Here in the Bunker, my life in Singapore is receding as a very distant and faded memory like a strange dream that evaporates in the light of day. The Bunker is my home again, where I can carve out a sense of order & production & communication. The Bunker is a space for the interior dialogue, connected to everything & everyone & everywhere: all the voices that hover around and infiltrate this space of refuge.
Across the distances, online conversation overcomes the limitations of space, time, the local and the remote. This is the aspiration of the Art of the Networked Practice Online Symposium: how to bring people together in creative dialogue via the network driven by purpose, activated by play, and informed by issues that percolate up from the need to understand and grasp the networked culture we immerse ourselves in each and every day.
In the age of super-participatory socially mediated sharing of information, we are willingly, lovingly, sometimes desperately ready to give up our data to Big Data in order to engage with friends, colleagues, and family. But perhaps more pertinently, this form of super-participation may spring from the desire of “being in the world,” to gain proof of one’s existence, to receive affirmation, acceptance, and recognition from others.
“Watching television, the most powerful everyday experience of surreality ever devised, was formative of the cultural outlook of anyone growing up in America in the fifties and sixties. With its endless sequence of splicings of commercials and programs and channel switchings, television was and is the ultimate exquisite corpse, a juxtaposition engine that produces a completely weird artifact at any given watching.” – Michael Sorkin, Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll, Cars, Dolphins, & Architecture, Ant Farm (1968-78)
This is why so many of us who grew watching too much television ended up as tele-visual, post-surrealists, dreaming in endless juxtapositions of spectacle & news & war & cartoons & variety sitcoms. It was all pretty much razzle-dazzle for the mind’s eye, a numbing effect brought on by the extrusion of electronic signals that flowed out of the box cheerfully and endlessly.
If democracy depends on the free flow of information, it’s no wonder the over abundance of 24/7 media-on-tap has blown out the people’s ability to analyze and comprehend the fury that circulates through the nervous system of global communications.
If you are wondering how TRUMP maintains a position of power in light of his post-apocalyptic mythical Valhalla awash in daily scandal and eternal flames, the answer is simple: there is an information war waging furiously between opposing ideologies, each feeding into its own bubble. On the left, you have pundits such as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow or Chris Matthews dissecting the legal ramifications of Robert Mueller’s eventual take down of the TRUMP family operation; and on the right, you have the conspiratorialist Alex Jones’ InfoWars or hot-headed FoxNews host Sean Hannity issuing what is truly – fake news – painting the Justice Department and the FBI as a coup d’etat initiated by a TRUMP-hating, Clinton-loving rigged system: that is, what Steve Bannon refers to as the “deep administrative state.”