Sunday, January 30, 2005

DJ Spooky On Loops Of Perception

DJ Spooky, who has just performed in Sydney as part of the Festival, made the following observation as part of an interesting essay:

we use our minds for so many different things that we can only guess at how complex the process of thinking is. Outside, it's a different scenario. Each human act, each human expression, has to be translated into some kind of information for other people to understand it: Some call it the "mind/brain" interface, and others, like Descartes, call it a kind of perceptual (and perpetual) illusion. In our day and age, the basic idea of how we create content in our minds is so conditioned by media that we are in a position unlike any other culture in human history: Today, this interior rhythm of words, this inside conversation, expresses itself in a way that can be changed once it enters the "real" world. When recorded, adapted, remixed, and uploaded, expression becomes a stream unit of value in a fixed and remixed currency that is traded via the ever shifting currents of information moving through the networks we use to talk with one another. It wasn't for nothing that Marx said so long ago that "all that is solid melts into air" - perhaps he was anticipating the economy of ideas that drives the network systems we live and breathe in today. In different eras, the invocation of a deity, or prayers, or mantras, were all common forms, shared through cultural affinities and affirmed by people who spoke the code - the language of the people sharing the story.

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