tom moody

Archive for the ‘art as criticism’ Category

random surfing


A friend asked recently if anyone still "surfs the web" now that all net-like activity takes place within one or two large gated communities. The question was related to the topic of Young People Not Having a Clue What the Surf Clubs of 2006-2010 Were Supposed to Be About.
Well, for an hour this morning, I did (surf the web).
Started with links to websites from my blog posts of two and three years ago (random link-rot checking), which led indirectly to:

* A PandaWhale "stash" telling us about lead and cadmium in Soylent (the powdered food that techie types are living on). Great clickbait but neither Panda nor its linkee Takepart say where the heavy metals are supposedly coming from! Isn't that the first question in anyone's mind? A press release from Soylent blames trace elements in the brown rice extract and an unusually stringent California labeling law.

* Another PandaWhale "stash" with a mind-shattering item on cutting soft cheese with dental floss. (Note that the name of the floss manufacturer is covered with white tape.) The source is a "life tip" from iPPINKA, a lifestyle accessory vendor that requires a login to browse its merchandise (see photo of keyboard brush at top).


*A list of companies that make bamboo bike frames. I can't find that link now but I remembered one of the company names, Bamboosero, pronounced BambooSERo. But is that SER as in sear or SER as in bear?

At this point it became too exhausting to continue web surfing.

- tom moody

August 19th, 2015 at 9:50 am

Posted in art as criticism

painting thumbnails 3-4


Above: more thumbnails of paintings I've been doing using Linux MyPaint.

Was looking at Peter Halley's portfolio pages -- you click through dozens of his cell-and-conduit paintings, all roughly the same size thumbnails. It's an intriguing design exercise -- after so many years of production, there are hundreds of variations on the colors and basic shapes he employs. Halley wrote an essay in the '80s about Frank Stella and the simulacrum, arguing that Stella was neither the last formalist nor a "bureaucrat" but a post-modernist emerging early, in the 1960s. Halley's own career continued the logic of ironic serial production. He could even be said himself to have anticipated 3D printed canvases, since the actual objects he makes have a kind of chalky, plastic perfection. All those coats of acrylic could be passes of the print head, over and over until the surface is built up.
The ultimate logic of postmodern simulation would be to bypass the objects altogether and just have the digital archive of patterns. The art becomes more easily transmissible, gets out to more people, and doesn't add bulk matter to the universe.

- tom moody

August 18th, 2015 at 10:12 am

3d-printed Tardigrade


Conceptual artist Douglas Huebler famously declared: "The world is full of objects, more or less interesting; I do not wish to add any more." This dictum never got around to Shapeways, a startup dedicated to filling the world with copious amounts of additional objects... via 3D printing. At Shapeways, kids using phones (or adults using laptops) create cartoony objects, a designer can be hired to help implement the project (some kind of Uber sharing/exploitation situation), and then Shapeways 3D-prints the objects to be sold in its online store.
The above sculpture, which actually looks pretty appealing, at least as a jpeg, is the brainchild of EricHo, working with designer Kostika Spaho. The tardigrade is an internet-fan-adored micro-animal that lives in ponds, eating moss. It looks like a space creature (and is in fact so tough it can live for brief periods in space), a comparison emphasized by the artist's placement of it on a futuristic grey pedestal. The "sandstone" textures of the creature and base, as well as the color choices, have a sensual allure. A viewer from the time before 3D printing would greatly like to see this carved by hand, looking much like this, but several times larger than its actual size (5 x 4 x 3 centimeters). It's an outmoded prejudice of wanting to think of a hand, with tools, patiently cutting and smoothing these particular bizarre shapes.

- tom moody

August 11th, 2015 at 8:22 am

yee timeline


hat tips cheseball, grass, barry ritholtz

- tom moody

August 8th, 2015 at 7:56 am

our g-g-g-generation


- tom moody

July 24th, 2015 at 7:36 am

subway rider (2)


"He was absorbed in whatever stupid shite people are into when they carry phones around."

thanks to reneabythe for reality check
noisia had the subway rider crying while reading about himself

- tom moody

July 15th, 2015 at 6:34 am

choose your jesus of computing


- tom moody

July 9th, 2015 at 8:34 am

Posted in art as criticism

defaced subway ad, 49th st NRQ


One of those specimens of impromptu public art where a knife is used to cut a section out of a subway poster to reveal another poster underneath.

- tom moody

July 3rd, 2015 at 5:22 pm

business card


A prominent "art and technology" website had a get-together in a NYC bar last night -- apropos of yesterday's post I made these business cards (it took about thirty minutes) and handed them around to a few people. Not so much for self-promotion (most of them know me) as to advance the cause of computer stupidity awareness and the need for a boosterism-counteracting hate zine in the art/tech space where people can vent about computer and phone failure and omnipresent thought control. Left ambiguous was whether the card referred to 15 years' independence on the web or from the web, as it is ordinarily experienced (walking zombie-like around the city streets staring at a glowing slab to see what "friends" are saying at every particular nanosecond).

Thanks to andrej for the webcam shot.

- tom moody

July 1st, 2015 at 12:29 pm

computers R stupid


Suggested feature for the "art and technology" websites:
A page where people can talk candidly about how stupid computers, phones, and social media are.
Failures, breakages, outages, poor design, scams, stories about people falling into manholes while reading phones, etc.
The tech sites all have such upbeat, utopian attitudes, and their partnerships with Silicon Valley rent-extractors are ominous.
You have your occasional "broken kindle" jokes but what's needed is a page of pure zine 80s style hatred.
I would contribute.

hat tip cheseball for burning laptop

- tom moody

June 30th, 2015 at 10:41 am