BLOG For Sale

by Art Fag City on May 23, 2007 · 23 comments Events

Tom Moody, BLOG (Terminal), Installation shot

Tom Moody, BLOG, (Terminal), Photograph AFC

Hi Tom! Sorry I missed your opening, but I’m here now talking to Aron about your work. It looks great! Also, I’m glad it’s displayed in the main gallery space [not the office].
- Paddy Johnson (guest) 5-20-2007 6:18 pm

Hi, Paddy, OK, its time for me to come out from behind that white box and admit I’ve been in here the whole time and BLOG is all manually done like the minus space “blog.”
- tom moody 5-20-2007 6:22 pm

Naturally, I’m thrilled that someone will have the opportunity to purchase the exchange I participated in above whereby New Media artist Tom Moody suggests his “blog” is actually a literalised performance, and locates himself inside his exhibition pedestal. I suspect however that most people bring a good deal more skepticism to the piece now on display at artMovingProjects than I have. After all, why should a blog be sold as a purchasable item when you can look at it for free in the comfort of your own home? Sure collectors now have the opportunity to purchase a more “objecty” version of the blog; a limited edition DVD which features a month’s worth of exhibition related and regular posting, or Terminal which includes a pedestal/keyboard stand and gear with a dedicated hard drive for Moody’s blogging activities during the exhibition, but still…does this not grossly over estimate the importance of a blog?

Well, yes, but Tom Moody doesn’t use a traditional blogging model, so evaluating it within the perimeters of a regular blog will inevitably lead viewers to an erroneous conclusion. To my mind BLOG needs to be exhibited because it represents a portion of one of the most important new media documents on the web today. Perhaps best described as a digital sketchbook, Moody’s site is a mix of his own work, his critical writing, and political thoughts. What’s more it attracts some of the most intelligent comment threads I’ve read on any blog.

Like most work, it’s not that there aren’t other examples of artists who take similar approaches, it’s that nobody has done it as well, or for as long as Moody. Now, evaluating what is essentially a month long performance piece three days in is a little like judging an Eyebeam reBlogger prior to their reblogging (see this post for an explanation on reblogging) , so rather than discuss a couple posts from the opening I missed, I thought I would link to three archived posts written within the last year. These posts are indicative of the kind of work you can expect to see on his blog, and part of the reason his blog is being exhibited in the first place.

  • Last year I linked to a post where Moody had distilled the sentiments expressed in Jerry Saltz’s feature on the Walid Raad show at the Kitchen in the style of a Donald Judd review. (Update: To be clear, Moody doesn’t change Saltz’s words, he just condenses/crops his thoughts.) I liked the gesture, not only because it showed the strength of art writing that occurred in the 1960′s but because it drew a connection between the directness of his own writing and that of another artist. I like to think that directness is a result of the critical oneupsmanship that permeates artist culture, (there can be no better sign of a good artist than a highly discerning eye,) though there are so few who do it well, that the theory would be next to impossible to prove.

Tom Moody, Pulse PoolTom Moody, Pulse Pool
Tom Moody, Pulse PoolTom Moody, Pulse Pool

  • I’ve included the above pool gif as a recent example of Moody’s art, because I think the piece deserves attention and underscores the importance of his blog as a means of showcasing his work. I suppose an obvious parallel to this work are David Hockney pools, though I tend to feel the similarities are limited to palette and subject matter as opposed to approach. Unlike Hockney’s works which are typically frozen and even lonely in their sparseness, this work breaths as though alive, and suggests the presence of many both in its movement and construction (the piece is a collage of many pool images found on the web.) I should note before moving on, that one aspect of Moody’s blog that I actually enjoy is the fact that I don’t like all the art he posts. To understand an artists process you really have to be able to view a full lineage of work, because from this a viewer can see what is accepted and reused in later works, and what isn’t. This kind of information really enriches the viewing experience.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

  • Tom Moody ran the above image with the very appropriate headline Most meaningless use of a religious icon reference in a press photo. The artist’s political posts typically have little to do with Moody’s art or criticism, but for the fact that Moody clearly believes it important for an artist to be at least somewhat politically engaged, but I have highlighted this piece because I think the title alone represents an excellent merging of political and aesthetic criticism. The article this particular photograph ran with in the New York Times detailed congress’s current session which concluded without having done much of anything. Moody makes fun of the photographer, and adds an anecdote from Jim Jarmusch’s film Dead Man

It occurs to me after having written this post, that I would love to see artMovingProjects and Tom Moody invite a blog curator to put together a greatest hits DVD as another incarnation of this show. The artist has archives listing back to 2001, so a curated version of his blog would without a doubt be something I’d pay to own.

  • b.

    to elimate the padding around the pool images, you need to just change one line in your style sheet (artfagcity.com/wp-content/themes/artfagcity/style.css).

    roll down to about line 85, to a section that reads:

    img /* The default image class. A normally inserted image will have 2px padding and be centered*/

    {

    padding:2px;

    text-align: center;

    }

    and then change “padding:2px;” to “padding:0px;”

  • b.

    to elimate the padding around the pool images, you need to just change one line in your style sheet (artfagcity.com/wp-content/themes/artfagcity/style.css).

    roll down to about line 85, to a section that reads:

    img /* The default image class. A normally inserted image will have 2px padding and be centered*/

    {

    padding:2px;

    text-align: center;

    }

    and then change “padding:2px;” to “padding:0px;”

  • Art Fag City

    Thanks b.!

