Ruth & Alexander
I fear we live in endless round ups of culture, never creating or engaging a work as a piece of art or performance in it’s own right, but only through it’s ‘listability’. This is never more apparent than at the New Year. Every comment is reduced to a re-playable sound bite; a quote, with every iteration, unclothed further to it’s most titillating and scandalous stance. Every punchline – shaved and measured and shaved again for the optimal power : time ratio and studio laughter succinctness. They are repeated, as panel-show best of funny peoples’ funny moments, and further repeated still in syndication as the entire thing is boiled down to a soundtracked pan of glowing, sweating teeth. Broadcasters play clips out of context from other broadcasts and films that we haven’t watched and won’t bother now as we saw the clip, and another array of teeth will mouth lovingly about the performances in Vineable snips.
Has this always been the case or was it exacerbated by the end of the century? The end of the millenium? One thousand years for us to round up, endlessly, counting down the best of beheadings, most memorable moments of treason and celebrity nip slips through the ages. Baudrillard warned us of this point, this Beyond of reality and history, when the things repeating become so far removed from themselves that we enter a hyperreality of contextless, detatched repetitions. He foresaw buzzfeed and universal understanding through the simulacra of hashtags and searchable 200 character metadescriptions of events. The top ten picks of the best of bits.
Out of 2015, I watch grinning back at teeth sparkling in hard-cuts from news headlines to epic fails in 20seconds round up, and into 2016 I contemplate lists and make my own lists of what to watch and read and think about, to change about myself, to diet, and fantasise about, to go, to know. Every -ism under the world in ten snappy gifs featuring BoyBandnumber1 for 2016. If I don’t get a chance to do any of it though, it will come around again, the Lunar New Year in February, and then more lists and round ups and restarts in the HAPPY NEW TAX Year. And what is a year, when we work all year round, and don’t celebrate the seasons, or the gods and we don’t sleep and shop all the time? We can round up each day, each hour each twitter, facebook and tag. We can list our favourite lists of yesterdays lists, the roundup of the roundup teeth clackering, tinny laughing funny people show. Happy 2016. A list for your 2016 before it get’s superceded by a list for the new new 2016, by rounding up the lists of 2015: