There are many things about the modern world that are nearly miraculous, in their way. Take the iPhone, just as a random example: it’s pretty ridiculous that a little 3×4-inch black slab has more computing power than the best desktops of a decade ago. And that we can pull crystal-clear music from the air with it, and update our stock portfolios with it – we can do so much so easily that we are at the point now where we get irritated if we can’t immediately pull music or data from the air.
The flip side to all of this, of course, is that we ourselves are now just data sets, in a lot of ways, and we are inviting huge corporations into our lives with startling abandon, betting that the benefits will outweigh the scrutiny. (Thus far, this seems to be the case, although Facebook is now a publicly-traded company. Just saying.) And Twitter has for a couple of years now offered something called the Twitter Geolocation Service, which is mercifully not the default setting but is very easy to turn on, and which will display your location to everyone who reads that Tweet. Which brings up a whole other stack of ideas, vaguely Beat-generation in their way, like “Are we where our signal is?” (Okay, maybe a sort of Beat/Kubrick hybrid.) Things have changed, both on the surface and beneath. Blue Sky Gallery has a pair of shows up at the moment asking lots of those questions and coming to some surprising conclusions. (FULL ARTICLE: Graham W. Bell, Oregon ArtsWatch)