Thursday, May 31, 2012
Experience and expression
A Critical Analysis The web is a wild western gorge full of guns and lovers. The problem with polarisation is that the loudest views are not necessarily the most beneficial. Sometimes it is the quiet troubadour in the corner strumming that bestows the wisdom that prevents a fight from erupting but instead of augmenting art, has the internet actually watered it down? Some may see a post-modern content in the every-man contributions of social networking, but where does it place the extraordinary? Does its marketing muscle only flex for mediocracy? Or am I describing cable television? One could say that there is an inverse relation between context and meaning. But nobody would understand. A better way of saying the same thing is that the crowd has wisdom. That heat creates fire. That love is a function of the heart, and not the brain. It is the movement of clouds of meaning passing across the digital divide that makes this internet into something fantastic. It is the release of a spray of ideas into an atmosphere that knows how to pluck the good bits that provides its progressive strength. As a distribution system and filtering of knowledge that enables it to be a fluid representation of thought. Fluid, not liquid. Like a lava flow, it emerges and reforms its landscape. Looking at web archive sites is an adventure into an already antique territory. The inverse of "Steam punk" which for me feels like an outburst of the artist attempting to create a sense of provenance of ideas - this thing about hot media and cold media - due to a complete absence of feeling in wireframe construction containing a cold plethora of evolving ideas - utility without indulgence - we have alternative media online which are far warmer and dynamic. From Youtube to Second Life - the web "experience" is a mutual universe of representation. The idea of avatars being a military tool involves a transfer of consciousness to the machine, but that is not what we are doing. It is a transfer of the machine's imprint upon ourselves that this hot media impresses. The conveyance of real experience is diluted - but the internet enhancing experience not so much by social networking but by providing a fabric where human experience and joy can be expressed and enjoyed. This balance between utility and pleasure dictates how information is accumulated and presented. It is remarkable how easily it teeters over the edge and falls into one side of that equation. The goal of software now is to achieve a constancy in balance between the two.