Tom Moody
Since 2002
Works in New York, New York United States of America

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Internet Real Estate, Art and Power: The cases of Artsy and .art

Hi, Michael,
Thanks for the response. Orit Gat adopts a "on the one hand, on the other hand" style of writing that raises questions but stops short of taking a position on e-Flux's ambitions. It's good to hear from you that Rhizome won't use .art if e-Flux succeeds.
Gat asks a pertinent question: "If a different entity were to win the management of the .art domain (Deviantart is one of the applicants, for example), would the art world be as involved with the fate of the domain? It’s doubtful."
It would be good to see the logic of this explored a bit more. If deviantart or won the domain, "art" as the art world knows it would go on pretty much as it has. Nothing on .art would be taken seriously. The furor (if it exists), then, is over the possibility that e-Flux won't be a deserving steward. That should be explicit in Gat's article.
My distinction in that blog post you mention between "web-based art culture" and "gallery-based power structure" wasn't as simplistic or Manichean as those quotes make it sound. Deviantart is closer to an IDEA of web-based democratic culture than e-Flux's fee-based mailing list of "top" museums and galleries, but that doesn't mean we should have a tyranny based on likes or stats. I think the best outcome would be if some art-clueless third party company won the domain. Here's what I said on Paddy's blog:

The beauty of art on the net is it's spread around sites like .fm, .com, even .biz. E-Flux has the potential with this scheme to be a new Facebook of art (in the sense of "you have to be on it to play"). It is already Facebook-like in its maintenance of an exclusive mailing list.
.art under E-Flux also has the worrisome potential to become a place of knee-jerk left orthodoxy: trolls, wingnuts, and future urinal-appropriators need not apply.
What are the alternatives? One of the above-mentioned business entities wins .art, turning it into a tacky, profit-oriented no-go zone for anyone with a creative bone, and art continues to thrive in a decentralized way.

Best, Tom


Highlights from 2008

My discussion above with Ed Halter about so-called Internet Aware Art (in 2009) seems to have gotten disconnected from the above post in my Rhizome comments archive (aka member activity stream). (There is no link back to this post where the comments appear in the archive.) I found the post again via Google. For future reference the post link is


Wired Differently: Joel Holmberg at American Contemporary

For the record, the most active Nasty Nets users were Travis Hallenbeck (168 posts), Tom Moody (150), Marisa Olson (144), Joel Holmberg (138), and Guthrie Lonergan (86).

The users singled out for mention by Karen Archey (other than Holmberg) had the following counts: John Michael Boling (80 posts), Michael Bell-Smith (29), Kevin Bewersdorf (24), and Aleksandra Domanović (13).

Numbers don't mean everything, of course, but Archey's opening sentences invite us to read Holmberg through Nasty Nets (for whatever reason) and yet it's not the Nasty Nets I remember being part of -- it seems to be something more like Archey Nets.


Tool Time: Cory Arcangel at The Whitney

Belated smear response: Will Brand claims "there was a guide a few years ago to arguing with Tom Moody that described the strawman accusation as cheap to produce and costly to disassemble." If Brand can produce this "guide" and provide some context I'll be happy to respond to the accusation. Secondhand reference to a disappointed person's attempt at satire seems about par for Brand, as a writing technique.


Community Campaign 2012: The Download features Ryder Ripps

Since Ryder has reactivated his Facebook account the download of his data now seems like a bit of a hollow stunt. We're back to Joanne McNeil's meditations on temporality as the justification for this artwork but now she's taken her name off those paragraphs!