Friday, 26 February 2010

Billy Pilgrim is unstuck in time

And, really, aren't we all? Take music. Not only does everything sound like everything else, the way we consume it in a random swirl juxtaposes Talking Heads with a cover of Talking Heads by Local Natives, and, really, is there a difference? Really, does it matter if there is?

I just read a piece by Bruce Sterling about atemporality in art. He talks about a shift in the perception of narrative and history from something that, when it was performed with pencil and paper, was a strictly linear journey, to something else, something that in a very real sense is, to use Vonnegut's immortal line, 'unstuck in time'.

Is it crazy to honour the people who got to an idea first? Or is it healthier to dwell on the finest examples of that idea? Does preferring a cover version to the original make me a bad person, and does it diminish the achievement of the original artist? Is it crazy to concoct, as so many people do with their fantastic imaginings of steam or 50's atom technology gone wild, futures which might have been? In a world where google makes the past, the present and the possible future equally accessable, I would say that these things are a normal reaction to our situation. Up until 10 years ago I was forced to consume culture in discrete, time-specific, chunks, as albums or books. Now I am not only able to consume media (read: knowledge) in chunks that have been placed next to each other with no respect for creator control, and still less for the context they were created in, I most often choose to do so.

Gone are the days where the artist or the scholar could dictate context for their work. There was a small furore over google banning a particular video which depicted artistic nudity from its Youtube service. It later overturned the decision, but can we fault them? The context is not there to split art from pornography, and increasingly that context does not even exist. Observe:


Now imagine it without the context. Are we reaching for a place where everything is offensive because context cannot be imagined at the time of creation? Or will people realise that they create their own context, and rule that nothing is offensive in and of itself, only when regarded that way?

19 comments:

緊張 said...

真正的愛心,是照顧好自己的這顆心。 ..................................................

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v辰原 said...

Actions speak louder than words. ........................................

佩昭彥怡 said...

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瑋玲 said...

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韋于倫成 said...

Habit is a second nature. ....................................................

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育德 said...

憂能傷身,保重哦! ....................................................

紫倫妍勳 said...

一個人的價值,應該看他貢獻了什麼,而不是他取得了什麼..................................................

SadeRa盈君iford0412 said...

Many a little makes a mickle...................................................................

林俊賢 said...

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德倫 said...

死亡是悲哀的,但活得不快樂更悲哀。......................................................................

江婷 said...

您的blog蠻不錯的耶,祝你快樂哦!期待您的更新!.................................................................                           

銘木 said...

人有兩眼一舌,是為了觀察倍於說話的緣故。............................................................

吳婷婷 said...

到處逛逛~~來繞繞留個言囉~~~~.......................................................

云依恩HFH謝鄭JTR安 said...

這麼好的部落格,以後看不到怎麼辦啊!!..................................................................

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