Sunday, May 10, 2009

"we find ourselves becoming archivists of our own lives"

...In general, however, Web 2.0 encourages us to behave like spectators. This is not only because of the endless temptations to look back offered by burgeoning online archives, it is also because, thanks to the ubiquity of recording devices, we find ourselves becoming archivists of our own lives: we never experience live events, because we are too busy recording them.

Yet instantaneous exposure deprives cultures of the time and space in which they can grow. There is as yet no Web 2.0 equivalent of the circuit that sustained UK dance music in the 1990s: the assemblage of dubplates, pirate radio and the dance floor which acted as a laboratory for the development of new sounds. This circuit was still punctuated by particular moments (the club night, the radio broadcast), but, because anything in Web 2.0 can be replayed at any time, its temporality is more diffuse. The tendency seems to be for a kind of networked solipsism, a global system of individuals consuming an increasingly homogeneous culture alone in front of the computer screen or plugged in to iPod headphones../
Running on empty :: Mark Fisher :: New Statesman


I have been mulling over this article for a few days now... this line in particular :: we never experience live events, because we are too busy recording them.

Is this true? I have seen a noticable change in my blogging of late... I have moved away from recording events in the manner that I used to. I am more likely to record the event in pictures rather than comments... but still... am I still too busy recording my life to actually live it?

Twitter is the home of my "doing this" or "doing that" commentary... and this is one of the contexts in which Twitter works really, really well. In fact, its designed around the "what are you doing right now" kind of realisation... its all about the moment... and about being in the moment.

Blogging has become for me a means of expressing my opinion... of sharing things that I like and a means of displaying stuff I have created... pictures and the like. I think this is where blogging comes into its own... but even with that I probably spend too much time bigging up the achievements of others... and not spend enough time creating content of my own.

I am reminded of this post from 13 months ago where I considered the monologue at the end of Ratatouille:
In many ways the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and theirselves to our judgement. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read.

But, the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things... the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.

But there are times when a critic truly risks something... and that is in the discovery and defense of the new.
I feel we must defend / celebrate the new... and, where possible, experience & demonstrate the new through our own interaction and interpretation. More importantly, however, I believe we must seek to be the new... and build it ourselves. It is through this experience that we move from spectators to participants... where we seek to create / build upon something new.

We need to look forward. This is ironic considering two posts above this I am reminiscing about the Gameboy... but its a truth I believe in.

I believe in the future and in participation in all elements of my life. We need to focus on the small candles we light rather than the darkness around us... the darkness that is so easy to moan about. I hope this blog may reflect that small light?

Now... who has a match?

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