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i think the most dangerous part of silicon valley solutionism is in temporary languages. social media tends to be based in an established language: twitter had writing, instagram photography, tiktok has video. the apps start by doing one thing, and then expand from there.

however, in a ‘greater scheme of things’ context, what this really creates is a vacuum where the same sentiments can be expressed repeatedly without having any real-world consequences. cause and effect, but without the effect.

throughout the social media evolution, at least in the united states, only the occupy wall street protests temporarily shifted the notion of what protesting was in the US. (while the recent black lives matter protests have been more extreme, they are nothing new from a tactical standpoint.) with occupy, the state didn’t know what to do, the media didn’t know how to report, and so people actually paid attention.

what we see now on social media is almost the opposite: the endlessness of disjointed demands with no central thesis or action to speak of. it’s a bunch of dominoes, still packed together tightly in a box. if anything, the repetition from one system of language to the next only dilutes the integrity of ‘opposition voices’ in western media, as they appear to be more clout-chasing than ardently working toward any actual change.

so of course no leftist sentiment will be taken seriously, especially after bernie lost in 2020. there will be small wins in local government, and it will be these changes that, for now, matter most. because online has been fully consumed by a spectacle, and like everything else in the US, has such fervent actors that being a part of it passively isn’t really possible anymore.

but, the people who perpetuate this are the nucleus of the last great hope of the American economy, and neoliberalism has little to no care for ideologies to the left of its own. so this shithole media sphere of paid pundits and revisionist history will be the facade of this country for the next generation. it’s a grim fucking future.

the most frustrating thing about this moment in time is how the USA is so supersaturated with the worst combinations of misery & opportunism that it’s so difficult to try and create anything that may be hopeful—much less share that on a platform like the internet.

perhaps that was the goal all along, with the technology being so obviously full of potential to re-structure the concept of global power, that the internet needed to accelerate through phases until it became a cesspool of disinformation & junk

either way, these days feel like a frustrated calm before an inevitable storm.

i have no clue what to do. art is either meaningless or a commodity at this point—this feeling of purposelessness is rampant & it won’t take much of a wind in the wrong direction to turn everything bad fast.

Briefly

Colin Smith is an artist and art director based in Los Angeles. His interdisciplinary practice focuses on methods of assembly to represent human nature and its relationship to media, language, time, and systems of control.

To quickly get in touch, e-mail hello@.

Colophon

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