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    "random is the new order"

    Great post over at the indispensible City of Sound, wherein Dan Hill takes the emergence of the iPod Shuffle and uses it as a jumping-off point for an essay about the collage zeitgeist that so dominates late-twentieth / early twenty-first culture in general. Hill slots "shuffle mode" (or, more broadly, "the mix") into its rightful position next to such other cultural pursuits as "photomontage, cubism, pop art, tape loops, multitrack recording, hip-hop culture, sampling, mixtapes, Ocean of Sound, filters, quotations, hyperlinking, blogging, Photoshop, layering, aggregators, adaptation, recombination, [and] reappropriation."

    The post also contains a wonderful quote from Brian Eno, taken from this long Wired interview:

    "An artist is now a curator. An artist is now much more seen as a connector of things, a person who scans the enormous field of possible places for artistic attention, and says, What I am going to do is draw your attention to this sequence of things. ... [P]ostmodernist thinking is suggesting is that there isn't one line, there's just a field, a field through which different people negotiate differently. Thus there is no longer such a thing as 'art history' but there are multiple 'art stories.' Your story might involve foot-binding, Indonesian medicine rituals, and late Haydn string quartets, something like that. You have made what seems to you a meaningful pattern in this field of possibilities. You've drawn your own line. This is why the curator, the editor, the compiler, and the anthologist have become such big figures. They are all people whose job it is to digest things, and to connect them together."

    Nicely put. (It's worth nothing that "making a pattern in a field of possibilities" is as good a description as any for what I'm trying to do with my own more experimental writing.)



    Friday, January 28, 2005
    1:02 AM


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