Thursday, March 12, 2009
Creative cultural destruction
...is, thanks to this article, what I'll now call what's happening around me. The article doesn't say anything too new, but it does sum things up nicely. I've been playing in that liminal space between offline and online for quite some time now. I've been watching others play in it. And I've been paying attention to those in the Canlit scene who don't since, really, they're in the digital world just the same. They're on the sites of publishers, agents and booksellers. Their interviews can be found on blogs. I've been thinking about them this morning as I tend to this blog. I bet in the time it takes me to finish this post at least one of them will have written a brilliant first line for what will be a brilliant poem. And this post? I know. Like the article, I haven't said anything too new.
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"In the new digital world I suspect that artforms, artists and cultural organisations will succeed by occupying the liminal space between offline and online, building a compelling presence in both that allows something unexpected to emerge where they meet and blur together..."
Yes, I think this is quite right. Tho I have been suggesting that the internet has in fact peaked...perhaps hopefully on my part. I have never understood how people allow innovation to have such power over their lives...but I love innovation too. Not an easy one to work through, but I am hoping people will poke their heads out of their windows and begin to address the world, such as it is.
It's possible it has. Peaked or not, though, it will continue to drive our lives. And recklessly. And we're all along for the ride. I agree with what you say about innovation. To think when I was a kid I used to milk a cow. The cow hated it. I can't blame her. But when all was said and done, there was milk in the pail. Now I depend to some extent on the internet for my milk. If a glitch paralyzes the banks and thereby the tills or the interact won't work, I can't buy my skim. I dunno how we got to this point. But at least I know where milk comes from.
That said, I've been thinking about what a compelling presence might look like and how it would allow something unexpected to emerge and what the unexpected might be. With the economic downturn, I expect I'll be depending on the internet more than ever. Budgetary constraints of cultural organisations will mean less opportunities for artists in general and especially for those who are expensive to bring in. This is the reality.
...Speaking of addressing the world, I've been following Trevor Herriot's new blog. It's a dandy. I know I've mentioned it before, but I will again because he looks at and speaks and writes about the intersection of culture and nature in a way that I think would encourage people to poke their heads out, as you say, and actively address the world. The latest post points to a great book by David Abram, a book I've read a few times.
Great post Brenda. Tons of food for thought.
Thanks, Shawna! I just read my comments again now and I'm chuckling at how scattered they are. From cows to eco-philosophers! Yikes. But that's much like how my mind was skipping along today as I try to see ahead and find a place that feels right.
I can't help but wonder at all the women writers through the ages that would have been so less isolated had they access to this technology... ditto publishing digitally... how many thousands of women writers have we never heard of, their manuscripts tucked into hat boxes then burned at their death?
this is a tremendous leveler, a tremendous tool, one for which I am grateful
"This is a tremendous leveler..."
Nice. Indeed, for those like us who can afford the technology, or at least access it, it is a tremendous leveler as you say. I feel lucky. I worry, though, about the unlucky who don't have access or the literacy level needed to take advantage of the access and how the gap between the connected and the unconnected is contributing to the widening gap between the rich and poor. I worry, yet I stare at a screen considering liminal space. And then I'll check Facebook. Talk about gaps.
Speaking of innovation, I'm reminded again this morning of how lucky I am as I read this story about a study titled "Household Technology: Was it the Engine of Liberation?" I love my fridge. And my washing machine. And my running water...
Stephanie Strickland, grandmother and conceptual poet, innovator and overall inspiration:
Being both in the world, and in technology. This is the challenge for women, and I say women because these are the voices we aren't hearing enough from.
What do we think, not only of poetry, but of the access to poetry and the reading of poetry and our own ideas of poetry which we hear far too little of.
And Brenda, as my father always said, there is nothing that can't be done better...we can have cleaner everything if cleaner was the goal.
Thanks! Both for the remarks and the link. Strickland's piece is just what I needed to read. I love her conclusion. And "Traveling to Utopia: With a Brief History of the Technology" is just what I needed to see.
There is nothing that can't be done better. How true. Onward.
You can attend free lectures on halflife too . . . what a great way to attend an international conference when you're on a tight budget.
Free is definitely nice!
i was saying to my husband the other day that if i died tomorrow, i'd have to have left detailed instructions for him (which i've not yet done) as to how to dismantle my online life. i'm not scared of that; it is what it is.
Hm. The online spreading of ashes. I guess I'll just get H to comment on my blog - something like "B has gone to that big blog in the sky." Or "she kicked the blog. Get."
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