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12 Insights on The Internet As Art — Virginia Heffernan
This presentation consists of highlights
from the interview with Moe Abdou,
founder & host of 33voices®.
Virginia Heffernan writes regularly about digital
culture for The New York Times Magazine.
Author of Magic and Loss
The internet is the great masterpiece of
human civilization; it favors speed, accuracy,
wit, prolificacy, and versatility, but, it also favors
integrity, mindfulness, and wise action.
In the digital sphere, the optimal UX
design doesn’t dictate mental space; it maps it.
The goal is to caress the subconscious
and let the intuition guide the path.
On Artificial Intelligence
Outsourcing to machines the many
idiosyncrasies of mortals - making interesting
mistakes, brooding on the verities, propitiating
the gods by whittling and arranging flowers -
skews tragic. But letting machines do the
thinking for us? This sounds like heaven.
Thinking is optional.
Hashtags are hard to explain partly
because they are almost never transparent
or ideologically neutral - they’re meant
to be code for you to figure out.
A new visual literacy is emerging.
Instagram is gorgeous reminder that
life is beautiful, and it goes by fast. If used
right, it will stealthily persuade you that
other humans, and nature, and food, and
three-dimensional objects more generally
are worth observing for the sheer joy of it.
More than any other form of moving or still
picture, of language, of design, Internet video
registers in the contemporary mind as reality
itself - the truth, history. The Record.
People contribute to YouTube because they
want to tell stories, be heard, be seen, be
known and maybe get famous.
Ian Cleary on VR
The truth is, virtual reality just creates a
deep hunger for real-world experiences.
The only act that’s impossible is consuming
art the old way: Treating the Internet like a
record collection that might be dipped into
with a balance of equanimity and curiosity.
We’re officially through the looking glass,
everyone; we might as well stop to smell
the music and hear the new air.
Technology thrives not on empirical facts but
on what neo-Marxists like Walter Benjamin
used to call “aura.” - that quality that made
a work of art irreplaceable and precious and
available only to the elite - undesirable.
In twenty-five years the Internet has doggedly
modeled for us a strange but familiar truth:
that our lives are both here - in our physical
beating hearts - and elsewhere, in a fathomless
realm channeled through our phones and
laptops that we can but dimly intuit.
The internet suggests immortality - comes
just shy of promising it - with its magic and
suggestion of universal connectedness. And
then, just as suddenly, it stirs grief: the deep
feeling that digitization has cost us something
very profound. That connectedness is illusory;
that we’re all more alone than ever.
Does the world see the real
you on the internet?
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Presentation by Chase Jennings
Insights by Jenna Abdou
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