Thinking of digital bits as a metaphor to the human experience. both in our three dimensional reality, atoms banded together to create the appearance of matter, but are indeed independent, anomalous, and disorganized, and in our social networks, individualist beings seeking connections and unity. Yet through the cracks in the seemilngly smooth surface creeps alienation, and our brains, corrupted and pixelated, are not so easy to reboot.
Borderline Digital is the tiptoeing between the hype of digital technology and the hypocrisy of primitivist deconstruction. Once you turn that pile of junk we call progress into something useful, you can see where things have gone wrong, you can point out it’s vulnerabilities and tickle it until it cracks. You can plug it all together into a huge digital social network experiment or make a big bonfire in the center of the room and guess the toxins that by the different colored flames, that is… of course… without using google.
Here we are in the year 2006, and we have seen the future, we are post modern and post futuristic, we are freakin’ post post, we are living in the days beyond the space odyssey. The red eye of the soft spoken demented computer running the ship on it’s way to jupiter, is at best, a hippie-geek’s wet dream. In the reality we are waking up to, that voice, is nothing but an automatic answering software running on a server farm in texas, telling us to please hold on the line until our future is available…
The idea of borderline digital evolved through years of back-and-forth between the lifestyle dependency on digital technology and dealing with the effects that transpired in the art I was making. I would rebound from technology for periods of time, and every time the realization would dawn on me, that I cant disconnect completely, not without losing touch with reality, and so I figured if I was going to go down this road with the beast, I might as well make the best out of it.
The banner for this website for example, is a spin off a painting I made back in 1999 titled ‘child female’, when I was desperately trying to figure out how to deal with the fact that I am staring at code for 16 hours every day. And so I tried to connect to that side of me that did things in an analytical systematic way, without really touching a computer. I found some image of a little girl in the paper or somewhere, one that represented a pure and sweet innocence. Copied it onto the canvas, and then threw a ‘circuitrize’ effect on the picture, in the most uninspired way possible, with a straightedge for lines and batteries for circular stamps.
In many ways, I was working like one would work with photoshop filters. Similarly to ascii art, or pixel art, but no digital intervention, just the human brain as a machine. I realize my outlook on reality and the future was, at that moment, nothing more than a gloomy stand-by mode of responding to any information processing requests with error messages. In a desperate move, this was one attempt to make art out of those things that went wrong with my life.
And so the Borderline Digital concept is but a recent manifestation of my love-hate relationship with digital technology. And it goes both ways. On one hand it is the much fetishised border between human and machine that seems to be constantly blurring and yet never disappearing. The crossing into some futuristic digital society that we all seem to both dread and aspire to. On the other hand it is a clinical definition for the tech-brain personality disorder. Lacking a clear separation between both worlds, it’s over-analytic functions turn self destructive, and when it malfunctions it helplessly awaits an administrator to reboot it.
Another trial at this subject was this text , and later animated into a little ‘commercial’ for digital technology withdrawal. It explored the idea of science, as a self defining bubble. The idea I was trying to illustrate (and I apologize if this beating you over the hear with it, but sometimes im not sure how clear this comes through) was that in a philosophical-quantum-mechanics and a very-special-relativity sense, by testing and defining reality, we are changing the making of the world we are living in to fit our limited mechanisms of comprehending the results, and more importantly, in the process, we are losing whatever magic is left in simply existing.