Cool (but it's a little weird)

Though the web offers us an abundance of important, entertaining and useful information, occasionally it shows itself as a dumping ground for old crap. Quite a bit of that crap, unsurprisingly, comes from me.

Case in point, this excerpt from an article by Susan G. Strother in the November 2, 1997 edition of the Orlando Sentinel:

With a click of the mouse, William Chinda caused images to flicker across the computer screen.

He saw a shopping mall, a man in Mickey Mouse ears, the same man laughing hysterically and waving his arms. The frenetic scenes, titled ”Inertia: An Examination of the Narcoleptic Cyborg,” lasted for several minutes until William moved on.

”This is pretty cool,” said the Cypress Creek High School junior. ”But it’s a little weird.”

Welcome to cyber-culture, where the computer is as much a part of art as traditional paints and canvas. The Orlando Museum of Art this weekend is home to more than 50 pieces of computer-driven artwork – composed by people who call themselves ”digital artists” – in Art & Technology ’97: Beyond the Virtual Edge.

Really? I have the opportunity to make a statement that will somehow encapsulate the importance of technology on the future of creative endeavors and the best I could come up with was THAT?

When I was 16, I desperately wanted to do something with my life that would involve art and computers, and I remember really looking forward to that exhibition. Unfortunately, what I found was fairly uninteresting, and the Sentinel reporter caught me completely off guard.

Of course, when I did know exactly what to say, the results were not much better. This is a letter to the editor, published on February 3, 1999, in the Sentinel:

FOR NEARLY 10 years, I have lived in the suburban wasteland midway between downtown Orlando and Disney World. What I see every day driving these neighborhoods is disturbing: traffic jams, lack of trees and a general feeling of artificiality. It reminds me very much of Los Angeles – a city full of people who found the American dream in nice cars and suburban houses but lost touch with the city.

Light rail won’t guarantee that Orlando won’t become New Los Angeles, but it may just slow the process by stopping the dreaded sprawl monster that is responsible for the decline of American cities. William Chinda, ORLANDO

That was off the charts on the pretentiousness scale. It actually reads more like an artist’s statement (I’m pretty sure it was adapted from one) than anything else.

At the time, I remember reading nothing but architecture magazines and articles about new urbanism. I also spent my days slogging through traffic to get to school, dreaming of the day when I could get out of Orlando. To me, the city felt like a backwater that would be left even further behind without any serious reconsideration of its transit scheme, which was being vehemently debated at the time. A decade later, things still seem contentious and unclear.

Before the Internet, I remember going to the library and being amazed by the vast number of drawers that held nothing but microfiche of newspaper articles. The machinery was so damn complicated, I never quite figured out how to work it, having to bug the librarians for help anytime I wanted to look for something.

But now I can find any article I want, “with a click of the mouse.”

Unfortunately for me, I won’t be able to write a blog 10 years from now complaining how my terribly pretentious and nonsensical writing from now is still on Google.

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Posted on December 29, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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