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.

Categories: Random comments | Tags: , | 1 Comment

About swampmessiah

Real name, Michael Myshack. I was born in 1957 (pre-Sputnik), graduated high school in 1975, and then slowly began coming to life. I am self-taught in the arts as well as most other things: drawing and babbling since a very early age; started painting seriously in 1975; began writing shortly thereafter, but began writing in earnest circa 1977 (beginning with poetry); first started recording poems and music and other sounds in 1996. Other than an individual showing of drawings at the Tweed Museum at the University of Minnesota Duluth in 1983 and being an instigator and participant of a group exhibit of drawing at the Duluth Art Institute in 1985, I have no professional or academic pedigree. In other words, I have a day job. I've been with someone since 1985. Our children were born in 1991 and 1996.

One thought on “Legacy

  1. Not knowing why we creatively do things is part of the essence of creativity I think. When you get off the bus at your destination that may well be the end of your journey, or you may need to catch another. If the place you are travelling to is fugitive in nature then you are potentially never going to arrive. It is this travelling, this journey that is the real legacy I think. I don’t just read Byron, I want to know of him, about him, the ‘why’ of him. When I create I am aware that I reveal myself, expose something of who I am. I don’t think I could write a poem and say “That’s it, I’m done, I’ve arrived.”
    A finished poem or painting, may well be able to live IT’S OWN LIFE in isolation as a work, but it’s also a connection, more importantly it is a connection to the creator, not a religious creator, but the artist, who is inevitably a creator. You create a poem, I say you’ve created a small world. I’m never completely sure why I create anything, poets blame a muse, artists inspiration, but all are on this journey in search of a fugitive thing. I quote you from your post “but to lay down a legacy “…..exactly, you are laying down your journey, the legacy itself. There is a contribution we can all make without really knowing why. It interesting to lift a paving slab and watch an ant colony. This is another reason why I tend to lift the paving slab that seems to have been laid above all of us.. The ants don’t ‘know’ why they do what they do, only that they are programmed to do it for the greater good. All art seems to work like this, contributing without never really knowing why. Oh they might say that they want to paint a picture of a flower, but the creative spark comes from somewhere, it is I think already on a journey, the spark I mean, even before it arrives. Each golden thread creates the web, not the internet, the web I refer to was already in place well before the internet. If this sounds religious it isn’t meant to, but I think we need to explore the inner universe as much as the outer one. I think you are indeed creating a legacy, one that is no more losable than is that of the Mona Lisa for example. People will know we were here. There are, thanks to yourself and everyone else, just far too many connections already out there in the form of artistic work each one an interconnecting conduit operating on so many different levels. It will survive both online and off, it already is doing just that.

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