My first day of school! New semester, new anxieties, new frustrations, new doubts about The Future.
Also, after tomorrow I can say “President Obama” and be right. I actually got off my ass and voted for him in Virginia.
But honestly, is anyone else weirded out by the article about his podcasts on ArtForum? The last paragraph seems to end optimistically, rightfully so because who really wants to hear more “thin, redundant, more obviously ill-informed, and excruciatingly superficial” opinions shouted at them. But even if everyone shuts up and “starts reading” (not to mention, that level of intimacy achieved through these podcasts), it still removes a mediating element between people and president. Great, we don’t have to base our opinions on the preconceptions of others. Maybe we can finally start deciding for ourselves? Still, this article takes a “Obama can do no wrong” spin.
I mean, this whole “virtual is the new actual” is weird on its own. Thanks to Roland Barthes & co., we’ve already begun to acknowledge the inaccessibility of “truth” due to signifiers within language during the 20th century. With the internet achieving new levels of communication–and hyperreal–well, I don’t think Baudrillard would’ve wanted to live to see this. Kidding. But really, do we lament the impossibility for “truth”, or do we celebrate these new venues of freedom, to develop our own forms? All thanks to technology, of course–all thanks to us!
Let’s get this straight. I am not a technophobe. I don’t have the Frankenstein fear about stem-cell research and cloning and scientific progress–as if man’s creation (technology) will revolt and destroy its creator (man). We do need to find the cure to AIDS, cancer. etc. I just question whether or not we has fully evaluated what they mean by “progress” and “change”. Especially with those ridiculous Shephard Fairey Obama prints still circulating. To promote such a word–I mean, look how far our concentration on “Progress! Human Reason!” has gotten us during the first half of the 20th century. If only there were more trees in the Amazon to bulldoze.
I’m just saying we still need to reevaluate everything. Not that I have any slightest doubt that you guys won’t, as artists. I mean, that’s your profession–to think. Besides, I think a lot of people are beginning to realize that we don’t really know what money is. Money is virtual, and it’s freaking us out. Shit the most I know is that our currency value is based on some percentage of some people’s mortgages. I think. I miss the golden days.
To clarify, the whole pursuit of “truth” is kind of banal to me/not really my thing/actually really is my thing. But I do think we all exist virtually, internet or not, facebook or not. I’ll leave you with an interesting excerpt from Tom Wolfe’s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test:
“A person has all sorts of lags built into him, Kesey is saying. One, the most basic, is the sensory lag, the lag between the time your senses receive something and you are able to react. One-thirtieth of a second is the time it takes, if you are the most alert person alive, and most people are a lot slower than that…You can’t go any faster than that. You can’t go through sheer speed overcome the lag. We are all of us doomed to spend our lives watching a movie of our lives–we are always acting on what has just finished happening. It happened at least 1/30th of a second ago. We think we’re in the present, be aren’t. The present we know is only a movie of the past, and we will really never be able to control the present through ordinary means.”
Also, I apologize if I speak entirely in abstract extremities. It’s a bad habit.