Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A New System of (AN)Aesthetics

the speed of social intercourse/ the debasement of image content

it is interesting to look at social networks and how they function not only as virtual meeting areas but also as the area in which images are used/translated into word units.
note: in these meeting areas, which are a public space, one is allowed(or even desired) to be the voyeur of personal dialogues and the exchange of language of emotional value(sometimes intense emotional value).

Sometimes, if not most of the time, this dialogue (especially on my space) is conducted through the exchange of images.In this case images become words but in becoming words they loose their original content. This could be seen in very specific materials. Materials that have their own historical value (either as in the history of the image or the actual image in the timeline that is history) are warped/transformed/altered to fit the communication desires of the senders and receivers.
For example one could see a dialogue in which sender A might send a hospital ward photo of a woman with a bruised body and the receiver of this photo might respond with a picture of holocaust victims in a mass grave. This dialogue could, and usually is a simple courting of two web personas. if it where a real time and real space dialogue it could be that the first image is that i would like to meet you and the reply could be that i would like to meet you but not in private yet (in which case the mass grave image would be, if translated into a sentence, that a public space with many people would be desired as a first meeting place).
The specific example deals with the speed of exchange (since a ready made or found image is much easier and faster than to actually use language and build with language, even in it's simplest forms) of images which is the word currency in social networks.
Obviously the first thing that is relevant is the debasement of images that are taken out of context or whose image content is discounted to such a degree where such harsh images could be used as infinitesimal and meaningless word units. Another problem is that we are on the verge (if not already there) of the aesthetics of an(aesthetics) where all images from all areas are mere fodder for non-written communication. This transliteration is a virus that reduces all image into non-image, mutes the specific emotional content of images, places the image(s) into a historical vacuum where history ceases to have meaning (becomes meaning-less) and creates a new image dictionary that paradoxically, although it is a dictionary, it multiplies and/or deletes meaning rather than composing/defining/grounding meaning as would be the function of any dictionary.
( Other side effects are the creation of a new functional illiteracy, the re-formatting of the act of viewing in desensitizing images and finally the creation of physical dependance on data and data production machines for communication rather than the opposite, which is supposedly the original purpose of these machines).

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12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

in fact it creates dormant bodies that sit in front of a monitor and kneeling on the ground of a search engine like the cotton pickers, of the past
it is a very unique form of being disenfranchised
literally enslaved

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and also a muting of the imagination since one becomes an image harvesting machine and ones "creativity" is defined strictly within the realms of gathering words/images rather than creating words/images

3:37 PM  
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11:18 PM  
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4:34 AM  
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8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the building of a narrative that implodes
by chance
by design
?

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the comedy(tragedy)of communication

1:37 PM  
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