THE TOTAL MOUNTAIN (2014)

THE TOTAL MOUNTAIN (2014) by Jennifer Walshe for voice and film (with sound). Commissioned by the Donaueschinger Musiktage. 40'

Every artistic movement from the beginning of time is an attempt to figure out a way to smuggle more of what the artist thinks is reality into the work of art. Zola: “Every proper artist is more or less a realist according to his own eyes.” Braque’s goal: “To get as close as I could to reality.”

– David Shields, Reality Hunger

But here I’ve only discussed levels of self and identity looking inward. What makes 2012 so much more interesting than 1912 is that we now have this thing called the Internet in our lives, and this Internet thingy has, in the most McLuhanistic sense, become a true externalization of our interior selves: our memories, our emotions, so much of our entire sense of being and belonging. The Internet has taken something that was once inside us and put it outside of us, has made it searchable, mashable, stealable and tinkerable. The Internet, as described by William Gibson, is a massive consensual hallucination, and at this point in history, not too many people would disagree.

– Douglas Coupland, “On Supersurrealism”

Aesthetic experiences and objects are now dividing into the binary categories of downloadable and non-downloadable.

– Douglas Coupland, “On Craft”

The popular preconscious…those ever-shifting contents which we may reasonably suppose can be called to mind by the majority of individuals in a given society at a particular moment in history; that which is ‘common knowledge.’

– Victor Burgin, The End of Art Theory

But the Internet, with its swift proliferation of memes, is producing more extreme forms of modernism than modernism ever dreamed of….this type of content is about the quantity of language that surrounds us, and about how difficult it is to render meaning from such excesses…These ways of writing—word processing, databasing, recycling, appropriating, intentionally plagiarizing, identity ciphering, and intensive programming, to name just a few—have traditionally been considered outside the scope of literary practice…..We don’t read: we skim, parse, bookmark, copy, paste, and forward. We become information hoarders and amateur archivists who frantically collect, store, and move artifacts that we’ll never interact with.

– Kenneth Goldsmith “The Writer as Meme Machine”