Creative Existence In The Digital Age

dystopic phobia

Posted by James Campbell on Wed, Oct 31, 2012
In Rant,
Tags writing essays

My best works will never be shared on Facebook. They will never be tweeted and retweeted by the robotic hoard. They will never show up in the ever-growing free places to post digital works in exchange for digital ad space.

Yes indeed, I feel more and more like unsharing. I also feel the need to dislike things I stumble upon while browsing the vast digital art landscape, but there is no dislike button. There is only ‘like’ or silence. And my Internet silence is not golden. It is a brooding decaying wasteland of “look at me” and “please follow me” and “buy me.” It is a sick place where society shows off it’s twisted consumptive low-brow half-baked underbelly.

I want no part of it. But I cannot look away from kittens. Also, friends were wondering why I didn’t have a Facebook account.

I would shut everything down if I could, but I realize this digital escapism, however noble it seems on its face, is doomed to failure much like the escapism of the last century. People packed up their RV’s, ran to their cabins in the woods, grew their own food, but when the illusion was over they still had to slog back to work after the holiday weekend to make money to live, and in turn perpetuate the holy lie for another generation. I am still slogging through this Internet wasteland hoping for the tiny glimpses of humanity I find from time to time.

But is this the golden future we were promised on the backs of the last century? Technology without humanity? Sleek Aluminium & glass without emotion? Multi-touch without human-touch? Self-affirmation and a voice on a personal blog but no longer a real connection to society? Snarky clever commentary behind a firewall of avatars instead of real discussion?

So what should I do with my creations? I will send the most mundane of them to be consumed by the unnamable digitalis and I will keep my best works for myself, for my co-conspirators, cohorts, gallery representatives, limited edition books, friends, and family. I will post these works on my own walls of my own home with my own hands and remain human and true to myself. I will share a few of these things on my own site that I created on a server I coded myself. In this way, I will never lose my muse, and I will be free to do as I please. All the while I hold out hope for a dislike button.

The ironic thing is you will probably post this on Facebook and share it with all your internet friends. And then LOLCATZ will be the only suitable response.