A Collection of Spectacles


2: The internet fucks with the natural state of temporality. By natural state, I mean this: Events usually occur in a linear sequence, one after the other.  Once an event has happened, and the sequencing of events has occurred, it is lost. The “it” that occurred two seconds ago can be recreated in theory, but it is inherently different because it didn’t occur within the seconds, hours, days, that it originally called home and in that time, surrounding have inevitably changed.  The closest that one can get to re-living an event they haven’t actually lived is by hearing it told to them through someone else. Even this form of story-telling, this verbal step back in time, is done through a sequential narrative that is modeled after the sequential meaning we give to events as they occur.  The internet, by structuring a world of its own, that is without physical limitations, restructures this original timeframe. You can see a video of an event as it happened and watch it as many times as you’d like. Although time in the physical realm is moving forward as it usually does, which of course affects the viewer, it does not affect the digital material itself. An event that is captured digitally, in a sense, can occur forever. Although if seen within the span of five minutes, it can never be seen within those five minutes again, the event itself remains unchanged.

Edit: Two and three are separated into different posts. Seems more appropriate.

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2 Responses

  1. Joel says:

    But painting a picture revolutionized information as journalism and the photograph did.

  2. Alexandra says:

    Surely, but while “old school” media revolutionized, it also produced many issues that we never quite reconciled (issues of authenticity, of creating and perpetuating social norms, etc). Such media also works by keeping a close tie to the physical realm. We can see pictures and read articles via a magazine, which must be purchased within our world. Photographers must physically take a picture, so on and so forth. Thus, there is a more direct relationship between the producer and the product (without getting into Marxian terms here). Digital media takes this and goes one step further because it creates it’s own world, in which nothing physical applies, other than the original act, although that only applies to certain types of media. Print, for instance, becomes entirely non-physical when brought into the digital realm. And, I think there’s something slightly alien about that. I’m not saying that the internet is a totally bad thing. It makes information far easier to access, among other things. But at the cost of what? That’s arguable. I just don’t think we’ve learned how to manage all of the new issues that this technology presents, and before making new, better, and faster inventions, maybe we should.

    If Benjamin were to update his work, I wonder what he would have to say.

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