The difference engine that is formed when utopia is placed alongside dystopia is frightening in its scope but appropriately braced by the vertiginous potential in human communities for rapid change. Equally confronting in memory is the inevitable juxtaposition of these categories.
Like any binary opposition, this one is built on transcendence, and in our attempts to capture these orbiting suns we are reminded that they are fictive categories, and absent definition: that this possibility is deferred at the event horizon of our capacious imaginal function.
Imagine a digital portrayal of this event horizon as a non-space. In so doing one has a sense of the depth of the network, the condition of contemporaneity, or atemporaneity: the sixth continent that is emergent from this atemporaneity, generated in cyberspace and based upon informational technologies, inhabits no space at all.
How can the centre hold in this apophatic space? Where the dialectics of inclusion and exclusion, inside and out, have collapsed with a paradoxical flatness – paradoxical, since this is a vertical emergence – the nonterrain does not anticipate a future, or have memory of a past.
The scene of culture is here challenged, replaced by kairos, or an ongoing presentness. This is the scene of culture, this real-time in which the individual is freed of the constraints of temporality and spatiality, but made to lie about their presence by virtue of these facts.
Where the ecological circumstances of the network – it has only emerged on this scale and in this way because there is no “future” in the real human habitat – remind us too, in real-time, of the speed at which the non-future approaches.
Thus, we, the networked individuals, are spurred on to greater action, a great sense that this is the time. We are of a false sense of kairos, a “neokairos”, and so we photograph every moment and stencil it as data across this site of exchange, where sacrality has become diluted by the absence of a centre, and the inability of any single scene to capture the attention of the community.
Into this space erupts a new aesthetic, the aporetic non-solution to the loss of ground on which to set the moral compass, and bound the moral sense. In the network, under the conditions of now, those who know are the heroes. Those who know notice that there is a centre, something is still sacred, that there are still victims, and they remember what abstraction is.
And so we see emerging in the network itself the paradoxical agency associated of this new aesthetic, realised as presence of memory, of staged and restaged scenes of culture on which the future is indicated, and on which we are reminded of the presence of individual and collective memory.
Via the ocularcentric network is re-presented an alterity of the image: the flat death of two dimensionality generated by pictures is rendered, rethought, re-shifted to remind us of its consumption by us, of how this abstraction becomes the imaginal condition of the 3D human agent being-in-the-world.
Abstraction itself may have already been host to a singularity after which this flatness became the habitat for a discourse that is beyond us, and in the world of objects, where an alien intelligence may exist, and where possible bodies huddle.
But you, meanwhile, as object, are corporeal and mobile. You share this sensibility as you continue to hack, to contribute to the flat world of data, and as it (the sensibility) directs you to remember that you are not a tourist.
Instead, you are an irenic agent, obsessed to map memory against photographic record of your passing (through natural and plastic environments), having laid aside armed and threatening violent intrusion in favour of the mediative shoot.
No. Not soldier, nor auteur, you are instead, the finally global-object-citizen, free to explore and create in simultaneity new hypothetical continents that may stabilise not only your vision, but your being, in an action that recuperates reality itself.