What will survive us? What will we have to say to the future?
The internet seems so much a present moment hustle, whether everyone speaking at once or everyone trying to sell something now, this second, that it seems like it has nothing to say to the future. Also, there is the question of what will survive, what will still be online (and if not online, will it be anywhere).
Before the digital age it was harder to have a voice, though not necessarily any more difficult to be heard. And, once something was written down, such as a letter, or printed and maybe even bound there was a chance that the physical artifact would outlast the writer and be discovered by someone years later.
I present this blog not only to speak to you now (in which case I suppose I should be frustrated because that “you” is a very small number of people) but to lay down a legacy of what we were doing with poetry and sound, how technology both inspired and foiled us, and maybe how what we did leads to what some future artist is doing.
So what happens to our words? Will these posts be eradicated forever when WordPress folds? Will they be deleted even before then? Partly I maintain this as a free blog (free to me) so that it might outlast me. Once I am unable to pay, because I’m dead, I have to assume the site will vanish or be reduced to a small portion of what it was.
I (that is, this particular person writing this post) do not necessarily deserve to have a legacy. Maybe even the artists I’ve mentioned do not. But the idea of what we’re all working on—the recording and fusion of sound and poetry and our explorations of the process—certainly does.
Interesting questions are posed for all of us bloggers. What becomes of our words and ideas? Do we have a legacy? Is there any way to guarantee there will be something for a future audience or scholars to explore? Will there be any connection between generations? Will historians of art find a trace of us?
I’m sure most people don’t give a shit about past or future and what we’ve found of their lives and art is just an accident (or that their concern rarely extends beyond vanity). It doesn’t seem to be an essential component in the human makeup. I am one of those historically inclined oddities. I sort of want the future to know about me and I definitely want them to know about all of us collectively.
If nothing else, I want them to know that we tried to do something all other generations have done and that we had not yet become nothing more than passive consumers. And that they might still be like us, that the corporations have not totally destroyed the human spirit and the will to create.