Monday, 24 August 2009

Lev Manovich, how am I supposed to regard him? Came across his work for the first time yesterday, his film work, Soft Cinema. Hidden from me previously, he came into light. How was it that he managed to stay beyond my sight for so long? At times, it is clear a conscious effort to obscure me from new art is at work. McLuhan's successor! I went through four years of red brick, white paper, grey day university and never encountered any media theorists, let alone McLuhan and his successor..

Soft Cinema, then, crept into my dreams. Late into the night I watched 'Mission to Earth', a science-fiction fable about a technologically inferior planet and its population who arrive on earth as immigrants. The format of the thing is something of beauty. Multiple windows of various sizes mirroring constant laptop use; episodic, short chapters; a looping, repetitive narrative; coloured backgrounds fading in and out - all are bound by database logic and algorithmic predilection. It is the cinema of software and it provoked dreams uncharacteristically vivid.

Vivid but, of course, nonsense. Vivid nonsense. Great sprawling fields full of grazing goats and low slung breeze-block walls, a town in the distance just beyond the hills. In the town, a modern office block, a psychic seance, some low-key data forensics, wireless network mapping, an enormous formal dinner with lego cutlery, a fleet of ex-girlfriends with permanent amnesia, a desire to sleep, tasks to fulfil.

So it is that software enters cinema, cinema enters dreams, and dreams enter into the everyday through writing. Software into the everyday, into the writing of the everyday. Software into writing, once more into software, to be published, to be published and exposed as vivid nonsense, to be scorned. Writing into everyday scorn, into nonsense and scorn.

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