tom moody

Archive for April, 2014

droitcour on post-internet

On his blog Culture Two, Brian Droitcour explains why he hates Post-Internet art.
The argument he calls knee-jerk -- “How can we be post-internet when internet is still here? Shouldn’t it be during-internet?” -- always spoke eloquently to me, ha ha. Droitcour doesn't completely disagree because he writes "the internet is always changing. The internet of five years ago was so unlike what it is now, to say nothing of the internet before social media, or the internet of twenty years ago, or the internet before the World Wide Web. Why insist that the changes are over?" Rather than focus on the past or even present, he thinks we should give more thought to what the internet is becoming, and our place in it. Focus on "proto-" rather than "post-," he suggests. Sounds good to me.

There was some confusion in the comment thread about post-internet definitions and who was using which so I chimed in:

Marisa Olson used the term post-internet differently than Gene McHugh did, as you summarized McHugh's definition here. He said the "post-" referred to a historical moment when the internet changed from geeky/amateur to everyday/professional. Olson used it to describe her own art practice, consisting of performances in real space or on video that referenced internet-specific content, such as "Abe and Mo Sing the Blogs." Her definition is closer to the type of art you are criticizing here, for example, objects presented by The Jogging for gallery consumption that refer to internet content (and also reflect back by being "internet ready" in terms of lighting, camera angles, etc.). The way art galleries are using the term "post-internet" now is exactly the way Olson used it and you are right to critique it. What may work for her as an individual artist is a poor statement of general principal.
You make a good point that it's all still changing. Net neutrality may end; every country has its own rules for permissible traffic. The big internet companies are constantly working to gather users into "silos." We'll be truly post-internet when you hear sentences such as "Was that on Facebook or the internet?" Or "which internet -- the public one or the fast lane one?"
(McHugh’s blog is still available on the Internet Archive, by the way, at http://web.archive.org/web/20120422161041/http://122909a.com/)

- tom moody

April 30th, 2014 at 10:26 am

Posted in general

swipe

keyboard_swipe500

A moment of silence for the maladapted among us who struggle whenever our overlords decree that a new tool must be used (and purchased) to exist in the modern world.

Related: post on touchscreen aesthetics from a more optimistic June 2011.

hat tip GucciSoFlosy for swipe macro.

- tom moody

April 30th, 2014 at 8:39 am

tweet prioritization via font size: a hypothetical

Here's how the discussion from the previous post might look using twitter's new design:

tommoody: in its options for comment display (oldest, newest, best) disqus defaults to best, which means "most upvotes" in developerspeak

tommoody: the livefyre comment company refers to its most liked (shouldn't that be lyked) comments as "top comments" rather than "best"

tommoody: when in fact, the "best" or "top" comments could be the ones no one "likes" because they're "ahead of their time"

20bux: the comment royalty will soon return to power and tell us which comments are truly top

tommoody: ha ha re: the "comment royalty" -- I'd settle for "oldest" and "newest" and no determination of "best" at all

20bux: yes..... the light of god will shine down upon those worthy comments and their Topness will be self evident

tommoody: reading skill makes the Topness of comments not have to be self-evident and maybe that is a form of divine intervention

- tom moody

April 28th, 2014 at 9:54 am

Posted in general

comments about comment evaluation

Here's one of those delightful conversations from the Twitter attention-sinkhole:

tommoody: in its options for comment display (oldest, newest, best) disqus defaults to best, which means "most upvotes" in developerspeak

tommoody: the livefyre comment company refers to its most liked (shouldn't that be lyked) comments as "top comments" rather than "best"

tommoody: when in fact, the "best" or "top" comments could be the ones no one "likes" because they're "ahead of their time"

20bux: the comment royalty will soon return to power and tell us which comments are truly top

tommoody: ha ha re: the "comment royalty" -- I'd settle for "oldest" and "newest" and no determination of "best" at all

20bux: yes..... the light of god will shine down upon those worthy comments and their Topness will be self evident

tommoody: reading skill makes the Topness of comments not have to be self-evident and maybe that is a form of divine intervention

20bux leaps to the conclusion that the initial statements were a call for gatekeepers to come back and reclaim comment evaluation from the bean counters, and offers skewering sarcasm. Yet prescient ideas could be overlooked by an editorial elite as well as the voting public ("ahead of their time" could apply to either). Without editors or algorithms, only divine agency is left, scoffs 20bux. Well, no, individual close reading and autodidacticism are still available to us as Turing-complete users. It means you have to skim through all those comments and decide for yourself what is worthwhile. OMG, can that even be done.

Update: Revised and reposted to clarify that the subject is comment evaluation, not moderation. The above dialogue anticipated Twitter's plans to prioritize tweets by typographically enlarging the "best" or "top" tweets based on fav counts, which will now be posted under each tweet.

