novice Buddhist, expert neurotic. writer. aspiring adult.
sophcw at gmail dot com
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i want to take all my closest friends and 40 random people off the street and battle them all verbally creating instant and violent word art bleeding into unconscious streams of emotional rage.
then i want to have each draw their fears on the blank page, pass them around instructing all to make it 40 times more hideous, rinse repeat, until it’s received back by the instigator as something humorous.
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A 2010 study from Carnegie Mellon found that, when people engaged in direct interaction with others—that is, posting on walls, messaging, or “liking” something—their feelings of bonding and general social capital increased, while their sense of loneliness decreased. But when participants simply consumed a lot of content passively, Facebook had the opposite effect, lowering their feelings of connection and increasing their sense of loneliness.
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it’s funny, i feel more lonely after being on my computer all day talking to people and interacting with stuff online than i did in four days with no cell phone or internet and without speaking, reading, writing or even making eye contact with other people
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Just finished the new book by my favorite media theorist. This one was, appropriately, a lot more all over the place than Life Inc. (which I still highly highly recommend to everyone), but I think there are a ton of really valuable ideas and insights in there and Rushkoff continues to see the world in a more future-facing yet compassionate way than nearly anyone else I’ve ever read.
The part that struck me the most way his last section, titled “Apocalypto” in which he discusses the rise of apocalyptic thinking from both religious and scientific communities as a narrative reaction to a perpetual, timeless, inescapable present.
I thought this quote he used was very apt, and the following quote of his near the end sums up a lot of his message.
By allowing the challenges of the 21st century to be hijacked by the apocalyptic storyline, we find ourselves awaiting a moment of clarity when the problems we must confront will become apparent to all—or when those challenges will magically disappear, like other failed prophecies about the end of the world. Yet the real challenges we must face are not future events that we imagine or dismiss through apocalyptic scenarios of collapse— they are existing trends. The evidence suggests that much of what we fear in the future—the collapse of the economy, the arrival of peak oil and global warming and resource wars—has already begun. We can wait forever, while the world unravels before our very eyes, for an apocalypse that won’t come.
- Mathew Barrett and Mel Gilles, The Last Myth
Thanks to self-replicating technologies such as computers, nanomachines, robots and genomics, the future does seem to be upon us. It feels as if we can see the writing on the wall as it rapidly approaches from the distance. What is too easy to forget is that we are the ones simultaneously scrawling that very writing. We are the ones now writing the programs that will execute at some point in the future. We are the ones embedding our future reality with the values we want reaching back to us from there. Truly living in this present becomes a form of time travel, in which everything we do actually matters to both our memory of the liquid past and, more importantly, the character of the unformed future.
- Douglas Rushkoff, Present Shock
Not the most uplifting read, but he does spend a few paragraphs discussing Community so clearly I loved it. Seriously though, a really fascinating read and full of ideas that I think are very important to consider in this strange new era we’re entering.
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Entirely possible that my plangent cries about the impossibility of rebelling against an aura that promotes and attenuates all rebellion says more about my residency inside that aura, my own lack of vision, than it does about any exhaustion of U.S. fiction’s possibilities. The next real literary “rebels” in this country might well emerge as some weird bunch of “anti-rebels,” born oglers who dare to back away from ironic watching, who have the childish gall actually to endorse single-entendre values. Who treat old untrendy human troubles and emotions in U.S. life with reverence and conviction. Who eschew self-consciousness and fatigue. These anti-rebels would be outdated, of course, before they even started. Too sincere. Clearly repressed. Backward, quaint, naive, anachronistic. Maybe that’ll be the point, why they’ll be the next real rebels. Real rebels, as far as I can see, risk things. Risk disapproval. The old postmodern insurgents risked the gasp and squeal: shock, disgust, outrage, censorship, accusations of socialism, anarchism, nihilism. The new rebels might be the ones willing to risk the yawn, the rolled eyes, the cool smile, the nudged ribs, the parody of gifted ironists, the “How banal.” Accusations of sentimentality, melodrama. Credulity. Willingness to be suckered by a world of lurkers and starers who fear gaze and ridicule above imprisonment without law. Who knows.
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‘Capitalist Realism’ is the ideology that now structures our world, the idea that, in the words of Margaret Thatcher, there is no alternative. Neo-liberal capitalism seamlessly occupies the horizons of the thinkable. Within that framework, what does the emulation of the creative visual forms of the corporation signify? What’s with post-internet artists and all their corporate swag? Looked upon favourably, it suggests an ambition for the work. The visual language of the corporation is the language of the possible. Who structures our visual environment on a daily basis, but advertising agencies working on behalf of corporations?
The move towards brand language marks a desire to engage with the visual cultures of daily life. In adopting the form of the commercial policy document, artists are shifting the context of their work back to some form of social engagement, and that’s a tacit admission of just how ineffective contemporary art discourse has been in making practical and pragmatic interventions into the real world of everyday life. Instead, the utilisation of the language of the commercial sphere, then, signifies a genuinely radical shift from the forms of post-socialist contemporary art that came before, in the form of Relational Aesthetics — an attempt or desire to produce art that engages with everyday life, which changes the social or political world it is produced in. We can lament that there is no other political framework in which radical social engagement can occur, but we cannot really deny it.
Huw Lemmey at Rhizome.
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The accidental audience’s attitude toward what it sees is deeply predicated on the neoliberal vision of cultural migration, but its willingness to strip images of their status as property is so aggressive that it deserves a term of its own: image anarchism. Whereas image fundamentalists and image neoliberals disagree over how art becomes property, image anarchists behave as though intellectual property is not property at all. While the image neoliberal still believes in the owner as the steward of globally migratory artworks, the image anarchist reflects a generational indifference toward intellectual property, regarding it as a bureaucratically regulated construct. This indifference stems from file sharing and extends to de-authored, decontextualized Tumblr posts. Image anarchism is the path that leads art to exist outside the context of art.
H∆SHTAG$ - Don’t Call It #Tumblrwave - Episode 5
This is possibly the first GOOD intro/exploration of the whole “what are these kids doing these days” aspect of tumblr culture, and surprise surprise, its actually the artists talking instead of journalists. I just really wish it was longer.
Some of the best insights in the vid (imo) are from Gucci Goth and Molly McMahon. I also like the point about tumblr allowing people to make new culture, even though 99.9% of tumblr artists just collage and rehash the past to make an aesthetic thats the web equivalent of a post-apocalyptic look made up of things we ourselves already recognize. however those people already have the context of what-it-is rather than not knowing what it is, which gives the pretext of knowing what they’re doing isn’t “new” or even quote-unquote-new, necessarily. Auerbach DOES mention seapunk as a good example of that, and imo i’d narrow it down to Kevin Heckart’s visuals ( tamagotchifuneral.tumblr.com ) because his stuff is in reference TO the 90’s, but its not quite FROM the 90’s. theres very seldom use of straight up digitized wingdings or cursors and other ephemera of typical “kids in their bedroom making net art”.
It also brings up the issue (vaguely) of the situation brought about by having high exposure of low quantity genres and artists very quickly. This sort of forces the bubble to pop before it has left the bubble wand, in a way. Not quite tumblr (and not exactly the identical problems) but Azealia Banks is probably a good example of this. Granted, she’d probably be twice as far along if she actually had some tact, but the massive exposure garnered after one single also had some impact. And arguably vaporwave had that happen as well (assuming you consider it a genre at all).
This is really great.
This is awesome;
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