New Media Lecture Series – Jason Huff
Sunday, 20 November 2011
Jason Huff was born in Atlanta, GA in 1981. He recently received his MFA in Digital+Media from the Rhode Island School of Design. His work was recently exhibited at the MFA Thesis Exhibition at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Current and upcoming shows include Pixilerations in Providence, RI and BYOB in Cincinnati, OH. His project AutoSummarize is being published in a forthcoming anthology of conceptual writing. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn and is an Editorial Fellow at rhizome.org. His work is also included in the Special Collections at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
“We are super connected. Every passing moment presents unimagined opportunities. Does that sound utopian? Yes. Welcome to the new economy of ideas, where you can search for the next everything. Welcome to paradox. Welcome to burn- out. Welcome to endless opportunities.
Within endless opportunities, convergence and emergence are a place. We are in that place and are gazing endlessly at its potential. This place existed before in the corners of our imagina- tion and now has been realized, powered by the engine of the Internet – the engine of never ending cycles. Its rotations per minute are immeasurable, as it has connected the individual to a networked sub-engine. You upload something, I comment on it, you download it, and I re-upload it. We are there together. We are there alone. “We” becomes singular and “I” becomes plural.
You’re logged into a minimalist room that is decadent with flicker- ing content that is simultaneously utterly banal and frighteningly interesting. Yet, someone else has not produced this content for you. You have produced the content for yourself for you with others for them. Confusion is a mandate. But since the place of endless opportunities is defined by paradox, confusion is also clarity. Seizuring streams of everything and nothing lazily beam onwards.
You’re offline but still online. Corporeally you are mobile but men- tally you are immobilized. Mentally you are infinitely mobile but corporally you are fixed. You’re offline. But your friends are put- ting you on Facebook. But Facebook is liking your sweater. But your sweater is offline, but your sweater is online.
The center point of endless opportunities is context. Context is made of the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed. But we are always out of context. The Internet has become the circumstance, setting, statement, and idea.
The setting is virtual and real. You work hard to play hard in this space. But you also play hard to work hard. Play is work. Work is play. Home is office. Office is home. Office is train, bus, bike, bathroom – sex. Home is plane, car, couch, desk – conversa- tion. You are outside your house but inside your network. Your network is inside your house. You are the status quo, you are the quotidian, you are the spectacular. You are a glowing blue dot moving in real time and space watching yourself move in real time and space. You are a broken compass. Was that you I saw with yourself in your own spectacle, the one that you were with us in when we were making you there? Microsoft Word says that question is grammatically sound. Thankfully we are not auto- corrected. But thankfully we are often auto-corrected, providing more time for endless opportunities.
Something becomes artwork — but how? It moves from one place to another? We give it a name? We print it? Save it? Burn it? Make it not art?
Something is chosen on the network. The network. The Internet. It is printed. A beige monolith prints the selection. The beige monolith is a photocopier. But it ironically copies nothing on its glass bed. But it ironically copies something from somewhere else. It is a sub-engine that prints ephemera from the Internet into a gallery in a sloth-like rhythm. Freezing the seminal ani- mated gif into a busted one-frame fossil. A fossil of copier dust pressed with heat against a blank sheet. It is in the gallery. It is making art. It is art. It is not art. Take it.
Are we utopians yet?” – Jason Huff