— New RSShole

Archive
Tag "facebook"

Picture 5

I’ve read several essays and manifestos recently on the artistic implications of Facebook.  These writings can be evocative, and are often extremely successful at garnering the cultural capital they wish to theorize.  My own thoughts on these essays are best expressed by friend and scholar Adam E. Leeds.  I’d like to quote an email I received from him:

“…I am done reading articles about how Facebook changes the world.

1. I don’t actually believe that what goes on on social networking sites is that different from what went on before them, or changes our sense of self much.

2. There are changes in society on account of them; the most important ones are the delocalization of networks and the instantaneity of mass communication — new articulations of time and space.

3. These technologies are totally in their infancy.  Facebook might not be around in ten years. We don’t even know what is the paradigm that will replace it, yet.

4. We won’t really know the cultural implications until we see the culture that the generation that grows up with whatever replaces Facebook creates.”

Total agreement.  This is not to suggest, of course, that pop culture requires being canonized before it can be effectively parsed.  There is a significant difference between technology as phenomenon and technology as medium — when writers treat cultural phenomena as media, the theory must take a different approach.  To speak of Facebook as medium, as paradigm, disallows its potential for instantaneity which, I think, is what it is actually good at.

Surely, the contemporary theoretical essay does not need to be one for the ages –that’s the mode of contemporary. But I can’t help but think how I recently read Boris Groys’s problematic essay on institutionalized video art, and how very dated it felt (it was written only 6 years ago).  To speak of these phenomena as prototypes for the future (or even prototypes for now) misses the point of technological ephemerality and presentness.  Presentness, in this instance, is not necessarily grace.  In technology, presentness is chopped, distorted, and wholly untrustworthy.  It is interesting, certainly.  But it is not implication.

Today, on Wallflower Wednesday, I’m thinking about Information with a capital I.  It’s a lot to think about.

How does information affect hookups on Meteuphoric “How about match then? Here it matters exactly what people want in a match. If they mostly care about their beloved having certain characteristics,  more information will let everyone hear about more people who meet their requirements. On the other hand if we mainly want to avoid people with certain characteristics, more information will strike more people off the list.”

Subscriptions are the New BLACK (+ why Facebook, Google, & Apple will own your wallet by 2015) on Master of 500 Hats If you can get through the design and hyperlinks, this is a fascinating article on frequent-use business models.

United States of America and rest of Internet from Olia Lialina Of course.

The Intellectual Situation on n+1 “Web 2.0 has been revelatory in lots of ways—user-generated naked photos, for one—but the torrent of writing from ordinary folks has certainly been one of the most transfixing. Over the past five years the great American public has blogged and Tweeted and commented up a storm and fulfilled a great modernist dream: the inclusion, the reproduction, the self-representation of the masses. Walter Benjamin spoke of “modern man’s legitimate claim to being reproduced” by film, a claim denied modern man by the capitalist film industry; James Joyce’s Leopold Bloom lamented the fact that the wisdom of the street found no outlet in literature. Now, through a million open channels, the wisdom of the people is represented, and they can write back to power—or at least to posters of YouTube videos.”  Oh and PS n+1′s got a whole new thing going on.  Check it out.

Ok and just a few pieces of plain old information for you:

Me, Myself, and I on New York Times Why do we capitalize the word “I”? There’s no grammatical reason for doing so, and oddly enough, the majuscule “I” appears only in English.

Finger Fluting. Say no more.  Actually, say more.

David Foster Wallace’s childhood viking poem.