Tracking the Ever-present Present


If we could only catch up with the wave of information… we would at last be in the now… to digest and comprehend [its] totality would amount to having reality on tap, as if from a fantastic media control room capable of monitoring everything, everywhere, all at the same time.  – Douglas Rushkoff, Present Shock

Yes, it is here in the underground studio bunker where I find myself orchestrating what Douglas Rushkoff calls appropriately, “reality on tap.” In the post reality, this seems to me to be the perfect description of what it is I do. One is never sure! In Rushkoff’s world of the ever-present present, the always on now, the continuously scrolling moment, this seems the obvious way to conduct a performance, or even write a book, or compose a piece of music. Like Morton Feldman’s long durational pieces, a delicate stillness lasting for hours and hours and hours, the eternal stasis of the ever-present present is clearly the best way to frame our networked sense of out-of-time.

For the past two years I have been hard at work creating the media control room for opening the valve of the reality on tap: directly out into the 3rd space. It is an impossible task, I must confess, without an army of software engineers. But within the constraints of my own meager means here in the bunker, I have managed to assemble an impressive battery of instruments, devices, and exotic cabling schemes to carry out this impossible dream. Here is the first semi-decent video piece to emanate from the tap:

Now, keep in mind: this is just a test. A sketch mind you. I have no illusions of grandeur at this point, but if there is one thing I am passionately concerned with, it’s to avoid the trappings of pop, even the trappings of most so called avant-electro-music. I want to achieve the pulsing stasis of the out-of-time current of reality on tap, that streaming torrent of information that just keeps on flowing through our devices and through our collective brain. No matter what, relentlessly. I want to find a rhythmic scheme that is pulsing and pure and never ending. I want to create something that has no beginning and no end: a continuous middle that is cut in any particular spot to create a duration.

For in the ever-present present reality of non-stop information flowing from the tap, we can take pleasure in enjoying the motion, the speed, the texture, the velocity. What else is there to do?