Projects are proceeding. I updated the list on the Projects blogroll do you can follow along. If a link doesn’t work, let me know.
On a side note, drifting from the path, I’ve been reading Wasting Time on the Internet (Amazon), by Kenneth Goldsmith, which has a tangential connection to Weblogs and Wikis as social media. It’s the kind of manifesto that spring breaks were meant for. In one chapter, “Our Browser History is the New Memoir”, he constellates Buddism, Surrealism, Dada poetry, Marienneti, Samuel Pepys, Boswell’s Life of Johnson, Hester Thrale (new to me), the obligatory observations of Plato and Benjamin, and the state of entropy.
The ecology of the web teeters on the cusp of the hyperpresent and the eternal … While we have the illusion of that things are speeding up, they’ve actually reached a point of stasis, of stillness.
The book addresses a seminar Goldsmith taught at U Penn, spring 2015 (web page), a seminar what was going to draw on the situationists and on psychogeograhy but went another direction.
Live without dead time. — Situationist graffiti, Paris, May 1968 We spend our lives in front of screens, mostly wasting time: checking social media, watching cat videos, chatting, and shopping. What if these activities — clicking, SMSing, status-updating, and random surfing — were used as raw material for creating compelling and emotional works of literature? Could we reconstruct our autobiography using only Facebook? Could we write a great novella by plundering our Twitter feed? Could we reframe the internet as the greatest poem ever written? Using our laptops and a wifi connection as our only materials, this class will focus on the alchemical recuperation of aimless surfing into substantial works of literature. Students will be required to stare at the screen for three hours, only interacting through chat rooms, bots, social media and listservs. To bolster our practice, we’ll explore the long history of the recuperation of boredom and time-wasting through critical texts about affect theory, ASMR, situationism and everyday life by thinkers such as Guy Debord, Mary Kelly Erving Goffman, Betty Friedan, Raymond Williams, John Cage, Georges Perec, Michel de Certeau, Henri Lefevbre, Trin Minh-ha, Stuart Hall, Sianne Ngai, Siegfried Kracauer and others. Distraction, multi-tasking, and aimless drifting is mandatory.
It’s the web as psychogeography. Reading as dérive (website). Read it with YouTube in the background.