The Birth + Death + Bardo of the Abominable Internet


{ Abominable by Mark Ryden – in Japan }

Part 1 : pre-re:publica-11

Let’s just get to the facts: The internet is creepy! It continuously reminds us of Mark Ryden’s paintings of fluffy (white) infernos, which we might call the Los Angelesian bardo ( where he lives ) – that intermediate state of being between 2 lives on earth… where one’s soul + creative fire is snagged in a perpetual mill of pre-pubescent and embedded corporate fantasies now perfected into a sticky, succulent and erotic fly-trap.  Here you can wait in an eternal groupie fan queue stewing in the digestive tract of digital industry stardom ‘n dust for a precious pre-sale ticket to limitless self-mutilation and self-fragmentation.

; )

Standby for our “review” of Re:Publica 11 – The Conference for Blogs, Social Media and Digital Society … and XLt views on the general state of public horrors.


{ Ryden, detail, if anyone has the complete pic , we’d love to see it ! … might help complete our unfinished puzzle of Net + Religion analogy }

Is There Internet Redemption ?!

Today as the 5th version of Re:Publica kicks in, Germany’s “most politically engaged conference” for Bloggers, Social Media and Digital Society, the Berliner Zeitung ( Times, daily print ) has a curious juxtaposition of lead stories: 1. Angela Merkel hosting the Netherlands royal family Queen Beatrix and Prinz Willem Alexander at Schloss Bellevue. 2. Markus Beckedahl – Ambassador of the Digital World – ( Deutschland’s oberster interneterklaerer  ) and founder of Netzpolitik. The unintended symbolism is rich !

From one perspective, it is tempting for an XLterrestrial to ask : Is the politics of internet culture about as irrelevant to human liberation + survival as a royal photo op ?! (A trick question)

We are wondering what the chorus of net evangelists will be singing this year. Will anyone be explaining that the Info Revolution is bloody dire, if not already completely crushed ( as was claimed a number of times amongst insiders at Chaos Communications Congress, the annual international gathering of coder, hacker, security + info krieg specialists. ) Is “internet freedom” D.O.A. ?! Has “internet freedom” become an oxymoron ?!

Will anyone be running up to the stage like a Fukushima disaster samurai in a tattered tyvek suit… arms waving in the air, and crying out that the social media reactors have blown!?? INTERNET MELTDOWN !??

As much as we’d like to remain optimistic, the XLterrestrials have been following developments in digital culture for many years now…  and we feel it’s long overdue to leap into hyperbolic art forms + sound the S.O.S alarm!

The communications spectrum and society-at-large are in deep shit ! Realworld social + community structures + inhabitable progress are being eaten alive by corporate + predator markets + endgame strategies ! The net is NOt by any stretch of the imagination under public control / direction , nor viable for sustaining higher intelligence or cooperative living in the current (capitalist) crisis climate ! Rather, it’s precisely on corporate, intelligence agency and vested interest course!

Test samples of the digital soil in 2011, show that individual + community empowerment does not even measure beside the levels of empire consolidation in the IT sector + mass media + business-as-usual globalization.

It’s a strange and pathetic juxtaposition of 2 images ( akin to the Berliner Zeitung above) : picture 1. average net user sharing a Youtube pet clip with his/her cyber neighbors -2,368,745 times, 2. a rabid harvesting ( and steering! ) of data and social traffic by dangerous and manipulative global game players. And it should be noted that even Activated Users / Hacktivists play against the dealing house ( think Telecoms in times of revolt).

An educational and self-defense wake up call is in order,  and any singing days are over ! All the warm and fuzzy net-topian ideals + faith have been obliterated ! But not surprisingly, the net generations proceed as if nothing has gone wrong, or a few minor adjustments and more public awareness can tame these “social reactors” for beneficial use.

Part 2 – post re:publica-11

We can only imagine that the cannibalistic trends and incongruencies of digital culture are going to get increasingly cuter from here. Or as the net harvests the new intellectual capital, David Cronenberg might say with a testy cinematic wink, ” Long live the new flesh! “.**


{ Ryden, incarnation no.100, 2009 }

* As we write this, there is some news stirring of serious higher intelligence in Latin America. Bolivia is poised to bring a set of laws – that would grant nature equal rights with those afforded humans-  to the table at the United Nations. A Law of Mother Earth. A culture with its political feet on the ground ! Will the people of the virtual civilizations have any relevance on this scale ?!

** And as we continue to contemplate Re:publica -#Rp11- #RC11 – Michio Kaku, the NY City College physics professor, in an interesting faraway + dreamy parallel universe presents an “optimistic” side of how science + technology will change Daily Life by 2100. In his new book, and last week on Democracy Now, he discusses the switch from commodity capital to intellectual capital, or ” capital of the mind”.

Sometimes ; ) scientists fail to think in political scenario/contexts/social realities + complexities, and perhaps the real meat of the matter, is closer to how we began this entry. In a continued capitalistic trajectory of scientific advances, Mark Ryden paintings seem to resonate with the existential nausea of a supremely surreal now, more then any sci-fi futures can catch our fancy. i.e. Schwarzenegger meets Star Trekkers on the bridge ( which one should be reminded, is almost always taking place on a Starfleet vessel … of -military- elites). Kaku is apparently on board in his analysis + predictions, but civilian life on the ground ( and beyond the propped up and miltarily enforced western economic bubbles ) would have far different experiences and deadly inequalities, and probably represent the greater relevance as to whether the planet as a whole can sustain such fantasies !

Leave a Reply