Life these days, it seems, is full of impossible dreams. I find myself reaching back in time to re-assemble a lifetime of experience. Flashing before my eyes, I scroll and scroll and scroll through time, through images and fragments of long, lost, discarded ideas that return to the surface of my memory. In fact, my life now resembles a gesamtdatenwerk, an assemblage of media and trivialisms (a few profound in an absurd kind of way!), tagged and categorized, searchable and indexible, a hyperlinked personal history that spreads itself far and wide across the great expanse of the Net.
Ah yes, my own personal alternate universe where friends drop by for coffee, where you can say whatever springs to mind (and never lose it), where at the click of a button, someone, somewhere in that amorphous space without time zone or physical geography interjects with some meaningless, choice bit of non-sensed diatribe on whatever. We might say we are rolling in the mud of Big Data, giving up our soul and identity to the corporate empire that extracts a few pennies from every ascii character we type into the cybernated world Gibson once described as “bright lattices of logic unfolding across that colorless void.” But what-the, do I really care if they own my every impulse? Are we already beyond the point of no return? Aren’t we all just equal partners in a Big Brotherhood that threatens everyone and no one at the same time? Haven’t we already submitted to a global system that owns everything we think, but that allows us to think with a global brain?
I prefer, for now, to think of my plunge into the sea of social mediation as a deep-sea diving adventure in the collective unconscious of my entire history as a human being, I prefer to think of this journey as a grand experiment while among the living to document and preserve and archive everything (yes, that’s everything!) I stand for. Everything I care about. Every creative impulse I could ever imagine. And yes, and more!
By now it is clear, it is an impossible dream. But who cares? Without dreams what are we? Without dreams, how can we understand the impulse behind our actions? And without memory we have no past and thus have no present, let alone a future. Memory is everything: it is what makes us who we are, it is what injects an ounce of meaning into the duration of time. Memory is time, in archival form. And the cyber-universe is now my file cabinet full of endless drawers where the everyday experience of time and place is scattered here and everywhere, ready to be retrieved, aggregated, linked, tagged, and retold in infinite ways.
What’s so impossible about that?