Sunday, February 5, 2012
a long one: experiment 108 (edit)
Please, consider your screen-time a moment. What is it you're doing with it? Consider the raw hours spent staring & at what. Do you spend three or four hours there in front of the TV or on your laptop; are you fingering your phone on the subway? In a public setting where you're somewhat uncomfortable? Think about the raw time spent. Is it all day? You're not really moving during screen-time, even if you are. How much do you move and how long are you online clicking the red X in the corner of a box? "This is your meal. Enjoy it." Is this your main source of information, entertainment? You may be surprised to learn how many hours you spend staring at your own face in the mirror. Your expression often seems drawn & beaten by all that it's seen. Perhaps staring into one's own tired eyes that are like bruises in the corners around the nose is a culturally-acceptable addiction. Picture your own face. It is a mutated version of what your friends & enemies see. The hair you adjust to get it to look exactly the way you want is not distinguishable to anyone else. You are wrong to assume anybody notices anything about you — anything about anything, not even screen-time that sneaks past what you assumed also incorrectly to be your periphery. Is this your window to the world? Who is your provider? You catch those bloodshot bedroom eyes in your own head again. Forget why you switched the machine on again, why you are opening these windows. These windows have not yet been updated since your last visit. There is something wrong, but you forget what it is. No, you don't need any disconnect, do you? You can plug in to disconnect. A million holes to fill, to wreck bodies & ambition, to educate to paralysis. How long are you bombarded? How long are you sweetly averted? Does this have anything to do with eye contact with strangers? Would you rather send a text message? Think about the time in raw, concrete hours that you spend communicating. How much actual meaning is transmitted? Sentences? Paragraphs? Is your communication blurb-form or prosaic? Do you use words here, or letters? Think about when animals watch screens. Your view of the screen is mutated to appear captivating. The speed of light is with and without screen-time. You like your hair to be messy to the extent that it does not appear sculptedly so. Everyone knows but may not be aware. You feel safe with your photo-editing program. Take care of your television so that others may use it when you finally are able to purchase a flat screen. Or, maybe it was given to you. Maybe you were already able to afford it & you already bought it on your cell phone. You can go home now; it is already there. Your home is always with you if you carry your phone, looking at it as you trudge up the staircase in your unassuming building. Leave your old television on the curb for someone to pick up. When you found your very own TV as a child, it was discarded on the street in your neighborhood, just like yours is now. You could barely carry it home, but you did by yourself, and when you arrived you took it to your bedroom, happy to find that it worked almost perfectly upon plugging it in. Your mother was concerned but proud of your frugality and inventiveness. Your father patted you on the shoulder. He did not care one bit that it was in your room. You watched three movies alone in the dark that night. The racy scenes did not embarrass you as they did in the public//private setting of the living room. You bought your own universal remote control and switched from commercial breaks to music videos. You found a window under your complete control. Means of exploration. A complete language it taught you. You remember when as a teenager you broke your television. You discovered one later as a gift or an apology. The hours you spend looking through digital shots of you as a teenager. Your skin was taut, but less clear. Are your intentions news or pornography as they were then? What is the music in the background of this video, or is it a television show behind them fucking there? Clench your teeth and interrupt this for another. Connect your laptop computer to your television. You don't know these people & they can only assume, though they should not, what you do. Your teeth are jagged in your mind. Buy not on screen-or-any-other-time. The camera and screen do not notice your mind. They turn their heads away from you and film you and replay it to you. Did you really say that so many years ago & how can you delete it from screen-fact? You being a John or Jane is just buttons. They'll never know you're not the perfectly together screen being. They'll never know you're alone & not always, though you try and, for screen-guilt, to atone, awash with windows & friends & cameras & text messages, awash with all these raw people to your screen-things, your subjects, they know you within screens' windows. You are inside and the world is roiling and you are roiling right with it, but inside, and are also circling — computer to television to phone. You are alone inside physically and your ideas are tucked right up with those utterances of others in clouds. You enjoy the challenge of a new username. It is a new face of your styling. Your head cocked like that is alien & not attractive like you think. Your profile is 281 words of a manifesto thousands of pages long, right? Think of the raw count of words and emoticons — those that began and ended symbiosis, and those that meant nothing at all. The words that hacked at language, that misdirected, that were misread & their stabs into others through their screens. Intentional malfeasance as an art form in screen-time. You made your mother listen to this as she suffered, unsure what to say. Father had to work harder from then on to catch her gaze from her own baggy-eyed reverie. Your skin sags and appears translucent in blue flashes. You feel hollow but you grow fat. Your house is not glass but flat-screens turned outward with the volume up. Your existence manifests in tinny headphone noise outside the screen. Nobody has directly requested truth anyway. You are no longer that golden boy on the beach who is—what is he a surfer?—forever frozen//forever beautiful//forever lost inside yourself. Nightfall & your blue beams sink in deeper. Blue-flickered walls even after you've fallen asleep. Your dreams are no longer of sleep but the screen. In sleep you relive your day's embarrassments until interrupted by your cell phone's alarm. Perhaps it is a song. And then on to verify the weather, the commute, the relative tenacity of your existence beaten down. You are not waif you are weary and you act out on screen, but it's only a blurb so forget it. Think of the raw count of letters you've wasted, the tons of coal they consumed & that what you breathe & the electronic ozone-exhalation. Your camera is on your face and you are staring at it and you are dancing. You are exactly how you see your mutated face. Yes, this is you finalized, screen-captured in a political wink at something-or-other, you assume, which you really don't do so well, and it's all coal-fueled as the industrial era was & everything since. Do you say 'fuck' more than you write it? Like? Do you channel dead spirits when you click their videos, and are these dead spirits within you or are they just in your screen? Are you saying goodbye or are you actually leaving? Do these spirits leave you between screens, leaping over your path to confront you again as you hold the railing of the escalator in the mall that seems surprisingly dead, or is this a cloud-based illusion you're sure you could figure out if only you wanted to pay attention long enough to follow the directions? They're posted everywhere & they vary. Consider which variations are mistakes and which are outright lies. Think, yes, one can really, yes I swear this time is true, occupy two places at the same time, can occupy and demand. I swear this is true. The city outside is probability & you, yes, you goddammit, are the mobius of internet & text message. The raw number of buttons you've pushed today. You look yourself in the face for a period of hours. Your hairs are growing right before you. Love your screen, your self, and you will have others & will know who will love you & who will not, & who will not. Simply, the pixels get smaller — machines are smaller every day & soon, you know this is truth, will be ingested in a unity that does not require the foresight to charge batteries & remember to pick up on your way out the door, will not turn off or on, but will simply be. Consider your nerves & veins coiling around circuits, your eyes neither live nor dead. Look up into the mirror & verify you're seeing this. No longer vacant & frozen, but a full manifestation of, (I swear I'll buy you a computer so small you can't see it if this is not true), your every desire. And, what you have the inability to control now will be controlled within you by the screen inside that will really, truly finally be there. And finally, physically, through skin and through wires, through impulses and through waves, through screens in the air that are the air, you will actually be a network of humans and not-machines that are machines, an honest & tangible web of humans & everything you could ever want.