tom moody

Archive for the ‘art as criticism’ Category




screenshots via sterlingcrip and reneabythe

- tom moody

April 14th, 2015 at 11:28 am

Posted in art as criticism

from the vault: Blog, the exhibition, documentation (2007)


Screenshot of announcement for my 2007 show, "Blog," from ArtCat
"This is an experiment in total freedom."
Also, we were laughing pretty hard in Williamburg [sic] over calling the workstation a "terminal." As I recall, Time Out New York's listing used that word, too.

- tom moody

April 14th, 2015 at 9:42 am

not your average what?

One of the bones of contention regarding Ryder Ripps' recent Postmasters exhibition, consisting of iPhone-distorted images based on a sportswear model's Instagram photos, was his use of the model's last name "Ho" as the show's title. Some New York critics lambasted him for this. Karen Archey in Frieze [sign-in required] wrote:

Ho is Canadian with French and Chinese ancestry, hence the show’s title is a play on her last name that manages to be racist and misogynist simultaneously.

Johanna Fateman in Artforum added:

The most scathing critics of his new work characterize it as banal theft and sexist defacement of a woman’s images, calling out the puerile double entendre of the show’s title while they’re at it.

Artforum contributing writer Sarah Nicole Prickett tweeted:

Spends two weeks defending his feminist credentials, incredulously, after being like, called out for having a show called "Ho" as if double entendres didn't exist...

And yet, the model Adrianne Ho jokingly labels her own Twitter account "Follow a Ho! SWEAT THE STYLE":


And is profiled in "Status" magazine in an article with the title Not Your Average Ho, containing still more jokes at her own expense:

Men dominate streetwear, but with 25-year-old muse ADRIANNE HO being Hypebeast’s pick as “The Unofficial Face of Menswear,” people might want to think twice. She appreciates a good pun and often has a self-deprecating streak in reference to her surname. Her Twitter account is filled with tweets like “It’s hot out here for a Ho” and “Ho on the go.”


Are we "slut-shaming" here? Was Ripps? The arena for the slur was a prominent NY gallery, where privileged left-of-center bohemians bait other privileged left-of-center bohemians to claim the moral high ground. Shaming a "slut" is just as tacky in that world as being one. We could talk about Ho's "interior colonization" in using an epithet of her oppressors to self-identify. Or we could talk about "click-whoring" -- a term often used without gender association and practiced by many art magazines and non-profits in our current dystopian era of pervasive social media. We didn't talk about those things because none of the critics did any investigation to see where the use of "Ho" in its double meanings originated. It was presumed to be a one-sided gender slur and left at that (to the artist's reputational detriment).

- tom moody

April 3rd, 2015 at 10:00 am



- tom moody

April 1st, 2015 at 4:04 pm

Posted in art as criticism

7 tips on breaking animated gifs


A friend sent me a link promising "7 tips for designing awesome animated GIFs." The tip-offering design firm has a home page in the obnoxious new style that every dotcom 2.0 startup seems to be using. Instead of a neatly-organized page giving you basic information about the company (who we are, what we do, portfolio), you get a screen-filling explosion of video and graphics that seems more about obfuscating than informing.
Lots of elegantly greyed-out video clips of happy corporate workers with coffee cups next to laptops, conferencing in converted loft spaces with chalkboards. As you scroll down, testimonials from happy customers.


The homepage is optimized for a 1920 pixel wide screen -- when you shrink the width of the window you get the mess above. But it's not much better at the desired width. The designers' philosophy seems to be "entertainment before information," and projecting various class signifiers and logos to show what kinds of clients they expect to have. Ironically the product is some kind of "workflow" thing.

Their GIF tips aren't surprising -- use a pricy video editor, export to Photoshop, then employ various optimization tricks. The tippers brag that they "opted to use GIFs on our home page instead of fancy code-based animations." This is kind of funny because a few years ago some of Paddy Johnson's "tech" commenters were razzing me for suggesting that GIFs were a perfectly adequate alternative to fancy code-based animations.

Anyway, here are the tips on breaking animated GIFs:
1. Choose your targets wisely. Would this look more funny/stupid if broken?
2. Find an online image editor. Start messing around with the settings.
3. Does your broken GIF look too much like "glitch art" or "datamoshing"? Back to the drawing board. Avoid "art" cliches.
4. What is your purpose behind breaking the GIF? Are you making a philosophical point about entropy or is this just for "lulz"?
5. Who is your intended audience? Is it an art audience or a "funny junk" bulletin board? (Related to No. 4 above.)
6. Does the GIF really look broken or just badly made? (Think about that, too.)
7. Always pad listicles out to odd numbers.

- tom moody

February 28th, 2015 at 10:28 am

satirical ad copy


When you were a kid you listened to mp3s but once you grew up your ears began to crave extra bits. And not just bits but bits swaddled in the finest Horta™ brand silicon.
That's why we made a new memory stick, optimized for sound, which we think you will agree caters to the highest audiophile standards.
With the cheaper chips, sensitive ears can detect an unpleasant whine as data moves from storage to the playing device. Our premium chip buffers the data and bathes it in a soothing shimmer of Prion Filtration™, a patented algorithm that mimics protein receptors in the inner ear. This isn't just elimination of unwanted frequencies but a complete remapping of the way we hear.
Speakers, amps and preamps are important but soundwise, they don't mean a thing if you have bad data. As manufacturers, we recognize the importance of data-handling in the sound chain and we think you'll hear the difference. Next time you shop for music, make sure it's on Premium Sound.

hat tip Reneabythe and Techhive

- tom moody

February 21st, 2015 at 9:16 am

Posted in art as criticism

the new aesthetic


joy (left); dates (right)

- tom moody

February 14th, 2015 at 10:14 am

petty man smears men


reneabythe: honey, it's liquified, not smeared
tommoody: honey, I know (are you male or female?)

- tom moody

February 14th, 2015 at 10:13 am

lol u madden


- tom moody

February 8th, 2015 at 7:23 am

kraftwerk X


- tom moody

February 8th, 2015 at 7:22 am