Somewhere to Put This

I’m putting together the “writing” page and came across this bit of writing from a few years ago:

Technology appears to be about functionality – getting jobs done more quickly and efficiently, enabling greater precision and control. The computer does all the machine work and we do the conceptual, creative work. The computer is our obedient servant. But it is always possible to perceive things differently – the computer as the sublime double of consciousness, enabling not only the accomplishment of instrumental goals, but serving as a point of access to something else, some other mode of thinking, some other terrain of creative agency. For Kant the sublime was associated with wild nature (vast prospects, violent seas, etc.), but modernity has introduced another sublime – the technological sublime (huge belching factories, the speed of driving, flight, and space travel, the accelerated conscious/unconsciousness of computing).

My first effort with word-processing (early 80’s):

A kind of automatic, pseudo-rational writing that I associated with word-processing (regarding the latter as a wondrous space of avant-garde writing rather than as a tool for the efficient composition of ordinary documents). I used to write something like the above and then reduce the margins so that the text would appear as this huge long poetic string and then – wretched tree-killer that I am – print the whole thing out on reams and reams of blue and white computer paper. I can recall once taking an additional step – arranging the full stream of text on bits of cardboard on a large hinge-lock wire frame (I was building fences at the time) and splattering the whole thing with red paint (a nod to Pollock). Of course none of this exists any longer.

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