“Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture.” – Allen Ginsberg
We live in a visual culture. The Word is dying; ‘a picture’s worth a thousand words’ = pictures are death. By manipulating formless ideas we slowly kill ourselves: the repetitive thrill of the never-ending scroll feed, the pleasure of a briefly favored embedded MP3. But a living creature must decay in any case. Seeking to establish/reestablish our place in the visual universe as a society and as individuals, we turn to the pulse of the brief and the instantaneous. Thus is born the short-term post-physical consciousness, where our realities and identities are determined by like buttons and self-curated blogs. This is the New Art of Being: as with IRL Reality, in URL Reality you establish yourself into a clique based on visual taste. Are you a Jock, a Punk, a Nerd, or a Stoner? Click here to take our test. As time passes and tastes change, you begin to move into another realm of aesthetic desire.
“The new human aura. Our virtual awakening and evolution. Color charts and codes addiction. – Mina Menes
This is not new information. We know this, we use this. Art and culture is advanced even as it is dissolved: essential life guides such as DiS and concept-tumblrs such as Perfictionism have expanded the .gif lifestyle into ideas that break the boundaries of Internet and Outernet. That is the key to survival and the ultimate wisdom: if we exist in a world without bodies, we also exist in a world of infinite form. The mind will forever shape reality. We as a culture are already looking inward into our machines; to reach the next phase, we must blend both internal realities. The ease of our IRL-disconnected social lives means that cultural shifting is accelerated, and we are the ones accelerating it. We have control of the visual, and therefore we have the ability to ascend faster than we ever did. We are both the fake and the real.
Past generations had a goal, a level of social advancement to strive for. Our generation’s dream is simply to get high with an extraterrestrial. We gain masters degrees for writing a thesis based on the idea of The Matrix being about weed and pizza. If I wanted to, I could add Siouxsie Sioux on Facebook. My 14 year old self would be ecstatic at the chance to ‘connect’ so easily with someone whose music shaped a lot of my teen years but at this point technology and changing industry standards has made the void between musician and fan so thin that the idea of a ‘music idol’ is obsolete. Via the medium of dissolving, re-ingesting and mutating our pop culture we’re slowly seeing what the future is going to be like: a looped cycle. Reinterpretations and micro-dissections of trends past and present; life through a sexualization/conceptualization lens, filtered through the digital corporeal….these are the best of times and they are the end of times because they are becoming One Time.
“We’re all in free fall towards an abyss of death and trying to reach out and try and connect with someone to ignore that just seems pathetic, somehow, and trying to do anything is pointless because any fraction of infinity is functionally zero.” – Norm MacDonald