26 September 2012

I like having friends who finish my

I've been playing with the call and response potential of Facebook for some time-- usually in the form of posting a few lyrics from a song and waiting for someone to continue them.  It's a fantastic metaphor for how a sparkle in one jewel of Indra's net leads to another, elsewhere, along the pulse of the universe.

The linguistic structure of this kind of prompt, however, is limiting. It usually solicits one response: the first to continue the lyrics. It is rare that someone else would then build on them from that point. It is also rare that anyone would continue my call with anything other than the "appropriate" response: the actual following lyrics.

So, I have just deployed a different linguistic structure that I often use in narrative and theoretical writing: an incomplete sentence.  "I like having friends who finish my" Here, too, there is a strong vector toward an appropriate response, but the structure has encouraged much the opposite response from the lyrical experiments.  The appropriate response is well known and so no one offers it in response. Instead, the prompt has encouraged absurd responses from many who have never participated in the lyrical experiments.
And, since the linguistic structure is never closed by the appropriate response, people continue to participate. I think it's a successful piece, but I wonder if it would work as a series.

Time (and rhythm as a manifestation of time) are important to a series. Too frequent and the game becomes tiresome, too infrequent and it may lose momentum.

Cute cat photos

I've been learning a lot from this animal; no matter how ridiculous my online presence becomes, there is nothing but pure, non-dualistic truth in that cat. While I continue to address the inanity of most usage of social media through deploying banal subject matter, at the very same time the sublime beauty of the cat argues for the potential effectiveness of the self-same images.

23 September 2012

Risky and Wreckless

My online self takes more risks than my real-world self. Has that part of my self absolved its self of responsibility? Not very enlightened. To be a node on Indra's net means to be engaged in a relationship with every other node of the web simultaneously.

Taking risks for me risks others.

Have to shed more attachments.

20 September 2012


Over drinks last night, Chriskey (Royal Crown, rocks) asks me (Royal Crown, neat) about the objective of Cute Cat Photos Conquer the World. He doesn't like my standard response about a time-based, social media experiment-- something he's heard before about the Fortunes. I'm forced to articulate what's been swimming around in my head: The intention is to draw attention to the divide between identity and social identity and how they are both constructed. My hypothesis is that people are self-consumed with their own online identities in such a way that, if changed gradually over time to become more and more inane, my own online identity will go unremarked. I am not my Facebook profile, although it is something that I have deliberately toiled on over years and that alone should attest to my valuation of it. Yet, it is nothing tangible, a  cloud of information that can never add up to "me."

Chriskey has been an unwitting participant in another social media experiment that I have been deploying since the beginning of our online relationship. I have systematically, over time, liked every single one of his likes. It's been spread out, subtle, unnoticeable. And, now that I am sacrificing likes to the current project, it may never be recognized. It's been fun to adopt pieces of his online personality, paralleling a natural process that happens in our biological relationships.

I think my overall objective for all of these social media pieces is an application of the conceptual work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres. I offer two quotations from him to support this:
  1. Meaning can only be formulated when we can compare, when we bring information to our daily level, to our ‘private’ sphere. Otherwise information just goes by. Which is what the ideological apparatuses want and need. ‘You give us thirty minutes and we give you the world.’  A meaningless one. So public life is private life. In our culture, we live in a world of interrelations.
  2. At this point I do not want to be outside the structure of power, I do not want to be the opposition, the alternative. Alternative to what, to power? No, I want to have power. It’s effective in terms of change. I want to be like a virus that belongs to the institution. If I function like a virus, an imposter, an infiltrator, I will always replicate myself together with those institutions. Money and capitalism and powers are here to stay, at least for the moment. It’s within those structures that change can and will take place.
Virus was, of course, on his mind for many reasons and I hope that my work can play with the technological layer of its meaning, as well as the biological and institutional layers in which Gonzalez-Torres worked. 

18 September 2012

Cute Cat Photos Conquer the World

I have deployed the first installment of this social media experiment to my Facebook account, as well.  Another time-based project. It must be subtle and work simultaneously with the other for verisimilitude and believability. There must be a buy-in, before there can be a pay-off.  Some likes have disappeared; others have been added-- Cat Stevens, The Boomtown Rats, Mappy.

03 September 2012

The Interview

Absurdist humor from student/friends... What really happens to Mr.Harrington between the hours of 10am and 11am?