I don't find it at all ironic that I
look up my local TV listings on my flashlight.
Maybe it's still too early. Maybe it's
too late, but I'm still waiting for a real Nam June Paik
of New Media to take the stage. Has anyone used magnets
to alter or distort smartphones? Has anyone made a
statue of a sitting Buddha gazing down upon his mobile
device? And yes, I know about that mass-producted toy
that depicts Buddha taking on his cell phone, but that
doesn't count. That's not what I'm taking about here.
Why hasn't any one built an actual working airplane out
of parts from old antiquated flight simulators?
Personally, for me, New Media has
always been about re-inventing the toaster. If I were to
re-invent the toaster, I would want mine to make toast
by broadcasting the bread. Not just teleporting to a
single location, but true broadcasting, to many
different locations simultaneously. The browning of the
bread would be a result of transmitting the slices
directly into other peoples' homes. Call it cooking by
telepresence. I like toast, and I know other people
enjoy it in the morning as well. Of course, I would only
want to broadcast bread if it could be done by
piggybacking on some other carrier signal, bypassing the
need for any hardware dedicated for receiving bread. I
like the idea of people finding pieces of random toast
appearing in their homes for no reason. A reality hack
served up with warm butter. The obvious difficulties
with such a conversion process has kept me from further
developing the project further.
Sound artist Kimihide Kusafuka, better
known as K2, originally came onto the scene in 1984,
just to disappear a few years later. He returned in '93
after having just graduated as a Pathologist. K2 has a
Ph. D. from the Tokyo Medical & Dental University.
He works at a city hospital, researching the
morphogenesis of salivary gland tumors and cartilage
formations. He's also conducted his studies at the Mayo
Clinic in Minnesota. K2 sees no difference between the
act of making noise and the act of science. K2 says he
practices a kind of alchemy through his noise. He aims
to metamorphosize himself with both the insight he gets
from his scientific experiments, and the emotional
strength he gains from performing and listening to
noise. "Noise..", as K2 puts it; "can not be refused by
either ears and heads!"
When I ask what will replace the
internet, all I get are examples of new-&- improved,
re-modeled and upgraded versions of what we already
have. But what I'm going for is something that is truly
both post digital and post analog. We went from the
book, to radio, to television and video, to the web.
What comes next? Most of those who cry the post digital
label are still involved with the digital format,
addressing the humanization of digital technologies.
That's fine, and maybe I'm getting ahead of myself here,
but I'm curious as to what the next platform might be.
First there was analog, then there was digital; but
what's next? What?! Something furry? Jazzy? Something
flossy, frizzy, or woolly? Something, noisy?
In my novels, I've written about
Floating Telepresence Blimps that replace both
television and the internet as the dominate mediums.
These so-called blimps work as an aerosol, allowing
broadcasts by simply breathing; both in teams of
transmitting and receiving.
Normally, and I'm picking my words here
very carefully, I care more about the message than about
the medium. I think the issue of what will make digital
obsolescent could have some very interesting broad
cultural ramifications. To say the least. Man Ray said
in a quote we're all familiar with, when asked if
photography was art, he replied he didn't care. Art was
a thing of the past he said, and what we needed was
something else altogether. I know I'm still looking for
Will future futurists relay on
yesteryear's futurism, and continue the tradition of
techno-fetishism, or will the superfuturists of
tomorrowland surpass the superceded futurists of the
past with a clean and decisive break from history? If
so, what motif will this new superfuturism take on? If
our new future will no longer be measured by
technological development, what will it be measured by?
I'm not talking about a
non-technological causality here, just one in which
people have a relationship with technology that is
different from the one they have currently; a kind of
relationship that does not appropriate the assembly line
as a calendar.
Photographer and media artist Ursula
Brookbank emailed me the following comment, "I feel a
huge attraction and need to hold onto technologies such
as letterpress printing and pinhole cameras in an effort
to have an emotional, tangible, tactile result from my
endeavors." She went on to say that she's always working
to undermine the sureness of digital methods in order to
find a mystery.
"The future will be measured in
orgasms." said the sound poet who goes by the moniker
blackhumour. He went on to contend that it was the past
that needs to be predicted, and not the future.
Is the future such an old-fashion idea?
The future, I think, should be our means of getting
passed ourselves. It should be about seeing beyond our
Ultimately, as media artist Achum
Wolischeid once told me, "there is no escape from
information, because there is news even in complete
redundancy. While repetition goes on, the context will
change and thus so does the meaning."
What I think should happen, is some
kind of non-temporal based futurism. Any superfuturist
actually living in the future would be forced to look
inward for what lies ahead, and not outward at some
calendar for some poetic date that's been imagined.
Afterall, anti-time is when time isn't.