|A more than usually fascinating interview with Bruce Sterling. http://stirling-westrup-tt.blogspot.fr/2012/10/tt-bruce-sterling-atemporality-and.html|
The core argument is that modern life has taken on an atemporal quality in that the sheer quantity of mankind's creative noise is making socioligical cause and effect hard to see. Along the way he looks at questions around the difference between the reality of 1955, analogue remnants of 1955, digitised renmants of 1955 and 1955 as seen though the usual historical revisionism of both popular culture and historians. One aspect I think is missing in the argument is the effect of exponential growth in content. We are both creating quantities of content and forgetting it along an exponential growth curve. So content from 1955 is becoming a smaller and smaller part of the whole at that same exponential rate but also it is viewed through the filters of the ever increasing pile of content produced between then and now where half of all that content is less than a year old, 3/4 of it is less than 2 years old.
I really want to paraphrase one sentence in the article, thusly:- One tires of this corny new-media rhetoric where things are always pre-fixed "post-, future-, new-, or neo-" Of course they are post and future and new, but not for long.
Bruce has thing about Brazilian Anthropophagy and the Anthropophagics. This was an art movement starting in the 1920s in Sao Paolo that consciously ate European and American influences in order to ruminate on them and then regurgitate them as something new. More recently the abravanista movement around musical artists such as Suba and Cibelle have resurrected this idea. This plus the inimitable Simon Reynolds make me want to coin another neologism based on his ideas around retromania and hauntology. I think we need "Retrophagy"; The conscious consumption of historical ideas and approaches as source material for rumination, combination and then regurgitation as something new. This is not the laziness of simply repeating or glorifying the past for profit but rather the deliberate use of it as part of the creative process.
On which subject, this is one of the better interviews with Simon for explaining what he's on about. http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/is-our-retro-obsession-ruining-everything/ via http://boingboing.net/2012/11/19/is-our-retro-obsession-ruining.html
[tt] bruce sterling: atemporality and social networks. »
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