Long Live the Super-participant

Ian Aleksander Adams

Ian Aleksander Adams is an obsessed collector, a prankster, and a true digital native in every possible way. He has moved beyond issues of copyright, privacy, and anything else that smacks of the bygone legalities of intellectual property. If it’s online it’s fair game. That’s the motto.

Adams is the idealized representation of what I refer to as the super-participant, wildly redistributing information across the Net. He even uses Tumblr as a verb. Adam’s social media work is emblematic of what Douglas Rushkoff refers to as the eternal present, everything compressed into the now, each instant in time archived and indexed, an exhilarating realization that everything can be captured and retrieved. That is, if anyone has time to devour it all. Or perhaps it’s just a matter of absorption through the senses, as Adams playfully suggests in this scrolling gif animation from his online project Friendster Friday:


We live in a global society that precariously straddles the line between the utopic exchange of information and the dark side of its exploitation (Big Data). We can either revert to the Orwellian Nightmare, or we can boldly move into the future of an information age that embraces the zeal of personal freedom and digital sharing. I see the super-participants such as Ian Aleksander Adams leading the charge.