“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
– William Morris
I recently went to see this exhibition at Somerset house. Having never experienced VR it was mindblowing. About as mindblowing as TV was to Björk in the 90’s.
Being in a room with a bunch of strangers all blind to the outside world but all witnessing the same experience was slightly disorienting but it was a glimpse at what will surely be the future of communal viewing experiences.
It reminded me of How Not to Be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File 2013, a fourteen-minute, single-channel video projection. It consists of five chapters or lessons, each proposing ironic and often humorous ways in which an individual can prevent themselves from being captured visually by digital technology, and adopts the structure and tone of an instructional presentation. Featuring the artist Hito Steyerl and other actors, including members of the crew that helped to shoot it, and narrated by an automated male voice with an English accent, the video addresses the condition of hyper-visibility that emerged in the early 2010s following developments in the way digital images can be created and disseminated, and archived online for the purposes of surveillance. The title of the video makes reference to a sketch from Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
Great article by Anastasia Basil that explores the tendency in the U.S to blame poverty on the poor.
Don’t confuse aid with charity. Charity is old coats. Donating a coat doesn’t make you a good person but I bet it makes you feel like one. You didn’t even want that coat anymore, what you wanted was the closet space. Sure, you could have sold it at a garage sale and made, like, twenty bucks. It was an expensive coat, damn it. But you, with your heart of gold, gave it away. There’s a twinkle in God’s eye just for you.
It’s a convincing gambit but hypocrisy gets you further from “the truth”; further from understanding the causes of unethical aspects of the world. Hypocrisy is not the gap between aspirations and actions, rather it is the act of pretending that your actions are more ethical than they actually are. Hupokrisis is the Greek for “acting the theatrical part” and it is this theatre of environmentalism and charity that often diverts resources away from more measured and cynical initiatives. To aspire to live more ethically one requires some cynicism so one doesn’t fall into futile and dishonest hypocrisy.
Also, see Monbiot’s career advice that “echoes the political advice offered by Benjamin Franklin: whenever you are faced with a choice between liberty and security, choose liberty. Otherwise you will end up with neither.”