TWEET. BY OYL MILLER
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by brevity, over-connectedness, emotionally starving for attention, dragging themselves through virtual communities at 3 am, surrounded by stale pizza and neglected dreams, looking for angry meaning, any meaning, same hat wearing hipsters burning for shared and skeptical approval from the holographic projected dynamo in the technology of the era, who weak connections and recession wounded and directionless, sat up, micro-conversing in the supernatural darkness of Wi-Fi-enabled cafes, floating across the tops of cities, contemplating techno, who bared their brains to the black void of new media and the thought leaders and so called experts who passed through community colleges with radiant, prank playing eyes, hallucinating Seattle- and Tarantino-like settings among pop scholars of war and change, who dropped out in favor of following a creative muse, publishing zines and obscene artworks on the windows of the internet, who cowered in unshaven rooms, in ironic superman underwear burning their money in wastebaskets from the 1980s and listening to Nirvana through paper thin walls, who got busted in their grungy beards riding the Metro through Shinjuku station, who ate digital in painted hotels or drank Elmer's glue in secret alleyways, death or purgatoried their torsos with tattoos taking the place of dreams, that turned into nightmares, because there are no dreams in the New Immediacy, incomparably blind to reality, inventing the new reality, through hollow creations fed through illuminated screens. Screens of shuttering tag clouds and image thumbnails lightning in the mind surfing towards Boards of Canada and Guevara, illuminating all the frozen matrices of time between, megabyted solidities of borders and yesterday's backyard wiffleball dawns, downloaded drunkenness over rooftops, digital storefronts of flickering flash, a sun and moon of programming joyrides sending vibrations to mobile devices set on manner mode during twittering wintering dusks of Peduca, ashtray rantings and coffee stains that hid the mind, who bound themselves to wireless devices for an endless ride of opiated information from CNN.com and Google on sugary highs until the noise of modems and fax machines brought them down shuddering, with limited and vulgar verbiage to comment threads, battered bleak of shared brain devoid of brilliance in the drear light of a monitor, who sank all night in interface's light of Pabst floated out and sat through the stale sake afternoon in desolate pizza parlors, listening to the crack of doom on separate nuclear iPods, who texted continuously 140 characters at a time from park to pond to bar to MOMA to Brooklyn Bridge lost battalion of platonic laconic self proclaimed journalists committed to a revolution of information, jumping down the stoops off of R&B album covers out of the late 1980s, tweeting their screaming vomiting whispering facts and advices and anecdotes of lunchtime sandwiches and cat antics on couches with eyeballs following and shockwaves of analytics and of authority and finding your passion and other jargon, whole intellects underscored and wiped clean in the total recall 24/7 365 assault all under the gaze of once brilliant eyes.
Anyone who has visited this blog more than a couple of times is sure to be aware of my interest in anything related to skulls. It's been a lifelong fascination--who knows why we have our strange, idiosyncratic interests? But 'skulls' are one of mine, I think it has something to do with a sense of mortality and a desire to come to terms with what it means to be human, and skulls provide a way to reflect on that...
Anyway, all that to say that the latest issue of Cabinet magazine is right up my alley. It is entitled, Bones, and features some interesting stories about just that, bones--human, mammal, prehistoric, as well as some other interesting articles. One about mauve, the first invented colour, a discovery made in the wake of an attempt at utilizing quinine in the treatment of malaria! which holds many lessons about the creative/discovery process if you think about it. There is also a fascinating series of 'tree' drawings, not drawings of trees, but by trees. You can read them all on the site, apparently the paper version is sold-out which is a pity, because it is a magazine worth holding.
My friend Joe is a Madonna-hater, me? I'm a lover. So in honour of my pal Joe, here is one of Madge's latest (heavily-airbrushed I'm sure), magazine covers, setting the stage, and the tone, for her upcoming musical offering Hard Candy, which will see her attempting, once again, to own dance-floors from here to eternity. I loved the fact that she had Iggy and the Stooges play her songs at the recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Yes, she takes herself a bit too seriously, but she also knows how to laugh at herself as well (and what's more--maybe if she hadn't had the old face tweaked a little she and Iggy might look even more alike?!!!).
The interview in Interview magazine(!) is about freedom, why we need it, and why she is not free--ego-issues apparently--surprise, surprise!! "When I can stop thinking about myself all the time and put other people before me on a regular basis, that's real freedom. When I can love unconditionally--and I have conditions with everybody, whether it's my husband or my children--then that's real freedom. So it's something to strive for, but I'm not free." Love her or hate her she always got an opinion or two that will make for good talking points.
Good magazine is exploring food in the latest issue. School cafeterias to battlefield rations, they examine what we eat, where it comes from and the ways we consume food. It is a timely topic for me--one of the projects my Art Center students are working on is connected to food. They had to take photos of every single thing they ate for the first five weeks of term and then turn the data into some form of visual presentation that reflected their own 'food journey' (hopefully I'll get to post some cool work from them).
I have also been thinking quite a bit about food personally. I have radically altered my eating habits over the last couple of years, specifically consuming less and less meat and then eating cleaner all the way around. I can't go completely vegan just yet, but I am edging that direction. It's funny, growing up in a 'meat and potatoes' environment, I never imagined a life without meat, but here it is, unfolding in my life! We could all do well to eat less meat, not just for personal health reasons but for environmental ones as well--the damage done to the environment by gases emitted from cows has been getting quite a bit of press coverage of late--maybe our eco-footprints would be much less damaging if we didn't eat so much meat.
I haven't written much about magazines lately. Antenna is a fairly recent find. It is basically a cool-spotting magazine--doing the leg-work for those with cash to spend on unnecessary, but cool stuff. It is remarkably free of hype, at least the hype typical of these kinds of magazines, and it does contain some great items, images, and an a broader overview of early 21st century consumer culture.
A new magazine recently hit the newsstands, Blogger&Podcaster magazine. It is somewhat ironic that an internet-based technology requires a print presence, but I guess that on some levels it does make sense, particularly for those less familiar with blogs etc. But it is also a little bit humorous, well I find it so, that with all the declarations about the 'end of print,' new technology mags keep popping up. The number of magazines devoted to IT-related themes is quite astonishing, I counted 30 plus at just one stand today, including four related to iPods alone...not that I have a 'counting' obsession!!!