tom moody

Archive for February, 2014

Mutations: Email GIF Collaboration

Simon Baker, aka Stage, put up a series of GIF collaborations he did with various people via back-and-forth email exchanges. Participants in the Mutations project are listed below.

Our collaboration started with this GIF of Stage's:


And nine emails later ended with this GIF of "mine":


The word "mine" is in quotes because by the final step we had both added ideas, edited, cropped, enlarged, etc, so that it's properly "ours," even though I had the final cut.

Links to individual collaborations: Agathe André, Aaron Chan, jimpunk, Sara Ludy, Michael Manning, Tom Moody, Sabrina Ratté, Ryder Ripps, Chris Shier, Rick Silva, and Yoshi Sodeoka.

From my email to Stage, after he had everything up (and note the use of the "gallery" top level domain -- what, no "art"?)

The [website] design is intuitive and simple, even though the work is cumulatively neo-baroque psychedelic.
I like the banners compressing all the collaboration steps into a single strip.
Will be curious to see the reactions. There are interesting facets to the "politics of collaboration" and many single images that stand out from the flow.

Will be posting some of the other collaboration GIFs from the project soon.

- tom moody

February 28th, 2014 at 8:52 am



- tom moody

February 27th, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Posted in animations - tm

linkjaying, '60s - '90s


Max Roach, "Garvey's Ghost" YouTube. I have this on a vinyl compilation, Impulse Energy Essentials


Automatic Man, "My Pearl" YouTube. If Hendrix had lived he'd likely have done a mix of prog and funk that sounded like this.
MX-80 Sound, "Crushed Ice" YouTube. From Hard Attack, a better album than the later pair on Ralph, only available as an import at the time of release.
MX-80 Sound, "Tidal Wave" YouTube. "There's nothing left but kids in vans, without pants, and they're eating pork."
Orchestra Luna, "Were You Dancin' On Paper" YouTube. Quirky Boston ensemble combining prog and showtunes.
Orchestra Luna, "Little Sam" YouTube
The Bizarros, "Artie J" [MySpace link removed -- bad idea] Akron!

Bonus: Network Awesome has a great collection of Can YouTubes. For those who followed the band only from vinyl across the Atlantic back in the day, it's fascinating to watch their evolution from hippie collective to the "art disco" period. Another revelation was Irmin Schmidt stepping up as stage showoff after Damo Suzuki left. Somehow I imagined him looking ponderous behind his keyboards but he's out there mingling Sun Ra theatrics with lively dance steps.

Debussy, "Sonata for Violin and Piano," David Oistrakh (violin), Frida Bauer (piano), live recording, 1972 YouTube My favorite Debussy piece, confidently executed.


Soul Odyssey, "Rapture" YouTube - Progressive house tune produced in Dallas TX (1993), when I was living there and taping Jeff K's KDGE show. Discovered by Sasha and became a global club hit.
Central Fire, "Shout Going Out" YouTube

- tom moody

February 25th, 2014 at 8:41 pm

Posted in general

gameboy vortex


- tom moody

February 25th, 2014 at 8:46 am

real reply to a fake critic

Wading into the shallows of media coverage of a recent Shia LaBeouf performance art piece, Kenneth Goldsmith makes a clever pastiche of the cliched writing in an authorless, Kathy Acker-style mock-review for, with links back to the original sentences Goldsmith cobbled together. Can airheaded writing about airheaded work be redeemed as "surf art"? Probably not. Will this earnest reply to "Kenneth" refocus our values? Probably not:

Dear Kenneth,
Your report gives few details about this performance so I had to resort to USA Today:

The exhibit is a collaborative project between LaBeouf, Finnish performance artist Nastja Säde Rönkkö and British artist Luke Turner, according to a press release sent to Time.

It took place at The Cohen Gallery, which USA informs us is "is across the street from BuzzFeed's L.A. offices," adding parenthetically, "Probably just a coincidence, right?"

Like you, the Daily Beast's Andrew Romano was oddly moved by the whole spectacle. "I actually felt something real. Something strange and complex. Something like sympathy. ..."

This is probably more of a USA Today-type story, and USA Today-type performance art, but it's always interesting to see what you're interested in.

Personally I'd like more sociology on how porous the gallery world and the film biz are in LA. I got messages yesterday that Parker Ito had sold a painting at auction for $93,000 USD, which is pretty good for a n00b, and one of the reasons for the high price tag is that film director Harmony Korine is a collector of his art. Maybe as a cross-NY-LA correspondent and assiduous documenter of the avant garde through ubuweb, WFMU, etc, you can help us understand the interrelationship of art and pure promo hype in the tinseltown art scene.

Best, Tom

I confess when I wrote the above I just skimmed the Goldsmith and thought, instead of "this isn't worth your time," that he had simply lost his mind. This will teach me not to skim and troll (or at least, mouse-over), but would still like to see the convo diverted to more new-media-relevant topics, such as the role of LA collectors in market-making for YIBA (or YIBI) art.

