online: 18 november 2003

9 november 2003 the new in the old

irrationally I stop walking by the river and turn aside
to enter a lit doorway in the wall of an old warehouse
inside are several exhibits, and two people

net objects

hector serrano
victor vina

the first I look at is a modern casket or jewel case
that emits a live printout of personal contact ads

man seeking woman
woman seeking man
man seeking man
woman seeking woman

there are other exhibits (you can see them all at if it's operating)

a cuckoo clock that gives the latest news
a walking stick that shows the weather report
and others I don't remember as I write this a few days later

but the surprise is to find these new things,
computer presences
inside the structures of things very old
the things you find in fairy tales

this is something I did not expect in my 50 years acquaintance with the presence of computing and the expectation of a magic that is both rational and new

Is this concealment in the old a new subtlety or is it loss of nerve?

Perhaps it is both - the integration of new-and-old in the postmodern - the surprising way in which a new stage of historical reality can contradict what preceded it... ?

what's new


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