a 19-Oct-2019 11:39:07 AM
thinking of trying out an experiment where I write for a set amount of time at a sepcific time each week, thinking saturday mornings might be good because it’s a time I often want to reflect in some way or just have some sort of leisurely artistic output in a reflective manner. I really like writing stream of consciousness of course and I plan doing that here but in some ways I’m hoping that writings like this one will produce ideas that I can take and format into longer form pieces like essays or papers. I really want to start some more formal writing practices and write some essays papers etc. as part of my personal artistic/academic practice.
I want to talk about some things I saw on twitter from frank lantz and milan later but first maybe I’ll warm up a bit and just write about my time in Athens so far and my thoughts on it
Overall my time here has been good but I think I still have a lot to figure out. I still find myself spending a lot of time on the internet and wasting time and being shut indoors etc. which is something I wanted to avoid. This isn’t something I want to chastise myself for but rather view it as a symptom of my experience and try and see where it comes from and why it’s happening. The biggest thing that seems to be cementing itself as the truth is that I have a difficult time being left without any formalized/external structures when trying to work. I find it hard when 100 percent of everything has to come from me. Although I think I am pretty adept at creating my own little structures for being productive and working, the overall long term viability of them is hurt by the fact that they are only backed up by my own motivations which while very prolific are often unfocused and overeager for the simple act of motion.
On the flipside, the one place where I do have a sense of discrete structure, that being writing music and doing sound for Dan, has completely taken a back seat which I am finding more and more troubling. I’m hoping my current plan to work professional goals into my deadline system will help this. Although again something to remember is that often, and especially these days, my perception of things is quite flawed and far off from the perception of others. While i think people are feeling one way or another about me, about the work I’m doing etc. they often out of the blue demonstrate that they are feeling completely differently than I am imagining them to be. So while in my mind Dan is growing doubtful of me and my skills, I really don’t know how he is feeling and it’s much more important to simply focus on doing a bit of work for him if that’s what I’m really concerned about.
This bit of feeling the discordance between my personal perception of others and their actual feelings has grown stronger here in Athens due to my somewhat isolated state. As I communicate over text with no social signifiers as to tone and purpose, I find that I am continually narrating my own version of online social interactions based on my current emotional state. This was very present last week when I was texting a new friend here, sure that I had become over eager and annoying, and just about resigned to the fact that I’d fucked it up, when at that exact moment she invited me out that night. My perception of a situation is so incredibly malleable by everything else I’m thinking about life in general that It is at times almost entirely fabricated.
In this way technology presents an interesting phsycological universe simulation that is in a way baudrillard esque. Through personal nueroseis and social isolation I become the achitect of a new dimension of hyperreality in which the world revolves around my existence as a failure and social paraiah. This world exists within the frame of my own perception of everything, and its creation is allowed and catalized by the existence of the utter vagueness of the written word. I think I am now understand more than every the postmodern idea of the unreliability of the written word. The written word alone is so incredibly fickle everywhere, but especially especially when it comes to the short, mundane, comedic leanings of interposonal communications over instant text message platforms.
I’ve already noticed the intersting pheonomena when the order of familiarity is reversed. That is to say when you get to know someone very well in person, and then later when you leave physical proximity, begin to communicate more extensively over text. In these situations I often find the person that i know quite well, sounds foreign over text. This usually presents itself in the feeling over overly formal syntax punctuation ect. It feels as though I’m talking with the personal secretary for the corporation of a friend, rather than taling to them directly.
In this way too text presents a massive distortion of language from its spoken form. While conversation moves in beats of seconds and fractions thereof, online text moves at slower pace dicated by the participants. Certainly this has always been the case to some extent as long as written corresponce has existed, but online instant text differs from letters in 2 major ways.
Firstly, the response time of a letter is much more mysetrious and veiled. Presumably much of the response gap in a letter is due to the technical aspect of sending the physical thing. Because online text is instant, and profusely and compusively timestamped, we know exactly how long it took someone to respond (and perhaps how long they chose to take to respond). Often times we can see when they have read the message, but haven’t chosen to respond yet. We can see when they have started typing a message to us, but never sent it. This level of microscopic awareness of our correspondant’s writing process helps us form our narrative immediatley, before even recieving the information of the text itself.
This leads to what I percieve as the second grand divide in instant communication platforms: they are fragmented. A letter (due to technical practicalities) lays out many things in a list or prose or poetry, and poses as well as answers many questions all at once, on the terms of the author and at their traditional written pace. Conversly, instant text conversations exist as a dialogue thread. They present a series of questions and responses, trading one by one between the correspondants. The pace of this calculated tennis match carries many implicit and explicit consequences. Unlike speech, the tempo of text conversation may mean that simple small talk or discussion happens over the period of a course of hours or even days, rather than seconds and minutes. And the pace at which you choose to send your instantly recieved responses can carry implications throughout the communication as a whole. If in every interaction one person takes 2 hours to respond to each section of the thread, while the other takes 20 minutes, there begins to form an implicit power balance, a suggestion of an aloof attitude from one person, countered by an overeager one from the other.
Whether or not this is a conscious purpuseful decision isn’t necesarilly relevant to this overall exploration because what we’re interested in here is the emotional perception of the participants, rather than some ultimate “reality”. However, one certainly shouldn’t underestimate the existence of shockingly explicit social rules about how long you should wait before texting back in situations like flirting or meeting new friends. In this way, while texting in a way implicitly purports itself to be ulttra modern and progressive, it has created a microcosm of downright elizabethan social interactions and constructs. The existence of this larger and widely understood web of rules compounds and feeds back into our anxious personal narratives of what’s happening on the other side of our text conversations.
– add some stuff about how outside of the US people use whatsapp to do voice snipped communication - weird hybrid of speech and text. at the micro level it’s the pace of speech, at the macro level its the pace of texting, but also something about hearing the speech also changes the pace and formality/setting and style of the convesation as a whole