a facebook friend (isn’t that a funny distinction these days?) posted a flyer on his wall that’s straight 1991, swirly faceless dancer, euro-bubbly font with no caps, dj in lower right corner with one headphone off his ear. no cartoons or cute things though. i suppose that there will always be places in the world where rave-type flyers are seen as stylish and cutting edge. i remember carter collecting them what seems like 2 or 3 lifetimes ago, and using them to decorate…something, maybe dorm room her sophomore year? whatever the year of the astroturf was.
a friend-friend (felt the need to distinguish) wondered this week if i have a fear of intimacy. i rolled that around in my brain for awhile like a marble and decided it’s not a fear so much as feeling like i don’t even want to bother. disdain is slightly to strong of a word. maybe apathy. an apathy for intimacy. i like the sound of that; i should copyright it now.
I’ve been on vacation. Hence, no writie this past week.
That’s a shame, as the small moments I’ve had to check feeds have not yielded posts. But my time hasn’t been wasted: I’ve written a lot. I’ve been to Boston and NYC. I’ve seen friends, had drinks, talked a ton.
I saw the Biennial at the Whitney. And I’m here to tell you that it was beyond weak. After reading decent reviews of the show, I expected something decent. But no. Most of the art centered around homes and personal space. Most of the pieces were craft-based — that is, the pieces focused more on how they were made than the actual output. My favorite example of this was the black and white geometric paintings made by sewing together black and white canvases. What? Really? There was a ton of sub-par video installations, but 0 interactive pieces. All-in-all, terribly short-sighted.
Skip it; it’s not worth 4 floors of uninspired art to see the 3 or 4 standouts. (Storm Tharp’s paintings were the highlight for me, with 3 or 4 ‘second-place’ pieces by George Condo, Aurel Schmidt and the Bruce High Quality Foundation.)
I just caught this though — digg has announced plans to curate links. This is so up my alley — something I’ve been thinking about for what seems like years. And ties so neatly into this site. I saw both Chris and Andrea earlier this week and both brought the site up. We all seem at a loss with exactly what to do with this site.
It’s obvious (and stated) that facebook has all but killed mog. We had a great run — a decade. But the drag I’ve felt for the last 8 months on here is real. I’ve got 1000 plans for the site that I haven’t followed through on. It’s not the best excuse, but finishing writing my most recent novel has taken precedence. My free time is not infinite and I’ve picked that path instead of this one at the moment.
The history of this site is important, but there is also some intrinsic to here, to this, that I need to massage and explore. I have a feeling that the entire experience needs to shift, but I need a little time to figure out what it should become.
But it’s more clear than ever that curating, link-sharing, filtering and discovery are all critical to the next phase of learning and entertainment. Now to marry those to the mog codebase.
On a thread on the Well with Bruce Sterling posting about the state of the world (well worth a read), there is this fantastic quote:
When you can’t imagine how things are going to change, that doesn’t mean that nothing will change. It means that things will change in ways that are unimaginable.
The internet rewards quantity and consistency. Having a routine of posting, being dependable to create content online is what builds an audience. Well, one thing that builds an audience.
But the “real world” doesn’t quite work the same way. Or perhaps it just works on a slower scale — daily isn’t the requirement. But the net effect is the same — you can spend 2 years, 5 years writing a book or creating a work of art. And your audience will still be there.
Once again, there is some kind of balance here between these two items, but so far I am not seeing it. The “big names” online are big because they are frequent and consistent — granted, it’s also because they are good, but there is little doubt that peeps like Kottke would be as large if he posted once a week.
Nick sent me this review of Quantum of Solace, as I seem to be moving into defense for this movie*. Though if this guy’s biggest issue with the film is that it’s too realistic, I suggest he stick with Die Another Day.
The newest issue of Final Crisis came out**, kicked ass and I have some pull quotes:
Morrison on the style: “We had widescreen comics and decompression and super-compression. This is channel-zapping comics.”
And a review: “Throughout the series, Morrison has been using what I’ve been calling a “pointillist” style, where he shows a quick scene here, a quick scene there, all so you get an overlying sense of universal dread.”
The notion of this skipping around, the full picture never seen — and the notion of seeing reaction more than the action is something I like and expect to see more of.*** The Martin Amis interview I linked to a few days ago reinforces this in my head — I’m unsure what the true literary name for this style will be, but it is reflected in the internet, our consuming of media (where comments are nothing but reaction — online, we are never present for the actual event) and the whole 21st century/post postmodern movement.
Have you noticed anything like this in other pieces of media?
* I don’t love this movie. I think it is remarkable because I see stylistic and directional choices that are hanging out at the periphery at the moment. For now, it’s a perfect example in film of where I think we are going with film.
** Here is one other review of FC, which I really just ought to point out for the zillionth time that I am really enjoying. I’d tell you to run out and read it, except that it is prob too comic booky for you. I mean, unless you already are familiar with the New Gods. That might be a decent barometer. But from the first comment in this post: “I love the book, but the problems that people in my circle have come down to the extremely sudden start/stop of the scenes, the very loose connection from one scene to the next, and the general chaos of it all” Zing!
*** I’d be lying if I said that I don’t see some of it in my own novel as well, but I hate tooting my own horn.
Ok, it appears I am now writing on a theme; apologies for those of you who weren’t ready for me to spend 1500 words and a bunch of posts talking about vague ideas of publishing online. I left off talking about Web 2.0 and the difference between services and creating. There are some weird overlaps though, items that have popped up to me in the past few weeks.
Like selling your by-products online. (Kinda NSFW, thanks to Vice’s naughty photos.) I mentioned a few days ago about how we don’t get to decide how media consumed and it’s this article that tied it together for me with the Gladwell ideas of timing and genius.
Creating isn’t just about having the genius to create something unique and interesting. That’s tough enough. But it needs to happen in line with popular culture. And there aren’t rules anymore — it’s beg, borrow, steal time. Selling your used underwear online is just as legitimate as another part-time job. Finding ways to make money online in combination with the real world, whether artistic or not, is exactly the point.*
And so I have spent weeks wracking my brain thinking about publishing online, writing for audiences and how one might step out of the notion of ‘blog blog blog’ as a way of building an audience.
Suddenly, I’m less interested in marketing my novel to you and somehow sneaking it through your service filters.
Suddenly, I’m far more interested in finding new ways to convince you to read. Of course I want it to be my stuff. But I’m also thinking about things like the iPhone, Rss feeds, Twitter and goodness knows what else as ways of integrating story-telling into daily life.
Tumbarumba seems interesting, but it looks like it is going the opposite direction of me: I want to find ways to make reading and consuming easier and more rewarding. I’m not convinced that making a game of reading fiction is more fun. It’s conceptually interesting but it doesn’t reduce the effort.
But it goes further — it’s recalling that the internet isn’t limited to the web; that email and texting and networks and bittorrent and a whole host of other pieces are available to make use of. It’s part of the challenge — finding new ways to glue all of this together, along with products like the iPhone/iPod and the Kindle.
At the moment, I don’t have solid solutions. This is as far as I got in thinking before finding out I had medical issues that totally derailed my thinking. I’m sure I’ll have more — and I welcome any dialogue; I imagine I am moving towards a ‘see what sticks’ type of thing. And I’ll keep you updated.
* This is a no-brainer, but my personality drifts so hard to black/white, it’s often very difficult for me to get to the shades of gray. This is one of those times.