20 March 2017
I am not the kind of guy who goes to concerts. Ever.
I prefer studio recordings because in these, the logical thoughts of the artist emerge as the track comes to life and reaches our ears. I have always been attracted by that, much more than to the sprinkle of emotions that come from venues and theaters.
In my case the exceptions are the live performances of Dale Crover (from The Melvins) and Jeff Mangum. Both of which were some kind of unshaped epiphanic experiences for me.
Milan, December 2015, The Melvins were at the end of their most recent European tour when Jeff Pinkus drops the bass guitar, tunes the effects pedal and kicks the bass with his bare foot until the right repetition of sounds comes out of the speakers. Slowly, each one of the members leaves the stage, sounds are still coming from the earlier kicks to the speakers up to my ears.
Once home, the performance by The Melvins made me recognize the different stages of communication.
We can think of three stages. The first one is trial, or experimentation, field test. This first phase is as obvious as it is accidental.
The second stage is about excess. Excess is to acknowledge that what was played today will be different to what will be played tomorrow. A draft becomes a singular work that may not come to an end.
The last one is the most important one if we want to understand the dynamics of the Internet: dissipation. With the act of dissipation, the work of the artist that reached its own way on a tiny and crucial fraction of time, that is the moment, folds on itself, and it is forever lost by an act of absence, the absence of objective memory.
On the internet hounding supersedes dissipation.
Hounding is the reason why thousands of men from different backgrounds congregate in small Facebook groups and share photos of their friends, wives and relevant others.
On the original Italian blog post I reported some Italian references on this phenomenon that don’t have much cultural significance for the English readers. Therefore, I want to explain the phenomenon in other words.
The discussion about these Facebook groups in Italy consist of an online phenomenon regarding group of males playing what they call the game of "What would you do" with sexually or less explicit photos of friends and wives.
The game is as far as ever from an online rpg or creative. It degrades every time in vulgar and extremist comments about the body of the girls depicted.
I do believe that one of the many reasons to explain the inception of these online groups is the impossibility to overcome the absence of dissipation in online communication.
Machines do not remember but they never make us forget, they cross our space online with a continuous stream of photos and other people's moments. Algorithms do not follow our placid flow of continuous time online and they snap it in collages of instants.
In my first online experience, the interactions I had did not have the quality of recollection. I divided my time between irc and mailing lists. I felt the obligation to archive every tiny succession of words that gave some light to me.
(I still do).
Then web caches arrived, the Wayback Machine, Reddit, social networks. Nowdata can hardly ever disappear.
It seems to me that it is just a worthy form of tenacity, not remembrance in any form.
For the joy of archivists and the ones with a wistful gaze. And still unpleasant for someone.
(This translation is for Madeline, thank you for still taking the time to read my blog)