    To anyone who missed the part of the post I just removed, Tom Moody’s gif wasn’t displaying properly, so the above comment is a response to my solicitation for advice on how to fix that.

  • Art Fag City

    Thanks b.!

    To anyone who missed the part of the post I just removed, Tom Moody’s gif wasn’t displaying properly, so the above comment is a response to my solicitation for advice on how to fix that.

  • b.

    I was hasty in that response; a better solution might be to restore the css file to what it was, and then simply add the style attribute to each of the image tags you want un-padded:

    style=”padding:0px”

    ie.

    img src=”http://www.artfagcity.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/05/pool8pulse.gif” alt=”Tom Moody, Pulse Pool” style=”padding:0px”

    this way your other images will retain their proper distance from entry text and stuff.

  • b.

    I was hasty in that response; a better solution might be to restore the css file to what it was, and then simply add the style attribute to each of the image tags you want un-padded:

    style=”padding:0px”

    ie.

    img src=”http://www.artfagcity.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/05/pool8pulse.gif” alt=”Tom Moody, Pulse Pool” style=”padding:0px”

    this way your other images will retain their proper distance from entry text and stuff.

  • Art Fag City

    cool.

  • Art Fag City

    cool.

  • tom moody

    Much appreciated, Paddy (and b.). I will try to live up to this during BLOG, the show, although I can’t promise to curtail images of bouncy organic forms with spraycans. (It’s a fine line between that and flying toasters but someone’s got to go there.) Also, just so it’s clear, the words in the Raad review are Saltz’s, I didn’t rewrite them. Except for taking out one qualifying phrase, I just stripped his review down to the damning paragraph buried in a longer piece purporting to praise Raad. I suppose that could be one-upmanship on my part–you had a line in there about it being macho and I didn’t mind that you said that.

  • tom moody

    Much appreciated, Paddy (and b.). I will try to live up to this during BLOG, the show, although I can’t promise to curtail images of bouncy organic forms with spraycans. (It’s a fine line between that and flying toasters but someone’s got to go there.) Also, just so it’s clear, the words in the Raad review are Saltz’s, I didn’t rewrite them. Except for taking out one qualifying phrase, I just stripped his review down to the damning paragraph buried in a longer piece purporting to praise Raad. I suppose that could be one-upmanship on my part–you had a line in there about it being macho and I didn’t mind that you said that.

  • Art Fag City

    Re: Flying toasters. Hilarious!

    I’ll clarify the post visa vi the Saltz review since you are right, it does read as though you had changed his words.

    I still think the revision is a sort of a macho move, (which I rather like) but I removed the line because initially I had been thinking that the review was more than just one-upmanship on Saltz, but on Judd as well. After thinking about that some more I decided that wasn’t the case so I removed the line.

  • Art Fag City

    Re: Flying toasters. Hilarious!

    I’ll clarify the post visa vi the Saltz review since you are right, it does read as though you had changed his words.

    I still think the revision is a sort of a macho move, (which I rather like) but I removed the line because initially I had been thinking that the review was more than just one-upmanship on Saltz, but on Judd as well. After thinking about that some more I decided that wasn’t the case so I removed the line.

  • tom moody

    I thought you meant one-upmanship of Raad! I wasn’t thinking about one-upping Saltz, just calling attention to the equivocating in his writing. I didn’t so much distill or condense it as crop it–leaving only the rather devastating para about Raad without the touchy feely supportive paras that surrounded it.
    As for trying to one-up Judd, fuggedaboutit. That was one tough unrelenting moFo who would not have survived one second in the current noodly art environment.

  • tom moody

    I thought you meant one-upmanship of Raad! I wasn’t thinking about one-upping Saltz, just calling attention to the equivocating in his writing. I didn’t so much distill or condense it as crop it–leaving only the rather devastating para about Raad without the touchy feely supportive paras that surrounded it.
    As for trying to one-up Judd, fuggedaboutit. That was one tough unrelenting moFo who would not have survived one second in the current noodly art environment.

  • Art Fag City

    Well, I think you do one-up Saltz even if that was not your intention. I guess I’m speaking more about the inclination of artists to be highly critical of work, and the one-upmanship that exists within that activity as opposed to artists besting other artists. Raad’s a good artist, but I don’t see enough connections between your work for you to bother trying to one up that guy.

  • Art Fag City

    Well, I think you do one-up Saltz even if that was not your intention. I guess I’m speaking more about the inclination of artists to be highly critical of work, and the one-upmanship that exists within that activity as opposed to artists besting other artists. Raad’s a good artist, but I don’t see enough connections between your work for you to bother trying to one up that guy.

  • tom moody

    The spaces are back in the pool GIFs! Also I just noticed yours is 4 GIFs and mine is 6.

  • tom moody

    The spaces are back in the pool GIFs! Also I just noticed yours is 4 GIFs and mine is 6.

  • RaiulBaztepo

    Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language ;)
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  • RaiulBaztepo

    Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language ;)
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    I think Rauil is spam. Anyway, belated thanks again to b. for the tip on eliminating unwanted css spacing between images! I needed to do that on some posts that were FUBARed after a recent Word Press upgrade, and found my way back to this comment thread for the fix.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    I think Rauil is spam. Anyway, belated thanks again to b. for the tip on eliminating unwanted css spacing between images! I needed to do that on some posts that were FUBARed after a recent Word Press upgrade, and found my way back to this comment thread for the fix.

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