pseudomodernity and "hyperliteracy."

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
... Life is very long

a response to Gavin at servant of chaos. a long theoretical friday-candy post.

i do have to agree that while both modernism and postmodernism had a "burdensome sense of a preceding cultural inheritance," that what Kirby calls pseudomodernism, i would argue, has this same sense of inheritance--in a different way. postmodernism worked to break up the linear. to think in circles. understands cycles, and also to step away from them. to know that A can link to F without any letters in between; that logic jumps are products of inflicted learning methods. which is also why i agree that the internet is the pinnacle of postmodern thought.

and yet, it is this internet-style pomo thought process which we have inherited, which produced the thought patterns necessary for this pseudomodernity. it is this which enabled classroom computers in which teachers are assigning Facebook profiles as homework to express Holden Caulfield. what Kirby, who feels that his "pseudo modernists are spookily devoid of agency, caught in the neverland between the capacity to effect change and the overwhelming minutiae digital interactions," did not anticipate is our capacity to navigate that space because of our inherited postmodern thought.

i agree with Gavin when he says that "production fails (and always will) in its effort to capture the live moment" because i have that postmodern schema. that is, with Magritte-like wonder, the video of the event will never be the event (for example): it is a representation of an event purchased and reproduced through angles, moments elongated or not long enough--editing, for lack of a better word, regardless of quality of craft. even if it is live-fed, those watching will not have the same experience as those experiencing firsthand. but the temptation to get it to that space has prompted movies like The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield as well as a rise in mundane youtube videos, etc.

but because of my place as a gen-y "pseudomodernist" i cannot say this will always be the case, that we will never be able to access that. i think we have a genuine skepticism in these productions even as we participate in them. we know they consume our time and that it places a distance between ourselves and the experience, even if we are the ones experiencing. which is to say, if i'm having a friend video my morning routine, my morning routine will be different simply because of the presence of the video camera. and we know this, moreso than our parents' generation who believe youtube videos as true (generalization, but i've noticed a certain naiveté there).

Gavin points out social media as a possibility for the beginning of navigation between those spaces of experience and production because they result in real-life experiences (eg, tweetups). while i think this is an excellent start, i think it's only part of the picture. i think just as before us came oral tradition, we are hyperliterate; we are writing a hyperliteral tradition. this is not the same as books, which had too much 'production value' with editors and publishers. this is your point of view and my point of view on the same thing, both available, both time-transcendent and hyper-recorded on 18 different search engines.

it is this connectivity, like microblogging from a mobile device, which moves real-time information from people to the internet to records to the future. what youtube videos lack are the personalized element. and "me" in the youtube video is superseded by the "me" watching it. what film editors try to artfully capture: the thoughts, emotions, and feelings of an experience, expressed through only audio and visual. eventually, someone will sort out how to merge the recording with the experience seamlessly. you won't have to disrupt your experience to record it. there will be no "postmodern gap," the anxiety between the interactive and the action.

it will feel like freedom. and it will be scary. as this emerges, so too will those who search out total experiences, who reject the idea of this recording, i'm sure. i hope to be one of them. but maybe that's the postmodern, rather than the pseudomodern, in me.


MHB said...

my brain is too slow today to ad anything of worth, but great post, i do say.

Gavin Heaton said...

awesome response ;)
now you have me thinking ... it feels like in the gaps between our experiences is the gulf of story. it is what smooths the disruption between our looking, acting and being selves.
how does this apply to our sense of the world ... will need to give it more thought. thanks!

the girl Riot™ said...

@mhb -- thanks! when you've got a bit more shut eye, we can debate ;) haha.

@gavin -- i think that it's more than the gulf between us. the culmination of all of our selves hasn't yet come, so it's hard to call the story over; especially considering its nonlinear aspects. looking forward to more thoughts from you!