Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Six Gradients

I've been fooling around on the image-saturated chatroom dump.fm (NSFW) lately, and it's been a real eye opener with regard to communication. Something really special happens in this chatroom - people communicate with pictures instead of words, almost entirely. A person will post an image as a thought, and if it's catchy enough, others will riff off of it. It kind of reminds me of the Merry Pranksters commune, with its microphones, delay boxes and speakers scattered across a forest, so that the hippies living there could share a 'rap' fast and get other people rapping off of it. dump also reminds me of Terence McKenna's accounts of the 'Machine Elves' he perceived while under the influence of DMT - inhabitants of a strange world that communicated through objects rather than semantically.

More on this later, but one last thought: without the internet, all of these images would be utterly ephemeral. All of these images would be quickly forgotten outside of the context of the internet. Reproducibility defeats temporality, and we'll still be listening to the Beatles in 2064.

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