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    The Art Happens Here

    by KEVIN BEWERDORF

    Here's some snippets from an interview with Kevin Bewerdorf. The full interview is here. I'm almost speechless about how truly awesome it is to hear these words coming from an artist.

    There seems to be a genuine interest in some of your recent work in locating or describing how the spiritual could interface with the digital. For example, Spirit Surfers surf club and the "Stock Photography Watermarks as the Presence of God" photo essay on Art Fag City. Is that accurate and, if so, what conclusions have you come to (if any)?

    Well, the internet has hardly changed our physical lives at all, but it has drastically changed our spiritual lives. I think this perspective goes largely undiscussed when the web is viewed through less pertinent but more common sociological and technological lenses. While the internet is a physical body of wires and chips, the web is a shared non-physical realm of experience that requires many aspects of spiritual faith to interact with. We post and commune on a plane of information that we cannot touch or see. We tend to wander the web in private, confronting the massive database alone each day. We are inclined to use the web for the satisfaction of our emotional and intellectual needs rather than for our physical needs. We make pilgrimage to the same web sites at regular and repeated intervals, paying homage to them by contributing or partaking, and then we move on to our other daily needs like eating and sleeping. But all the while, we have faith that this plane of information we have become so dependent on is tangible enough to provide a worthwhile connectedness. For many of us, the web has become almost sacred, its ritual use is the embodiment of our spiritual needs. So I suppose that my conclusion is this: surfing the web can be a fulfilling spiritual experience and a direct interaction with a transcendent reality.

    In the accompanying text to your latest collection of music, Babes, you stress the virtues of struggle and mere survival in making music. Is this something specific to music or could you extend this stress to creative work, in general?

    Struggle has not been a very popular theme in the American art of my lifetime. My generation is better summed up in the word "whatever," an attitude that opposes all forms of struggle. I think we are headed for a digital middle ages when struggle will become more relevant. The surge of awareness that the web has caused in us is sweeping across the marketplace like a leveling tsunami, and we're starting to drown in this sensation of information surplus. Not much seems to be rising to the surface and an endless number of self corporations are toiling away in obscurity. The general confusion and helplessness that many are experiencing over what is to be done with this massive flood of information are indications that the digital middle ages have already begun, and that these times will be about great suffering and struggle for all artists and consumers. I'm not sure how long this plague will last, but luckily after a flood there is usually a blossoming.

    Thu, Sep 3, 2009  Permanent link

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    Wildcat     Fri, Sep 4, 2009  Permanent link
    A very good read indeed, thanks for this Megan, however in the ensuing paragraph he says:

    "
    Time really isn't part of my awareness when I am surfing. With surfing, instead of being bound to a time and space dependent experience (like sitting through the linear duration of a movie or a song or walking around the perimeter of a sculpture) we wander in a landscape that is without temperature, without light, without size, without shape, and without time"


    I think that as mind machine interfaces become ubiquitous that particular aspect, namely sensory experience, temperatures, consistencies, light ,size and so on will become as much a part of our web surfing as "real" life. at that point I think that the whole dependence vs independence debate should be re-opened.
    When sensory impressions become the embedded norm it is highly probable that the interaction between the digital and the spiritual will transform into one continuous flow of sense impressions, eventually enlarging our minds to encompass the web as a whole subspecies of our inner virtualization.
     
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