Since 1984 was published, the specter of Big Brother has loomed over every increase in the executive branch of government and any decision to increase surveillance and police powers. With the proliferation of camera phones and social media, that looming threat has become reality. How could this happen in a democratic society? Well, democratically. Or in modern parlance: crowdsourcing.
Alligator Farm at Sulphur Springs, Tampa
I do miss Florida sometimes. The beaches and the weirdness.
The photo above is from another blog I was using to explore the idea of screenshots being a form of photography of the internet. My interest in the project came from walking between two separate exhibitions at the Met. The first was After Photoshop: Manipulated Photography in the Digital Age and the other was William Eggleston: At War with the Obvious.
As the digital space becomes a bigger part of the human experience, can virtual life be captured in an artistic way? A sepia toned Craigslist ad, a high contrast splash page, or several programs layered in a certain pattern across the screen. It may seem redundant or self-referential, like an inefficient web crawler or a terrible meme, but I think there is a way to coax something more out of the screenshots. Out of this confluence of information, images, and sounds, that continues to grow and evolve.
On the other hand, the internet may just be the medium. Although, some frames around paintings could be considered works of art, and I certainly wouldn’t be the first person to acknowledge software as art. But can coding reach the level of art, or would that be the same as equating the paint on the palette or the unexposed film to art? This may be too much reductionism. After all, I am talking about something that is in many ways alive, or at least could be soon. Which would make screenshots early portraits.
As a side note, the screenshot of a Google image search for potatoes had the most likes and re-blogs of anything I’ve ever posted on the internet.
In want I can only assume is a gesture of gratitude for positively promoting their wares, Warby Parker has named a pair of frames after me. They could possibly be named for Arthur C. Clarke, Arthur Conan Doyle, or Arthur Miller given their predilection for authorial inspiration and considering my literary aspirations have not been fully realized, but I am honored nonetheless.
“How a major studio allowed such a vehemently odd movie to exist really is a mystery. Its outlandishness isn’t forced; it’s forceful. This is a film that expands a singular style of humor into an entire worldview, a physics as vast as the Force in Star Wars.”
You really should watch this movie.