AUDIO CURATION. With so much automated digital curation, what would it look like if we followed our own curiosities?
Faye [00:00:28] This is chapter two of TrancePose Physical Media Access as an Act of Curiosity, a self-guided self-help program unleashing your own curiosity by ejecting the algorithm and wandering the decks and the stacks. I'm Faye here to guide you. We find ourselves among the book stacks. A used bookshop. How do we know what to read? A book club, a reading list, a year recited over and over as a warning. What do we find when we're not looking for anything? An old yellowed copy of George Orwell's 1984 sticks out on the shelves. It smells of old book must, mold. 1984, published in 1949. However, Another 1984 was published nine years prior by Eileen Blair. First wife of George Orwell. She published the poem End of the Century 19841, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of her high school. The poem was published in Sunderland High School's magazine the year before Eileen met Orwell. Is it a coincidence that nine years later, Orwell, after having met Eileen and learned of her work, published a novel called 1984 with little acknowledgment of Eileen, who often served as his first editor. Here is Eileen Blair's end of the century, 1984:
Synthetic winds have blown away
Material dust, but this one room
Rebukes the constant violet ray
And dustless sheds a dusty doom.
Wrecked on the outmoded past
Lie North and Hillard, Virgil, Horace,
Shakespeare’s bones are quiet at last.
Dead as Yeats or William Morris.
Have not the inmates earned their rest?
A hundred circles traversed they
Complaining of the classic quest
And, each inevitable day,
Illogically trying to place
A ball within an empty space.
Every loss is now a gain
For every chance must follow reason.
A crystal palace meets the rain
That falls at its appointed season.
No book disturbs the lucid line
For sun-bronzed scholars tune their thought
To Telepathic Station 9
From which they know just what they ought:
The useful sciences; the arts
Of telesalesmanship and Spanish
As registered in Western parts;
Mental cremation that shall banish
Relics, philosophies and colds –
Worlds have died that they may live,
May plume again their fairest feathers
And in their clearest songs may give
Welcome to all spontaneous weathers.
Bacon’s colleague is called Einstein,
Huxley shares Platonic food,
Violet rays are only sunshine
Christened in the modern mood.
In this house if in no other
Past and future may agree,
Each herself, but each the other
In a curious harmony,
Finding both a proper place
In the silken gown’s embrace.
End of the century 1984, written by Eileen Blair. Writing this poem in 1934, Eileen imagines a harmony between the past, present and future, a past that could balance a dark future if the poets and the artists that she so loved could be remembered, she was optimistic, perhaps unlike her future husband, George Orwell. In his depiction of a dystopian envisioning of 1984, a time when our thoughts are policed. And our day to day lives dictated by a computer screen. Devices like theTeleScreen, SpeakWrite, Memory Hole are now contained in smartphones. And yet 1984 was not meant to be a prediction, but rather a warning. 35 years after it was published, Ridley Scott directed an advertisement called 19842, introducing the Apple Macintosh personal computer. The advertising campaign was meant to depict Apple as a more democratic, accessible computer for the people. The advertising agency Chiat/Day of Venice, California conceptualized that “there are monster computers lurking in big business and big government that know everything from what motels you stayed at to how much money you have in the bank. But at Apple, we are trying to balance the scales by giving individuals the kind of computer power once reserved for corporations,” framing the personal computer as a source of power for individuals. In his 1983 Apple keynote address, Steve Jobs said the following about the commercial, “It is now 1984. It appears IBM wants it all. Apple is perceived to be the only hope to offer IBM a run for its money. Dealers initially welcoming IBM with open arms now fear an IBM dominated and controlled future. They are increasingly turning back to Apple as the only force that can ensure their future freedom. IBM wants it all and is aiming its guns on its last obstacle to industry control, Apple. Will Big Blue dominate the entire computer industry? The entire information age? Was George Orwell right?” About 1984 suggesting individual freedom through the purchase of a personal computer.
1984 Ad [00:08:35] So today we celebrate. Write your history. A garden. But each one. So from. The. That's. This is all part of my plan that any speech or.
Faye [00:09:05] Turning visual into audio. The commercial opens in a dystopian industrial setting not unlike the 1982 film Blade Runner, also directed by Ridley Scott. An unnamed heroine, an athlete runs among these industrial, faceless workers in an Olympian running uniform, bright red shorts, a white tank top with the outline of the Apple Macintosh personal computer running away from police chasing her. She holds a sledgehammer and throws it at the screen, showing Big Brother celebrating the control of information. This Big Brother, speaking to his audience says…
1984 Ad [00:10:02] Just want to win one race on one course. How? The shadows. We shall.
Faye [00:10:20] The VOICEOVER says.
1984 Ad [00:10:22] On January 24, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh and you'll see why 1984 won't be like 1984.
Faye [00:10:32] A prediction made in 1984. The music, Maurice Deebank, So Serene off his 1984 album Inner Thought Zone, a poem written in 1934, a novel in 1949, a personal computer commercial in 1984. We've zigged and zagged from the book found on a bookshelf in our used bookshop. What else will you find among stacks of physical media? This concludes chapter two from Let's Get Physical Media in TrancePose Physical media access as an Act of Curiosity. Chapter Two.