What you said about how my past affects my approach to working and thinking is totally true. I do feel dedicated to the future; in fact, I feel devoted. I think it’s also a little true for everyone else who is dedicated to the online because that world has no real heritage either. What’s so exciting about that is that we have so much power over the internet because every click is a vote. I have complete confidence in saying that the internet (or whatever shape it will claim in the future) will overthrow Congress. I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks that, and I think there’s plenty of people who would want that to be true, because in any case it would be a purer Democracy.
The internet is a difficult place though. Lil B said that the internet “is a big booster of love and peace and bringing people together, and it can also keep you away from other people, and keep you judgmental and not really knowing who is who.” He’s right but it just depends on what you use the internet for. I left Facebook because it made me judgemental and cynical about my friendships. My essay is on how having an online profile is really a tailored duplication of oneself. There’s plenty of traces left behind with us all being present online—most often with our legal names—and those traces are evident in our art! That’s just inescapable! I don’t understand why that’s being overlooked so often. I honestly feel like it’s because there has been no real term for this psycho-social phenomenon. In my essay I call it post-monovialism1 because it’s necessarily after monovial life; or life without online representation, life with a single path.
But there are a lot of gritty little details. For instance, we don’t have a good outlet for aesthetic or conceptual discourse online other than comments sections on blogs. There aren’t really any satisfying social networks that cater to a niche crowd like that of artists. Like I wrote in the essay, that harms the art of those who publish work online because without discourse art loses density. And it’s easy to say that the internet for artists is just a place to promote work for offline means, but that’s not really true. Each artist’s website is also their own grand white cube. It is there out of pride and for collaboration. The internet has its own life.
Few people stand up for the internet in a way that I can be proud of. I felt there was a bit of a vacuum there and I can’t be the only one who’s tired of the misrepresentations! I wrote Swimming in the Center of the Earth as an attempt to represent our art—and there is an inspiringly huge amount of it—in the light it deserves.
Read the rest here.