below is fairly typical: a quasi-modernist sculpture over what may have been a bleed-through from a hastily-sketched floor plan, outlined in ballpoint. I scanned the drawing (after which it was hit by more raindrops and effectively no longer exists). Then, using an online image-editing program, enlarged the width and converted it to a black and white GIF format.




Using another online utility (timb's layering tool) I superimposed the green check pattern found by stage, captured the result and saved it as an animated GIF. So now the drawing has a new retro tech sheen to go with the old, differently retro subject matter.

One of the trollgenerator "memes" from a week ago asked "Tom Moody - Who Wants to Make Shitty Art of the '40s into a GIF Anyway?" Exactly.

- tom moody

September 28th, 2010 at 7:55 am



image combination by foot; vibrating bars by noisia

take some time to page back through foot's log; this is a quiet, absurdist visual poetry assembled from bits and pieces of web junk. lots of dumpers do this but few with such consistency of scale and tone.

Update: A stab at interpretation: The geodesic structures emit polarized radiation that creates a stasis field around the lettuce. Still working out why the field is taller than than the structures and what is special about this particular head of lettuce.

Update 2: The exaggerated height of the vibrating bars suggests a corridor, chute, or silo: possibly at some point the lettuce head will be launched or ejected from its containment field.

- tom moody

September 26th, 2010 at 7:45 am

underground 2.0

Continuing a run of posts on digital theorist Geert Lovink, his post Underground Networks in the Age of Web 2.0 merits a read. I disagree with parts of this statement, however:

The actual use of Web 2.0 is what counts here, not how op-eds and columnists frame the topics of the day. What we think is ‘happening’ is an outcome of the reconfiguration of the social, in favor of informal spheres, a media ecology in which we constantly check what’s going on. The erosion of official media will only make it harder to define what a true ‘underground’ looks like. Hiding in the abandoned normalcy is, and always has been an option, but with the decline of Pop, it is becoming less and less sexy to survive in suburbia. Mashups and reappropriation techniques have exhausted themselves. The ruins of the industrial age have been recolonized and turned into valuable real estate. Squatting empty office spaces, symbols of the post-industrial era, has yet to take off—and may never happen because of harsh legal and surveillance regimes. Nothing is left behind. Abandoned space itself has become scarce—except the desert.

It's unclear where the line is drawn in this paragraph between urban space as a metaphor and actual urban space. In any case, mashups and reappropriation techniques haven't exhausted themselves, even if Lovink is bored with them. In fact it's interesting that they continue below the level of copyright cop surveillance. Discussing cell phone activists knowing when to turn off their phones, Lovink talks about the "seventh sense one has to develop to locate the present surveillance video cameras." It may be that the remixer/masher/datamosher has developed the same radar for avoiding copyright harassment (which often disguises political motives).

- tom moody

September 25th, 2010 at 10:56 am

Posted in theory