- tom moody

April 28th, 2014 at 9:09 am

Posted in general

thoughts on the new twitter profile design - graphic

twitter_profile_notes

- tom moody

April 24th, 2014 at 9:34 am

Posted in art as criticism

thoughts on the new twitter profile design in tweet form

here we go again, twitter pretends that the change to a new format is optional before making it permanent

if your profile had a precise count of tweets you've faved and photos/videos you've linked to it would be so much better

steadily deleting tweets with links to youtubes - i didn't sign on for some twitter exec's convergence fantasy

dear twitter: i do not choose to use the new profile / twitter: ha ha ha ha ha ha

new twitter profile's prioritization of tweets by font size based on favs/retweets is ugly and presumptuous

knew it was only a matter of time before twitter started posting fav counts under each tweet - everything in America must be graded

those ordered rows OF 140-character wisdom YOU thought you were DISPENSING will now read like a RANSOM note

- tom moody

April 24th, 2014 at 9:33 am

Posted in general

red plant

red_plant

hat tips peur, the scientific GIF community, dump.fm and OIE

- tom moody

April 23rd, 2014 at 2:29 pm

diagonally sinking blobs

vanderbiltBW_crop

hat tips peur, the scientific GIF community, dump.fm and OIE

- tom moody

April 23rd, 2014 at 2:29 pm

as go the quotes, so goes the GIF theory

A few more thoughts on Paddy Johnson's essay for Artnet: Will Galleries and Museums Ever Embrace Animated GIF Art?.

As noted in an update to the previous post, Johnson didn't do well to rely so heavily on quotes from Andrew Benson, a GIF maker coming out of the film community (as opposed to the art community). His statements such as "I feel like there’s not a good way to view [GIFs] in the gallery setting” and that a web browser is “a pretty terrible art viewing context” are highly debatable. Johnson knows that Aron Namenwirth, Marcin Ramocki, Paul Slocum, Sally McKay, Lorna Mills, and yours truly were all involved with gallery GIF display going back many years. How much did Benson know about this art-centric dialogue? Johnson described me as an "early adopter" and for the record, Rhizome's San Francisco gallery show "The GIF Show" (which I was in) and my Brooklyn gallery solo show "Room Sized Animated GIFs" took place 8 years ago. Where was Benson during all this?

As for Johnson's statement that GIF culture "lives or dies" at the behest of social media platforms, again she relies on Benson and he is dead wrong about the following statement:

"We’ve come to rely on these consumer-grade solutions because that’s what’s available, but it was never the intention of the makers. It was never the intention of Google+ to be the platform for sharing animated GIFs,” Benson said.

Just under three years ago Tom Anderson, the famous "Tom of Myspace," wrote this statement of pure PR flackery on Google+:

I was planning to write a semi-long post on the "Power of the .GIF" But this photo says it all. We allowed .GIFs at MySpace and it added so much personality to profile photos, comments, shares and everything else. I knew FB was the anti-MySpace and didn't want that kind of Tomfoolery on the network, but I'm glad to see them back here at G+. I think G+ has a nice balance of the serious and the whimsical, and .GIFs are your friend :) Wonder if Twitter will be allowing more rich media inline, or will they hold down the 140 character fort?

Around the same time, Lorna Mills and a handful of others interested in the GIF as art seconded Tom by moving their production over to G+. This was not an impromptu or guerrilla action, it was more like a scenario where artists take advantage of cheap space offered by a real estate developer hoping to attract attention to a new building. And now they're all bored with it. GIF activity may "live or die" depending on the platform but in this case it wasn't from any lack of interest on the part of the platform itself.

What I told Johnson in my phone interview for the article was this: Eight years ago when I did the "Room Sized Animated GIFs" show we couldn't get any traditional art critics (Times, Time Out, etc) to focus on the show. My feeling at the time was they didn't know what a GIF was, or if they did, they didn't feel comfortable evaluating it. If we did the same show today, every one of them would know what a GIF is, but the show would come with the burden of widespread familiarity with "reaction GIFs," YouTube screencaps, and other popular uses of GIFs. It would still be hard to get a serious review of say, an abstract GIF, or whether a GIF is still a GIF if you show it on a TV, or what enlarged scale does to a GIF, or the browser-oriented nature of the GIF, etc. That's because we haven't had enough shows or criticism in the intervening eight years that would address these questions.

Addendum: I questioned how effective Google+'s GIF commitment would be in a couple of posts back when G+ started. Prior to G+, Google had been indifferent to GIFs and seemed to be wanting to phase them out in favor of HTML5 magic but about that time GIFs became a "thing" and they got on board with "Tom."

Addendum 2: Via email Johnson asked if I really thought Benson, Mills et al were bored with Google. When she interviewed them, she said, they "complained that Google kept changing what you could do on the platform and the environment became less conducive to posting and sharing." All right, perhaps "bored with dealing with Google" might be a better way to say it. I can't have much sympathy for their gripes since I thought GIFs (and their discussion) looked bad on that platform from Day One. It's Google, what did they expect would happen? My point was to fact check Benson's statement that Google never intended for G+ to be a GIF sharing platform. They did. It was encouraged. GIFs are going strong all over the web (tumblr, Dump, blogs, online magazines, pretty much everywhere but Facebook, and possibly mobile) regardless of one group's expectations or misunderstandings regarding one particular platform.

- tom moody

April 23rd, 2014 at 9:43 am

Posted in general

gritty pan gif

ludy_paN_BW_depop360

since i was talking about sara ludy's pan gifs, i tried to optimize one and this happened

- tom moody

April 22nd, 2014 at 3:32 pm