[-empyre-] Re: Memory/Archive

Cara Walz bumblepuppy at kc.rr.com
Sat Nov 17 16:05:12 EST 2007

Mickey wrote:

"There is a logic and an economy of re-presentation that exists
simultaneously with other modes of experience and interaction.  It's
never the entire story, but it's located within specific material,
cultural, and intersubjective conditions that define our sense of
necessity and discipline our sense of possibility.  The energies in
this field of interaction can be imbalanced, in the manner of
unsustainable energy consumption, and I guess that more or less
describes the world we live in, but I don't think this is either an
inevitable human condition or a necessary consequence of abstraction

How can we think or experience the movement between abstraction and
specificity in ways that permit the preservation of memory, as a
necessary "survival" and navigational tool, without endorsing an
imbalanced and violently limiting economy of representation?"

and Patrick Lichty wrote:

"I sit with concern when parts of the Leonardo archive shut down, Mac
Classic goes away, and so on.  It's so much like Gibson's Agrippa, which
erases itself as you read it.  The Internet is truly an oral culture."

Both thoughts lead me to my love for the product, since I'm primarily a 
studio-based visual artist. I still paint (Can you believe it?) 
although I use more ink and collage than paint, and most of my imagery 
comes from internet sources and other ephemera. The product, document, 
or archive, preserved for the future in some tangible form of media may 
indeed be falling away due to the internet-based glut in the economy of 
representation. But I agree with Mickey, that this is not an inevitable 
human condition or necessary consequence of abstraction.

Is there a way to rethink the notion of what a product is, within the 
context of the inevitable dominance of digital communication? This 
digest, I think, in and of itself, functions almost like Agrippa, but 
for those who share in the discourse a connection occurs, almost in 
real time, and so one cannot discount it as entirely ephemeral. It 
flows like a river or a wind current instead of like a clock or annual, 
but it still has a tangible form.

The Situationist in me longs for digital visual communication that 
echoes this type of form: An internet-based digital 'product' that is, 
essentially, a constant stream of visual imagery submitted by anonymous 
visionaries from across the globe. In a small tribe, one could go 
directly to one's shaman/visionary and gain perspective on a problem. 
This could be a visit to a website instead of sacred ground, where one 
could watch the stream flow, meditate on it and hopefully gain some 
perspective. All the cellphone maniacs could have a place to send their 
imagery as well as any other soul who wants to capture some snippet of 
lived experience regardless of the media used (as long as it could be 
translated into html, of course.) Limited editing would occur, just 
enough to keep it from being another YouTube (Is that possible?). A 
living, streaming visual archive? One can dream...


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