andy Inside bill at Window Sill steve in Hand
Andy Inside, Bill at the Window Sill & Steve up your SleeveMixed Media on Canvas.
100 x 80 cm. 2009.
Well what is this? It is Andy with groovy intelligence inside, Bill at the gate or window sill and Steve wishfully at the job on hand. We witnessed it all. This generation. My generation. This Roger Daltry and Pete Townsend generation _ a generation rather advanced in age now but nevertheless blessed with significant breakthroughs in medicine and for those who can afford it cosmetic surgery. And eventually most of them did settle for the old age. And some of them blog too. Andy our hero here. And even Pete! All that change! No, not even a hi-tech band like Pink Floyd could envision anything remotely connected to what we have today. They did imagine a wired brain though but not the information highway. Not even the science fiction writers. Most of their characters were predominantly the freaks of the future rather than the more familiar Tom, Dick and Harry of our present code-compiling bits-and-bytes-parsing, blogging and networking generation _ some of the wizards here coming from the remotest areas of the globe. Those Geeks in weird skull, hard-rock, Tolkien or Star War hard-chore T-shirts and sports shoes. Yes, this technological revolution did spread rapidly all over the globe even to those parts where the conservatives and traditionalists and other wacky power brokers held or still hold sway over the fate of their citizens and their biotopes, including our global heritages like rain forest and corals. A revolution that has turned the science fiction of the last centuries to everyday reality and goes almost unnoticed now by the younger generations, even in cultures and regions that managed to catch a foothold on this band wagon rather late in history. And nothing here is science fiction anymore. Simulations of exotic environments, creating conditions that existed at the time of the assumed big bang and temperatures below absolute zero, extensions of the human biological sensory attributes and muscular dexterity, manipulation of objects at planetary distances are all current realities doubtlessly also the result of the progress achieved through the digital revolution and the modern means of communication. Attempts to reproduce the Silicon Valley phenomenon in other parts of the world are very much reminiscent of Alexander the Great laying the foundations of Alexandria’s (cities reflecting the progress in Greek enlightenment) within the extents of his vast empire, the first European attempt at globalization.1
The artwork is therefore not about some future singularity but the transformation of the human being that surely stems from no fantasy of the future but is already here amongst and within us. The fact that I am writing here and you are reading it at this site or the fact that we can chat or scribble messages in real time to each other and that too across the continents and over hills and oceans once too belonged to the realm of fantasy and science fiction! More important for me is the realization that some relatives, friends and acquaintances of mine would have been long ago dead, if they had not one gadget or other supporting their existence. Doubtlessly there are thousands of human beings and household pets who owe their lives to this fact that information could spread globally and so rapidly. One has to thank the digital information revolution for that. I know a person living who had an ailment for which there was no remedy even in the industrially advanced areas of the world only a decade or so ago. The know-how and the technology needed for that was certainly not expected to be available within at least the next ten years at this remote area, where the person lived. In fact it could potentially take decades to become a reality. But now the persons doctor knew (thanks to the world wide web) where this person could go for some affordable help in the country and where all the required technology had been recently implemented. Alone the doctor being aware of this fact is a tribute to this revolution. As I was a young boy living in a similar environment, I know such information could take months to arrive at this place and maybe take a decade or two more till the implementation of this technology and the required training of the technicians at the local hospital. Even medical journals sent via snail mail required weeks for delivery. They still do in these parts of the world. Unfortunately radio never became a popular medium for such kind of information dissemination. I wonder if any University ever did a successful radio broadcasting implemented for mainly for such purposes! That way the web can be considered a great blessing. And the advent of PC a great human revolution. All the foregoing channels of the media were accessible mainly to governments, especially in repressive regimes, oligarchs, media moguls and corporate groups and commercial enterprises. With personal computer the picture becomes altogether different. Unlike the traditional broadcasting channels, which repressive regimes could control, this little home object can viably even threaten the sanctity of centralized power structures as some hacker attackers have repeatedly brought to our attention.
