December 18, 2018

Please Stand By

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Mea Maxi Culpa!

We've had an interregnum!

Time to stop the stoppage.

15 years of blogging is a long haul. Around a year or so ago, I finally got involved in Instagram. A late adopter, I was critical of the smaller dimension of the platform, the fixed imagery, the canned presentation, the content limited to blurbs. Friends convinced me that... this is where the action was at, that one had to participate to be socially connected. True, that. It was also true for Facebook, once upon a time. I was a late adopter of Twitter, too. I mostly lurk, my tweets are very few. But I've found that after a time, I rely on it too much for breaking news, instead of hitting the five to fifteen regular news and news aggregator sites that I used to graze daily at. I've also noticed that Twitter has lost much of its' richness and diversity recently. I correlate this with the recent turn to hard handed "curation" and anti-free speech ostracism that has been going on in the past few years.

Now, I am about to take a hard exit from FB, a procedure that I will execute during the winter holiday. Why? I don't like being herded by platforms and media corporations. I don't like the money grubbing power seeking king-of-the-world domination by most of the tech community and those of us who are influenced by it beyond. Lust. Gollum and his precious ring. We need success but there's something ugly about it along the way.

I have noticed in myself an increasing reticence to blog in the past couple of years. Maybe the sensation has always been there, and there wasn't the ease of IG's couple of clicks to sate the social urge. It's easy to blame IG, maybe too much so. Maybe it's the message in the bottle sensation of blogging... but then this excuse would blame you, dear reader, for not commenting and interacting. I'm too much of a lurker myself to believe that self-told lie.

There is too, that hermit's gene somewhere in my helix. Whoever I am, I am not that attention whore seeking psychopath. I also know that there is also a grandiosity sequence somewhere along in the strand, and I can only hope that both DNA chains are counterbalancing each other (...in a way that avoids the Unabomber's profile).

A very big shout out to fellow artist/reader Jimmy for a nice neat kick in the pants. Thanks Jimmy!

A retreat from blogging would sabotage my overall practice, especially since this blog is a source of titles and a repository of contextual content. Also, this blog might someday be recognized as the art form, art media that I believe it is and could be. Blogs have arisen and have become eclipsed but they remain classic and as such enduring. Blogging's overlooked underdog status is perfect for staving off the predatory egoistic greed that has devoured and destroyed other information age venues. Also, this blog is an artists' hail Mary pass for posthumous recognition, the trail of breadcrumbs in a forest of signs, the labyrinth's thread. Very important stuff, this.

It's time to retrain my habits and get back to eating less processed information. So please stand by while I tune up and rev up the engine...

Postscript: The critique continues...


On the subway to the studio this morning (Dec. 19th), I listened to Reply All's first episode: #1 An App Sends A Stranger To Say "I Love You" (transcript at the link).

Face-to-face has become a frightening prospect. Listening to it, I thought of something I think we have all noticed, of the reticence of my younger friends to directly communicate. Years ago before FB, IG and Twitter, I noticed that my friends -especially the younger ones- tended to not answer their phones. Texts and email were preferred, and over time, I noticed that not all of these were answered, at first promptly and later not at all. Since then, social attenuation has slowly but certainly deepened.

In the studio, between decision trees, I tend to play Youtube like a radio. This video connects to the theme in Reply All's podcast:

A critique of social media, a conversation between Richard Grannon and Sam Vaknin, psychologists. Listening to Vaknin, I reflected on the recurrent exhibitions over the years that feature "cutting edge" "tech-savvy" artwork, especially the kind of painting that performs the gymnastic trick of shining a light on futuristic technology via a antiquated one. The Information Age was supposed to open up worlds, connect the world, not curl up ever so tightly past the shredding event horizon into one's own solitary singularity. The former was what the art world thought was the cutting edge... the latter turned out to resemble a stricken teenage cutter's self mutilation.

So much was discussed that merits extensive note taking. But if I have to select one from the bounty of insights -and I must- I would focus on 1:20:00, where they posit that love, intimacy is the competitor of social media. Intimacy is a threat to social media. I note this, thinking about how love and passion has dropped out of art collecting in recent years. Vaknin even summons the comparison to zombie movies in his extensive analysis... hello, Martin Mugar!


Posted by Dennis at December 18, 2018 11:11 AM

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