These are my notes for a talk I gave at the Messy Edge, a conference curated by Laurence Hill as part of Brighton Digital Festival 2019, at the University of Sussex on October 18 2019.
I am become twitter, distractor of worlds
Today is about transgression
It’s about finding boundaries and then not quite crossing over.
It’s about refusing to accept that this is the best world that can be built on the foundations of the digital technologies we have come to accept as the core of the modern world.
It’s also about acknowledging just how much today’s world differs from that which underpinned the development of our current politics, philosophy, art, society, and lies beneath our assumptions about gender, race and sexuality.
Marx argued that the economic structure of society determined its social and political superstructure
Well the network is below economics, like quarks are below protons.
And we now live in a world shaped by that network.
This has happened because sometime in the last twenty-five years the boundary between offline and online dissolved, as the sound of the dialup modem faded into history and the networked supercomputers in our pockets offered us a permanent connection to the infosphere.
It happened while we were using Netscape Navigator, ICQ, AIM, MSN Messenger, Twitter, Facebook, Sina Weibo, M-PESA, Grindr and Tinder and TikTok
At some point we found that there was a new space, and more and more of us – initially the wealthy, the privileged, the powerful – occupied it.
We have not left, and it has grown.
And today many of us occupy the space behind the screen, beyond the world, where the edges are unclear, blurred… messy.