Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Being There

Why would Peter Sellers' film masterpiece be viewed as a comment on values emerging in music technology and the issues of musicing on the web? Perhaps this film anticipates and personifies the new value. Woody Allen's Zelig creates the illusion of a character who is always in the midst of events, chameleon-like, as an anonymous and perpetual presence at world events, a Chaplin-like figure who hops through Time and space to be a witness to greatness. Sellers' Chauncey Gardiner (Chance) is not just a witness, he becomes "greatness" solely by being there.

The new interactive technology requires us to be there. It cannot work without our presence and interaction. Yet, being there has become an act of anonymity on the Internet. We can re-invent ourselves over and over again. But in this new persona, we are asked to sign in (to be somebody) and to comment, as though somehow our comments are proof of our having been there, an echoing reply to the question we all must ask at some point: "Is anybody there?"

This new value is connected to the Web 2.0 technology where we participate as collaborators in creating new works and rubrics that make meaning for us. Technology can be its most powerful when it is serving to extend the range of human expression. We have just begun to explore this new frontier. It is the frontier of ourselves and the human spirit. However, our pursuit is in the context of "We" instead of "I", a "social learning" model, such as the one suggested by the on-line course through Alec Couros at the University of Regina, or just the simple process of staying connected through Twitter.

In a sense, this new TimeSpace is a reflection and extension of human consciousness, our extended knowing that enables us to explore ourselves in a new context and to create ideas that forge emerging dimensions. Through the Internet we can be simultaneously here and there. Consciousness itself is our awareness of being. Maybe now it's becoming our awareness of our being there.


Blogger thom de plume said...

"At electric speeds, the sender is sent. The sender goes onto the air, and is instantaneously everywhere - without a body."

- Marshall McLuhan, York University (1979)

9:38 PM  

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