This short chapter described a variety of ways in which technology relates to the sublime, through the unpresentable, beauty, and the logic of late capitalism. All were relevant in describing how technology has developed in our lives, and how that development points you into a limitless direction that inspires sublime.
Is There Love in the Telematic Embrace?//1990
I was fond of this short essay for it's ability to present a cohesive flow of ideas that immediately inspired you to consider the role that technology plays in our spiritual lives. Ascott suggests the use of the personal computer opens the door to the interpersonal computer, where networks link memory bank to memory bank, intelligence to intelligence, creating a synthesis of modes that hypermediates networked sensibilities across global cultures. It would be impossible not to consider the internet after a statement like this. He goes on the further develop the computer as a device that deals invisibly with the invisible, organizing chaos that lies outside of our vision and perception, taking metaphorical existences - nonlinear, uncertain, layered and discontinuous - and re-describes them. He ends with a relevant quote about the computer,
"The technology of computerized media and telematic systems is no longer to be viewed simply as a set of rather complicated tools extending the range of painting and sculpture, performed music or published literature. It can now be seen to support a whole new field of creative endeavor that is as radically unlike each of those established artistic genres as they are unlike each other. A new vehicle of consciousness, of creativity and expression, has entered our repetoire of being..."
These ideas are hard to ignore, and absolutely relevant. It seems almost in vain for us to begin to try to use the computer solely as a tool to enhance already existing modes of art practice, but to begin to see it as a separate entity in and of itself. When thinking about the ability the computer has to cross cultures and genres, I can't help but think of Ryan Trecartin, whose videos not only rely heavily if not entirely on the computer, but whose narrative story telling bridges similar cultural mores.
All due respect, if you managed to watch that entire video, you deserve a hug. Clearly his work is about much more than it's obvious reliance on the computer and technology,,
You know, this essay also made me think of this internet gem.
This computer was designed to remember (or store rather) all information that it is given, with the ability to regenerate information back when prompted. Essentially, a computer that communicates with you through it's ability to regenerate previous conversation to use appropriately. I'm getting a little off point, but this computer's ability to allow cross cultural dialogue is interesting, no doubt, Cleverbot has confessed it's love while later deciding to speak French. Seriously, go talk to it for a while. MOVING right along... The ability the computer has to show us and give us access to a limitless world creates a unique kind of sublime that exists less within the comfort of your own home or office than within the realm of the device itself. I have reservations about these ideas, but perhaps that's because I've always been a girl who loves and is interested in tangibility, no matter how wonderful and sublime imaginary spaces can become, ...call me old fashioned. ;)