Ok. So I’m not going to try and pretend that I did notes and weekly reading responses in Digital Theory. To be quite honest, I really lost track of a lot of things this semester because I didn’t set alarms, or make weekly deadlines for myself. In some cases, even after engaging w/ the material, I still just slid out. I don’t know why, its a thing I do sometimes.
But. Here’s the thing: I don’t hate theory.
It took me a while, but I started to read theory that made sense for me to read. From ym assigned protocol reading, I was introduced to Thacker. And his writing about Nihilism tied to horror genres really resonates with me. Everything from the idea of demons, to tying the occult circle into concepts of play. It just makes a lot of sense. Talking about New MAterialism led me to remember artists like Chris Johnson. And I have a new appreciation for Donna Haraway, as her older stuff is now open for critique, but her newer writings about kin stick with me quite a bit.
I’m not very good at archiving. But I’m trying to get better at it. I feel like I’m starting to get settled into some theory that I actually like.
I gotta say tho. I do feel a little done with Baudrillard.
And I still think Science Fiction has a very large influence on all of our speculative futures.
I honestly haven’t paid a lot of attention to Haraway since The Cyborg Manifesto many years ago. On the one hand, I think that at this point, humanity is already cyborgs. We offload a lot of who and what we are into our technology. Whether that’s cognitive load, automation of tasks, physical work, etc. So it was nice to read (and hear) a contemporary perspective from Haraway.
Haraway’s outlook has been one of the more relatable ones for me. Maybe because it resonates, oddly enough, with some of the Nihilistic texts I’ve been reading. The idea that what we are in now, is a boundary (vs an epoch), and the way out is just further down into the breach. That idea of working with the unhuman, of thinking about how we’re all basically compost, and how futures could be more livable. How to work with our damaged, tired planet. Because it really is home.
Its weird to look back on “futures” and sci-fi and realize how much of it is about trying not to die. But an organism in death is one in equilibrium with everything. But then a lot of it was written at a time when Climate Change was Future You’s problem, and now, its one of the most looking issues we face.
I think the idea of making Kin and not babies should be practiced and taken to heart. Anyways, here’s the new game Everything by David O’Reilly, which I feel really speaks to some of these ideas.
So Object Orientated Ontology is something I’ve also been doing some reading up on and it was nice to see things about matter and materiality presented in class. It kind of ties into this idea that things are a lot more “flat” than we currently see them, and that material can have its own agency.
After seeing this prez and checking out the reading though, I started to sort of tie some threads into Feminist Performance artists, who used their body as material. Out of them though, Orlan in the 90s really stands out. She uses her body in the context of plastic surgery to re-make herself into references or abstractions of female beauty. Its quite disturbing, but also sort of alien. I won’t link the video, but it really throws the idea of body as material into stark relief.
I know these video responses might seem kind of cheeky. But really, post-humanism is wrapped in thinking about you as an entity, but not quite you. We spend a lot of time thinking about WHO we are, and how we are reflected in our own tech. From avatars, to data, to interactive representations. I really believe that we are all already cyborgs, and while reading things from 1991 is historically interesting, it doesn’t feel tied to the way we are now, in 2017. Its a base, and a layer, and there’s been a lot of things built up on top of that since then.
Regardless. I love memes. And I feel that memes, and memedom is a weird side-effect of our continual cyborg-ing. Born in the internet, set free to live, and grow, and die, there’s a weird kind of Chaos Magick that comes w/ memes.
So when I found the expanding brain meme, which has been done with everything from words to pizza, I figured: Yup that fits.
Cyborgism…finding out who you are by making memes about it.
Extending from the conversation about Drumpf and simulacra, The Internet gets down on another level of fucking weird with some theories of Kek, chaos and memes. This is one of those things that I never thought I would read about in 2017. Like, tecnho-witches are a thing, and a thing I like, tbh. But to have this kind of strange interwebs mystic war going on is another level of bizarre.
Frankly, I never thought I would be living in William Gibson Novel in my lifetime. But here we are.
Y’know Galloway, I really wish you would untangle your arguments into something more accessible. But anyways. This interface discussion always makes me think of a panel I was on a few years ago in which I was talking about an SMS choose your own adventure game. And like, someone brought up interface. And we chatted about how interface can just be a room, or a glass, or the chair you are sitting on. It doesn’t have to be a specific thing. Interfaces can be a lot of things.
In other news. Stanford is making a controller that can read your emotions and adjust the game at hand:
Kieran Nolan meanwhile makes delightful games where the game is a using a controller to use an in game controller. Its very meta.