Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Algo and Text as a One Time Affair

I have already talked about Algo many times before. From his fractal stories to more recent work, he has been on the cutting edge of text. This doesn't mean that he's not subject to the same failings that all who spend time crafting ideas, or approximations of ideas on text. Nor is he immune from the crisis of confidence in our medium.

This I came to find out when we met up one day in the Bronx. He immediately mentioned that he had seen the most disgusting art show which had left him entirely debilitated. In fact, he hadn't been able to write since. This is when he ranted about text as a holy thing, and text that is not fed to the masses, as is the point of our writings, but text as the singular reader.

I asked him what the hell he was talking about. He explained the art show that some art students had put together. They were dealing with text on several levels. Text on canvas, blackboards and sculptures. But the final blow was text that could only be seen once, and which was then wiped away. It was an iPad, which only one viewer at a time could see. Each had a short story that once read would be deleted forever. 

He stared off into the distance, a man shaken to his core. I explained that it didn't mean anything, that text was just text and was sometimes more. We were lucky to have created the kind that was sometimes more. But I could see my words had no effect on his mood. 

He shook his head, annoyed that I didn't get it and stated that we had been fools to treat text as so sacred when it was only the medium that made it so. He spoke of the coming tsunami of stories written only once. I asked if he had popped any mushrooms recently. He left after that.

I hear that he has given up on writing text that can is meant to last forever. Luckily he was stopped form destroying his infinite creation. He is now working on sending out singular iPads to select readers (most likely oligarchs, so famous he has become) that will be shot-proof (don't ask me how) and will be wiped clean from the iPad's memory once read.

That he's so driven is the only reason I'm thinking about text and how treating it as something sacred could be a big mistake. Especially since the age of the internet has stretched text beyond all that. 

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