Malice in Pixelland – The end trajectory of postmodernism – 2021

ArtMalice in Pixelland – The end trajectory of postmodernism – 2021

Malice in Pixelland – The end trajectory of postmodernism – 2021

Mixed media sculpture. Computer monitor stand, knitted squashed flat dead rat bookmark, publication, nuts and bolts. H44 x W 34 x D24 cm

Our contemporary digital world of fingertip pirouetting in search engines on the “interweb”, has created a now almost-universal expectation of and belief in, the instantaneous availability of knowledge. A ubiquitous desire for instant gratification is generally made available by appealing to pre-understood, pre-known phenomena. But this cheaply acquired knowledge, tends to be unsubstantiated, un-vetted and superficial. On average, people are inherently lazy and prefer not to operate outside of their comfort zones. And to exploit and accommodate this psychological trait, contemporary culture is generally packaged in very easy to digest bite-sized chunks — and lapped up.

What is of great concern is that information available on the web is usually unquestionably accepted as gospel truth, and this now universal access, somehow transmogrifies into a perception of the [re]searcher being knowledgeable. This has bred an assumed superiority, expressed as entitlement. It is of note here to (yet again) draw attention to Walter Benjamin’s classic assertion that the reproducible has a quality of the authorial and that anything printed, albeit on a laptop, mobile device or television monitor, is likely to be taken at face value, as being true, without the necessity of verification. Factchecking is almost an extinct enterprise. The internet dependent generation has largely committed itself to a fatal intellectual misconception; access to information does not empower anyone without the ability to intelligently apply it.

Worse still, the pop pulpit of social media on the web has been succinctly described by an astute but uncited commentator thus: “The internet is the greatest lavatory wall in history.”

A direct consequence of visual digital research has compounded our perception of reality as we embark on the as-yet-unchartered realm of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Without constant verification nothing presented in pixellated form is trustworthy.

Furthermore this misguided sense of empowered access and dominion over information, with little or no effort expended, naturally leads to a naïve and much-impoverished view of aesthetics. This neatly dovetails into the current democratisation and prevailing atmosphere of popular inclusivity in the definition of art — which has been broadened extensively to include cruder forms of fashionable decorative calligraphy – much of which, in the very near future will not even necessarily have been human generated.

The end trajectory of postmodernism – aka The Pop Pulpit – 2021
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