Archive for May, 2014
EVERYBODY ON THE STREET IS CHECKIN THEIR PHONES
A SAD SACK NATION OF TWO-BIT DRONES
DRONES IN THE AIR -- DRONES IN THE CUBICLE
HOOKED TO THE BEZOS/JOBS UMBILICAL
CYBERPUNKS THOUGHT WE'D HAVE CHIPS IN THE HEAD
WE GOT EM IN THE FUCKIN POCKET INSTEAD
CONNECTIN US UP TO THE REST OF HUMANITY
WHEN JOBS TAKES HIS CUT IT'S PURE INSANITY
FIRST THE POD THEN THE PHONE THEN THE PAD PAD PAD
WASTIN RARE METALS FOR YOUR DAD DAD DAD
SHELLIN OUT COIN FOR A SLAB THAT BREAKS
RIGHT AFTER THE WARRANTY, UPPIN THE STAKES
SO THEN YOU BUY ANOTHER CUZ YOUR NEIGHBOR HAD TO HAVE ONE
YOU PAY FOR A GOOD ONE CUZ IT SUCKS TO HAVE A BAD ONE
THEN YOU SPEND ALL DAY ON YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE
STALKED BY YOUR EX IN A JEALOUS RAGE
MEANWHILE MAD MEN CHECKIN YOU OUT
SEEING CAN THEY MONETIZE YOUR INTERNET KLOUT
YOU'RE A WORTHLESS TOOL OF THE SYSTEM JACK
TIME TO FLUSH THAT SLAB AND GET YOUR LIFE BACK
hat tips appleiphone, DIS magazine, karim rashid mousepad and whoever made the original arch GIF
Let's float a new definition for "post-internet" or po-net, as it jokingly called.
"New Media artists who use Facebook as a primary location for work, discussion, news, and/or self-promotion"
Referring back to an earlier confab, one definition of the "post-" moment (Gene McHugh's) was the web's transition from its early geeky/amateur days, roughly Geocities through Blogspot, to the time it become everyday reality for most folks (the arrival of social media, meaning Facebook). That is to say, widespread use of a "mini-internet" -- a database, not really a "net" -- that mimicked the web's multiplicity and sprawl but was all owned by one company. Whereas in 2005 you might use a search engine to find Jane Doe Artist on the web, by 2011 you'd check Facebook to see if she had a page.
Challenged by the success of this model, Google, which was once somewhat neutral in its search regimen, began treating the sprawl like a database it controlled. Formerly boutique-y shops such as Twitter gradually aspired to be Walmart.
But let's stick to Facebook. Even with everything we know about its egregious commercial practices and ties to the surveillance sector, it's still the go-to place for artists. Not necessarily for content but as a phone directory, a place to announce shows, and a hub for critical discussion.
After Rhizome.org's recent fundraiser, both that organization and the ArtFCity site lamented that comment culture had "moved on" from independent blogs to social media, meaning Facebook. When Marisa Olson wanted to post a statement protesting a cancelled show by a commercial gallery, she did it on Facebook. I don't think it's inaccurate to say that the majority of participants in the new media biennale "The Wrong" actively used their Facebook accounts for announcements and chat about the event.
A handful of creative types have bailed on Zuck, or never signed up. Perhaps clinging to ideals of a web larger than a single dominant business. Geeks, perhaps -- but it's not like it takes much smarts or money to set up a website and let search engines find you.
Everyone else, then, is a post-internet artist.
Update: Once again the magic 8 ball told me Rhizome was about to post on a topic. This appeared a few hours after the above was written.
Ranting head "Maddox" explains with great clarity and particularity why he hates BuzzFeed. [YouTube] (hat tip reneabythe)
If you watch to the end, there is a post-credits blast re: GIF mispronunciation: "I'm not gonna call it JIF. You invented the Graphics Interchange Format, you didn't invent the way letters are pronounced."
Paddy Johnson weighs in on New York magazine's adoration of Buzzfeed (thanks for the link). She spots a moment of wavering commitment where New York questions whether BuzzFeed's advertising model is "really selling anything."
My own contribution to human understanding of BuzzFeed was tweeting that it's "like a slightly zanier version of the comcast xfinity homepage." In a reply to Johnson's post, I questioned whether Jonah Peretti had any art world bona fides: "Blackpeopleloveus.com was obnoxious and not all that funny, and that New Museum installation was dreadful, 'wall installation 101.' This was a man destined to be an Ad Man, not an artist. (In fairness, the "dirt style" HTML design page he did with Cory Arcangel was amusing.)"
