The Future was Posted Four Days Ago

by Art Fag City on February 1, 2007 Events

Guthri Lonergan, Nasty Nets, 2001<<<>>>2006
Screengrab AFC

It’s funny how good it feels to watch our cloudy destiny. Such is the case with Guthri Lonergan’s newest work 2001<<<>>>2006, which embeds a YouTube video by a couple of teenagers with a love for the mirror tool in Photoshop and the music group Queen, into a larger clip from 2001 depicting an ominous future and the time travel of Dr. Frank Poole. As the video suggests, we could be sinking into a dark hole, but these days we’d cheerfully be singing the lyrics of sad songs as it happened.

The piece works on a number of levels, not all of which I’m going to go into (you can see my colleague Theodor Adorno for that,) but I particularly like that it pairs the popular use of digital software to facilitate envisioning the future, with Kubrick’s highly effective and decidedly low tech filming techniques. The juxtaposition speaks to the philosophy of a school of net artists who tend to value older technology as a method of working, or at the very least are critical of the fetishization of gadgetry.

Interestingly, the response to the work while positive, tends to mimick the very things the community questions. For example, Kottke, obviously laying out 2001<<<>>>2006 for propagation, used the unfortunate description of CSS positioning, to link to the piece Monday, which resulted in one or two posts about the greatness of CSS, and little else. As it is clear the blogger well knows, for better, and often for worse, you can always count on Internet nerds to endlessly discuss how to make “cool things”….but usually without ever considering why you’re creating it in the first place.

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