20 June 2013

Internet, art, etc.

Having recently started getting into Tumblr (see here, yeah!) for an exposition I am working on, I am suddenly painfully, light-bulbingly aware of the retrograde status of Blogspot - OMG! Blogger in general, really, but notably my present brand of not-updated-since-2006/html-no-endless-scroll-(thankgod)-hard-core Blogspot. Version 2006!

That is literally like 1/3 of the Internet's life ago. That's like saying to a 19 year old, you were cooler/I liked you better when you were 12. It actually could be true in both cases. Some people peak at 12 years old and it's all down-hill from there. And it's actually really possible that the Internet was cooler/better 7 years ago, at least there was less surveillance and marketing and crap.

Yet, the Internet is so whatever now you can hardly refer to it as 'cool' - it's just total. Totalitarian, maybe, or getting there, but certainly total. In the sense of not being a point of difference to the everyday, i.e. a hobby, but rather totally integrated, i.e. the everyday itself, etc. In the sense also of post-Internet, as explained by Artie Vierkant, largely in relation to art, in his essay 'The Image Object Post-Internet' (2010), which is important reading. It gives a good sense of the Internet's status in 2010 and how art must be understood in relation to it (Brad Troemel's 2012 talk 'Art After Social Media' is also important in this respect). By the way, both of these theses must naturally be extrapolated for 2013, and so on; the rapidity of updates and transformations in this domain continues to overtake traditional human modes of charting social progress (like essays and weblogs, for example).

Anyway, my point is, I am hideously out-of-date, -touch, -sync, and I didn't fully realise it, because I thought I was making a 'choice' (lol). However, choice is only real if you actually know your options. I never knew what they were because I just kept using what I (thought I) already knew: Blogger (which, of course, can be swapped for any other go-to web platform - or anything else period, if we extend the point - and the argument remains valid). This is just another form of ignorance, largely self-imposed (though there are distal powers at work, too), as well as lazy and fearful at base. This self- and systemically-maintained ignorance is precisely that which must be fought against as we embark ever further into the Internet-as-world totality.

We must remember how to question the platforms we use, why we use them, how and with whom, for what purpose. Know the alternatives, and question them, too. Learn as much as possible. So then there really is at least some level of choice as to our engagement with the online (as if there is ever an 'offline' these days!).

I don't pretend for a second that Tumblr is any better than Blogger - that would be ridiculous, they are just different. I think it's important to take note of that difference and not forget what it means. In general, we should aim not to forget the enormous evolutions within the history of the Internet, although amnesia seems increasingly coded into the system itself. Remember: Facebook wasn't always as it is and won't remain as it is, nothing lasts forever, lest we forget. The Internet has developed enormously in the last six or seven years, yet I remain somehow nostalgically fond of my now-anachronistic form of 'blogging' - how quaint to actually write something longer than 140 characters or post something once, uniquely, instead of 'gramming a pic across five different platforms instantaneously ("reblog" - I never knew the extent of what this means until recently!).

So, in the name of embracing change and making 'informed choices' (which are the only kind of real choices), I want to alert you to four art exhibitions opening in the next week in four different cities that are worth 'following' and looking into, and are not totally irrelevant to the topic of choice and the Internet. It should be noted I am doing this on Blogspot, not Tumblr or anything else. I like to think of that as a very specific decision.

1) Friday 21 June 2013 @ 18.00: Chill Spree, curated by Henry Davidson at Dog Park in Christchurch, with Claire Mahoney, Oscar Enberg, Ben Clement, Jack Hadley, PBPR. Event!

2) Tuesday 25 June 2013 @ 18.00: Institute Bianche, curated by Harry Burke at Library + in London, with Eva & Franco Mattes, Paule Kneale, Miami Dutch, Julia Tcharfas, Bunny Rogers. Event!

3) Thursday 27 June 2013 @ 18.00: Dusty at Gloria Knight in Auckland, with Juliet Carpenter, Alex Laurie, Evangeline Riddiford Graham. Event!

4) Friday 28 June 2013 @ 18.00: Hyper Spectral Display (.HSD), curated by Eleanor Ivory at 55 Sydenham Rd Marrickville NSW 2204 AU in Sydney, with Adam Cruces, Amalia Ulman, Clara Chon, Jack L. Dunbar, Joe Hamilton, Matthew Linde, Megan Hanson, Oliver van der Lugt. Event!


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