Posts Tagged ‘virtuality’

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

I like to walk around in a particular park.

This park isn’t huge, but it’s not small either (about a mile around) and it has some tennis courts, as well as a series of hills.

On the largest of these hills is a large vertical monument to a military exploit around which a lot of fit, physically attractive people hang out.

And on one of the smaller of these hills are a couple of small, dying trees around which a group of sickly, goth teenagers hang out and role play vampire fantasy scenarios.

Writing about Internet art makes me compare everything I see to the Internet, so, after seeing this group of kids on a regular basis for long enough, I began to think about the relationship between vampires themes and what it’s like to be online.

Here are some thoughts:

1. Vampires are unable to exist in the light of day:

The teenagers don’t seem to fit into the world of daylight.

Multiplayer online gaming in a dark, musty basement is better for them and they would appear more at home there.

2. Vampires are able to exist in an endless duration:

The Internet is a vampire world in the sense that online time is premised less on the rhythms of day and night (the seasons changing through the “real” world) and more on those of the endless twenty-four hour data stream (the endless “now” of the virtual world).

The endless time of the virtual world seems more appropriate for these teenagers than natural time.

In the synthetic, role-playing milieu of virtual worlds, it is the vampire kids who seem relevant and cool, not the physically-fit people who hang out near the military statue.

It should be said, though, that the recent popularity of vampire mythology is not fundamentally bound up with sickly teenagers hanging out near dying trees.

For example, I walked into a large, chain bookstore yesterday and was frustrated to find myself shuffling through hundreds of yuppies, suburban “moms,” and other assorted mainstream people who were packed standing room only to hear Charlaine Harris, the author of a series of elaborately-realized vampire mystery novels, speak.

In fact, this group was almost identical in appearance and demography to the one I (again accidentally) found myself swimming through who were on hand to hear Candace Bushnell, the creator of Sex and the City, speak at the same bookstore – a population less Hot Topic than Gap.

This is not to pass a value judgment either way, just to say that there is something about the thematics and atmospherics of the vampire myth which speaks to an audience of “indoor kids” beyond the goth teenagers in the park.

Friday, April 9th, 2010

6312414236 by Damon Zucconi is in dialogue with his Continuous Line Drawings as the same technologically-mediated drawing technique is employed and the resulting work projects the sense that one is viewing both a drawing as well as the continuous creation of a drawing.

As it turns out, the numbers are, in fact, Zucconi’s own mobile phone number – (631) 241-4236 – as it is displayed on his artist’s website.

The body in the network is there and not there – one has an idea that one knows where it is, but if one is asked to grasp it, the body in the network changes its context (and keeps changing – always just out of reach).

In Zucconi’s own words:

[…] it’s a method of extending a line in space that connects to my mobile body. Connecting to where I am now; a present-tense…