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    digital hoarding

    When I was first musing about digital hoarding, over on Twitter, my associate @debcha sent me hunting for a piece "in favour of digital hoarding" by Kenneth Goldsmith, the guy behind the mega-hoard we know as UbuWeb. So I went hunting.

    I found this interview (PDF)—not sure if it was the piece she was discussing, but it had some interesting food for thought in it.

    For one thing, there's this:

    In a time when everything is available, what matters is the curation of that material. Those who can make sense of this overload are emerging as the real winners. Look at Boing Boing. They don't make anything, instead they point to cool things. They are curators; they filter. And the fact of them pointing to something far outweighs the importance of the artifact at which they are pointing.

    And also this:

    Today we have all become collectors, whether or not we've acknowledged it. The act of acquisition on a massive scale—which is what we all do in the digital age—and the management of that information has turned us all into unwitting archivists. Archiving is the new folk art: something that is widely practiced and has unconsciously become integrated into a great many people's lives.

    On the other hand, Goldsmith also speaks with candor about what seems to me to be the horrific downside of this sort of unwitting archival activity:

    I actually don't care about aesthetics or music at all anymore. Now all I care for is quantity. I've got more music on my drives than I'll ever be able to listen to in the next ten lifetimes. As a matter of fact, records that I've been craving for years are all unlistened to. I'll never get to them either, because I'm more interested in the hunt than I am in the prey. The minute I get something, I just crave more.

    Further reading: Kenneth Goldsmith discusses filesharing at The Wire; powerful counterpoints from musicians/businessmen David Keenan and Chris Cutler.

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    Sunday, August 12, 2012
    9:02 PM


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