Despite certain rather crass negative aspects, some of them discussed below, of this revolution, it may be unanimously claimed that, judged from a certain specific perspective, the blessings of this information revolution far outweigh its negative even if quite significant aspects. The one great attribute, that doubtlessly will have great impact on human evolution is the one associated with the availability of information literally at the tip of your fingers and more important twenty fours hours a day and seven days a week. Unlike the information residing within bureaucratic offices and public and private institutions, offices and libraries and other public and private places, the information here is not constrained by space, means of physical (bodily) transportation, weather, mild fluctuations in the state of your health nor the mood and whims and willfulness of a public servant, an agent or an wage working employee, who may respond differently at different times to your presence, this also includes the service offered via phone, where the patience of the person plays an important role in information dissemination and can potentially have a negative effect on the seeker of information and assistance. How many people in how many countries still travel miles to an office to discover that they still need another affidavit and yet another certificate? Having however checked the website, they can undertake this time consuming journey a bit better prepared and avoid repeated visits and surely with a little more self-confidence. This will no doubt also have an impact on the potential willfulness of the public servants in traditionally more red taped societies with relatively more disenfranchised citizens. In fact the extent of this impact may be equivalent or perhaps even far exceed the ones which have emanated from the pens and actions of historically famous or notorious reformers of human history. In general many past obstacles and many journeys through quagmires of human labor divisions and associated legitimation of well paid but superfluous doormen, clerks, officers, stamps and signatures may turn all redundant. And this kind of development may boost not only a citizens freedom and expression but also his possibilities in accessing both private and public institutions that deal with health, education or other important matters related to a social and private existence of an individual.
What a high-tech song? But unfortunately imbued too with that old stone age refrain. Like everything else it too has its negative sides. Increasing Internet crime, endless visual kitsch, pornography, better ways and methods of indulging in obsessive compulsive behaviors, spreading and reinforcing of that infectious me, my house, my dog and cat kind of narcissism and exhibitionist tendencies, the increasing transparency of the individual, spread of cults of food, health, sports and fitness and the associated consume, the like-fire diffusing of bad language over the continents and the self-indulgent increase in tirades, rants and sensation-mongering amongst the mainstream, the youngsters and the elite. The potential it seems to posses in reinforcing human tendency to play the bad guy and the easy way it offers to run away from one’s immediate surroundings and problems, which may lead to an indifference toward those living near us, toward our community and the habitat, especially evident in the younger generation, who may never really develop the urge to change their immediate surroundings for a greater communal good for themselves, their community and the future generations. It can and apparently does offer an escape from real involvement in the neighborhood and communal life, even from the members of one's family. And last but not least, the opportunity it offers to greedy vendors, who may not feel any social responsibility, to intrude and manipulate for their own warped _ predominantly monetary _ purposes the minds and the lives of the very young.
Yes this revolution has inadvertently increased the human craving for newer and newer sensations. Nowhere you will find any evidence of any striving toward a happier and wholesomeness in an individuals communal life, a thirst for some general good health _ mental, physical, communal and social. Such things would probably run counter to the economic monolithic foundations on which the modern social, political and more important the financial institutions are based.
It is the pathology of the Zeitgeist, that in pursuing actually their Neolithic and by far the more archaic tendencies the human beings have turned their backs from the great humanistic global heritages of the past and the wisdom of the sages. And all this is done under the guise of Modernity and Progress, when actually it is a uninhabited and sometimes unscrupulous indulgence in the most archaic, the times and the technology absolutely contradicting behaviors! And the modern methods of communication unfortunately leave everywhere the youngsters open to such influences in excessive self-indulgences.
Our man in the picture however has the tendency to achieve a kind of dialectical synthesis. Less encumbered with the biological heritage of the past, he is a jumble of mathematical statistical calculations, that is why he seems to have no physical body, only possessing a kind of main frame or a window to the hello world. He lives off all that Neolithic burden that seems to drown most of us. He is occupied with calculations and algorithms _ predominantly exponentials and percentages.
His percentage increases are directly proportional to our percentage increases in: Prestige, Fans, Followers, Associates, Cars, Houses, Watches, Shoes, Perfumes, Hand Bags ...
% % % % % % % % % % % %
In fact all of the Alexandria’s that were founded during Alexander's time, were less a celebration of the glory of this new Macedonian-Agamemnon, known in history text books as Alexander The Great than a deliberate effort of our chosen ones amongst his followers to spread our message across the whole world, whose dimensions however Aristotle, on whose know-how Alexander relied albeit reluctantly, had unfortunately meticulously miscalculated. Some people however believe it was a deliberate lie constructed by Aristotle in order to make Alexander return quickly to Greece before he became to old to analyze the data that Alexander was collecting for him. Nevertheless as you may know it was in fact at one of these realms, namely in Alexandria in Egypt where the Director of the Museion Eratosthenes about 250 years later calculated the circumference of this planet and talked about the feasibility of sailing around the world, that later spurned Columbus & Cook to try it out. Museion, in case you don’t know is an Academy, Research Center & a Library all rolled into one and is implicitly and sometimes explicitly dedicated to us. The Institutes with acronyms like MIT that you may find in Osaka, Oxford, Ottawa, Boston, Berlin, Bombay, Seoul, Seattle, Sydney, Shanghai & Singapore today are all its offshoots.
- Muse Terpsichore in: Blogging it Home to You.
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