In another post (thanks for the other link) Johnson writes that new media gallery Bitforms seems to have cancelled "
Postfeminism Postbinary Feminism, a show that was slated to open three weeks from now and was curated [by] artist and curator Marisa Olson. Irate about the cancellation, Olson took her complaints to Facebook." The Facebook post seems to have disappeared, or perhaps it's blocked to us non-Zucks. I asked Paddy in a comment to tell us what she knows about this cancellation. Update: Johnson rescued Olson's text from the Zuckerbowels; I'll probably repost to the "public internet" after I've digested it some more. One statement leaps out, that Olson considers Bitforms to be "one of the most important new media galleries in the world." It's certainly one of the most long-lived (14 years, I think) and in the infinitesimal field of new media galleries, that's something, but am not sure "important" is the right word.
Write news stories in the Dot Com Two, clickbait era using this one weird trick
After MIT, Peretti moved to New York to take a job as director of research at Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, a sort of cyberpunk collective started by John Johnson, an heir to the Robert Wood Johnson fortune. "It was this moment of nascent Internet culture colliding with the art world," Johnson says. Peretti began working with what he called "contagious media," attracting a group of collaborators like Ze Frank, the artist Cory Arcangel, and Duncan Watts, a Columbia University professor who studied how ideas moved through social networks.
"Jonah, at least initially, came very much from the viewpoint of 'I can engineer things,'" Watts recalls. "I came from 'No you can't, you just get lucky.'"
"At least initially?" When did he decide it couldn't be engineered? Guess I need to re-skim.
I remember Arcangel telling me about his contagious media group that met once a week, or month. I thought it sounded, to use a term from theory, "deeply full of shit." I understood that a business person or advertiser might want to study viral flow but why would an artist care about that? So you could goose your own stats? Make better animated GIFs? This was around the time Eyebeam invited me to be an Eyebeam Reblogger, where volunteering personages sort of DJ'd content from RSS feeds, using software Peretti and Michael Frumin developed. This was 2004. Peretti left Eyebeam to do terrible work at the Huffington Post and then terrible work at Buzzfeed.
(Eyebeam, that wacky cyberpunk collective, removed all the Reblog archives a few years ago but my three weeks' rebloggin' has been saved on my home cloud; eventually will put it back up for history and nostalgia. FYI Tumblr borrowed the reblog concept from Peretti/Frumin.)
Hi, I'm Dylan Matthews (named after Thomas not Bob) and write articles for Vox like "15 FUNsettling facts about drones," "Your favorite singers' vocal ranges, in one chart," and "Each state's largest minority, in one map." As you can guess, I worship Buzzfeed and its genius founder Jonah Peretti. It's especially cool how he ropes you with clickbait headlines that play on your inherent narcissism ("hey, this is about me!"), simultaneously delivering you to advertisers and inflating click counts so publications like New York think Buzzfeed is a thing.
So, I found out what many people already knew, that Peretti had an arty background and read theory in college, and something you may not have known -- that he wrote a paper in the '90s based on Deleuze that criticized MTV for the very things Buzzfeed does now. Except Peretti, because he's Peretti, isn't a foul hypocrite but actually this Warhol-like figure that's critiquing all the way to the bank, and at the same time showing old media how they can combine advertising and journalism and ride the wild whirlwind of VIRAL CURRENTS that supposedly no one can get a handle on.
So I like, "reached out" to Peretti and asked if his old college "critique" paper was in fact a blueprint for his current venue's outstanding marketplace success and you know Peretti said? You know what he said?
He emailed me back and said "LOL." That's all. Can you even comprehend how cool that is?
*** not satire *** not satire *** not satire *** not satire ***
hat tip ben_dover
Dinnertable conversation from last night, as near verbatim as possible:
You said you were making techno music.
That's what you call it, techno music?
It's techno in the sense of, it's all electronic. About 50 percent of it has a dancefloor beat, but there are elements of what you could call classical. Parts that harmonize or play in counterpoint, changes of tempo, a structure with distinct parts that are developed. And when I say "electronic," the sounds could be samples of traditional instrument sounds, like a drum hit or piano.
And how is this being heard?
I have an account on Bandcamp, where the tunes are offered for sale.
Oh, you're actually selling this.
How much are you making?
I'm not going to share my balance sheet with you. You can also stream the music, you don't have to buy it.
And people dance to this music? Your music?
I've performed it live but it wasn't as a DJ -- it was in a live music or gallery venue. I have DJ'd and people have danced but I wasn't playing my own tracks.