May 24, 2007

belief systems are clumsy rolling-type creatures

Via Mark Hurst, a very interesting visual poem, or game, or something, called game, game, game, and again game; or belief systems are small clumsy rolling-type creatures.

The author says the game's grunge aesthetic "repels the tyranny (cringe) of clean design and cold smoothness of much of the web/net art." Like the work itself, this gets more confusing the more you think about it. Clean design and cold smoothness are (sometimes) the style of corporate Web design, but grunge has always been close to the heart of netzkunst. And is the phrase, "much of the web/net art", an accident, an illiteracy, or a coded message? What's going on here?

And, ok, belief systems are clumsy rolling-type creatures. Are they? Something like 30% of U.S. adults strongly support the current administration. They think torturing suspects is fine. They think Iraq was a fine idea. A lot of them think evolution shouldn't be taught in school, but Christian prayer should. A lot of them want to lock up doctors who terminate pregnancies. What does the clumsy rolling-type creature tell us about this?

I think this is a limitation of the poetic language games we've seen in recent years: they're neat, but they don't really engage the world. Poetry wasn't always like that. It wasn't like that quite recently.

It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.