- tom moody

February 25th, 2014 at 7:29 am

Posted in art as criticism

vortex overlay


two FAUXreal-posted GIFs overlayed

- tom moody

February 24th, 2014 at 3:16 am

Facebook watch: there's got to be a way to keep the kids onboard

Andrew Leonard mulled over Facebook's insanely expensive purchase of WhatsApp ($16 billion) in his Salon column yesterday. Leonard believes it's another Instagram move where Zuck buys a service all the kids are using because the kids aren't using Facebook. WhatsApp provides "a way to send text messages over the Internet without paying SMS charges to the phone companies," says Leonard. Now users will pay those charges to Facebook by staying within the clutch of its eager advertisers. The Salon headline writer calls this business decision "scary bold desperation," possibly one of the greatest fudge-phrases ever written. Scary for investors, certainly.
How many times can Facebook keep buying the loyalty of younger users? Till it blows up. It would be ideal if this happens before Facebook becomes permanently institutionalized in the sense of "indispensable for employers and law enforcement" (and artists, and the net art community) which is the direction it's been heading at the same time the younger demographic is bailing.

Update: Other theories about the WhatsApp sale include beefed-up access to the European market and lower income users, and, possibly related to any of the above reasons (youth, Euro, and/or income), "whatsapp has a client that runs on shitty nokia phones" (hat tip Ryz). We're happy with whatever prompts the juggernaut to wild spending sprees -- the "youth angle" is the funniest.

Update 2: According to Sarah Lacy at Pando Daily, it's all about photos: "According to the company’s own numbers [always highly suspect if we're talking about Facebook's numbers --TM], WhatsApp is processing 500 million images per day, compared to 400 million Snapchat ('snaps') per day, which could include photos or videos. For its part, Facebook processes a comparatively paltry 350 million photos a day, with an additional 55 million per day from Instagram." The near-Turing-complete user who's been finding places to park photos online for over a decade without crawling to "social" has to laugh at the economics of all this.

Update 3: The WhatsApp sale has become a Rorschach blot for commenters. Lambert of Corrente sees it as: "Here's what's special about WhatsApp and mobile -- as opposed to browser-based -- apps generally [quoting an NBC article]: 'The messaging app offers its users unlimited messaging on mobile devices for 99 cents a year after a one-year free trial. ... When you download the app, WhatsApp automatically scans through your address book and connects you with those who have WhatsApp installed on their phones.' That's the value of the deal; mining that address book data," Lambert continues. "It's even better than an email address book, because a messaging app is more intimate; more likely to be friends and family."

- tom moody

February 20th, 2014 at 10:11 am

Posted in general

algo-critics vs the New York Sally Ross


Above is a painting by Sally Ross, who shows in New York City, as recently as a 2010 Gallery Lelong group show, which featured the top image (found on a blog via Google images). I met the artist briefly in the 1990s and have seen and admired her work here in the NY metro area. She specializes in carefully-painted surrealistic still lifes, often where the subject is cartoonishly thickened, such as the above flowers. Her stroke and sensibility is similar to that of her brother in real life, Alexander Ross, painter of intricate green biomorphic blobscapes.


Christie's sold the smaller image above and apparently misidentifies New York's Sally Ross as a different Sally Ross, from Melbourne, Australia, who has won the Google Images battle decisively. It wouldn't be an understatement to say that the Melbourne Ross annihilates the New York Ross on Google, to such a degree that Christie's uses the tag "Australia" to identify the New York Sally Ross's painting. Yet the provenance for the Christie's image was Feature Gallery, NYC, and there are no New York shows on the Melbourne Sally Ross's resume. Also, 1969, the birthdate Christie's gives the New York Ross, is on the Melbourne Ross's resume. 'twould be an amazing coincidence if both artists had the same birth year.

Apropos of this post on recommendation engine-uity, it's what happens when you let Silicon Valley's bots make cultural determinations -- the better artist can be eclipsed even in the tastemakers' auction spaces.

- tom moody

February 18th, 2014 at 11:14 am

Posted in art - others

particle trails overlay


this started out as a GIF of the MIT dot edu persuasion (hat tip blingscience) - I modified it

- tom moody

February 17th, 2014 at 2:08 pm

recommendation engine-uity

This is kind of a funny moment. Just as kids and certain superhumanly brave intellectuals are abandoning Facebook, businesses who decided it was "the internet" in terms of their business model are dealing with minor tectonic shifts of the company's own policies. Alex Pareene has an amusing article about Zuck's decision to algorithmically downgrade clickfarm headline aggregators such as "Upworthy" and "ViralNova" in people's FB news feeds, while preserving Buzzfeed as a legitimate news source, possibly because of some insider shenanigans.

A near-Turing-complete user who gathers her own news via RSS can only sneer at all the Facebook-spoonfed infants being dependent on these crappy services for information. But it's a make-or-break thing for some businesses, apparently, both on the aggregator side as well as the aggregated.

A similar edge of desperation runs through this George Packer New Yorker story about the dependency of East Coast publishing elites on the culturally braindead algorithm-writers of

Which is worse, Bonesmen deciding what you read or robots? Seems to be the choice we're offered.

- tom moody

February 17th, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Posted in general