James Bond move over, Donald TRUMP stage right: the greatest spy movie of all time is unfolding right in front of our eyes. If “Celebrity Apprentice” and “Make America Great Again” weren’t great enough already for reality tv audiences, we now have “The Spies Who Loved Me,” the episodic sequel that tops them all.
This request to write a review for rhizomes.net from my good friend and fellow media commentator Craig Saper came speeding through my email inbox, as the ultimate definition of a meme, with the intensity and velocity of a meme trajectory. How appropriate! With equally frenetic lightening speed I organized my response, a compendium of thoughts on the subject – the meme – an entity or concept or popular icon that travels so quickly through the cultural bloodstream we barely have time to think, let alone reflect. Let me try.
Yesterday, on the third installment of Networked Conversations with performance artist Annie Abrahams, it became clearer than ever that Internet artistic research is a necessary mechanism for understanding the convolutions of our networked behaviors. It begs the question, why is this work so neglected? Not just that of Annie’s, but why the entire “genre” of net art and performance is so utterly marginalized from the mainstream artistic discourse. It makes no sense at all: we live in a Webcam-mediated global culture, our social relations are increasingly virtualized, the emerging digital natives are not even aware of a world without ubiquitous third space transactions, and yet, those artists on the front lines of dissecting the characteristics and social dynamics of the Net operate in an insular world almost entirely of their own making.
Under the hot, bright lights of the tv cameras, in the swirling course of unfolding events: “You’re Fired,” loud and clear, a declaration echoing from yet, another, unscripted SHOW of a post real presidency. Casting his spell through the lens of the camera, TRUMP is a true performer, laser focused on absolutely nothing but the ratings. That is all: nothing more, nothing less. He cares not a whit about his staff, his agencies, his administration, the people, the world. No, it is all about the ratings and his grip on the locus of the 24/7 intoxication of the media spectacle. Always on. Without a pause.
“To be a subject, according to Merleau-Ponty, one must necessarily be part of the world one looks at and touches, therefore one must also be an object of that world.” – Kris Paulsen, Here/There: Telepresence, Touch, and Art at the Interface
The “SHOW” has no beginning, middle nor end… it exists in Internet TIME: continuous and “omnitemporal.” It is a PLACE (of some kind) to enter into, and be, a SPACE for interaction that is no different from our everyday online interactions across the chattering broadcast space of social media.