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Tom Sherman on Sat, 20 Nov 1999 23:41:46 +0100 (CET)

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The key to new media is interactivity and the basis of interactivity is
cause and effect.  Being able to make a difference, even the tiniest
difference, is what people want.  They will accept, even relish, being a
tiny or very small speck of difference in a world of gigantic, all
pervasive sameness. 

When we step back from direct person-to-person experience, our effect on
the world is reduced in scale.  It is like we get excited about being
insects again--being able to inflict mosquito bites--but we would be so
much more impressive if we could deliver west nile fever or something
really deadly like malaria.  I want to be a vector so when I make my
little dent (bite), it has big, magnificent consequences. 

We like interactive media experiences.  We like to be able to make a
little dent in our reality.  Interacting with the world helps us form and
reform our identity.  Some are satisfied constructing their identity with
cheap kits, like a handful of choices we can click on in a menu, or the
inane questions of a public opinion survey.  Remember Mr. and Mrs. Potato

Cheap kits don't help us to refine our identities.  We need to be
recognized, documented, insulted, assaulted and attacked to sense our
presence in the world. 

There is nothing worse than facing indifference head-on, and realizing you
are being ignored--that you are invisible, totally inconsequential.  If
any difference that makes a difference is information, then indifference
is the opposite of information.  In the information age the struggle is
between difference and indifference. 

Hence the deadly little bites of terrorism.  All little bites that make a
difference are problematic in the state of indifference, whether they maim
or kill or gum up the works or simply manifest in unorthodox behaviour. 

Tom Sherman


(nt) Nerve Theory will present an updated version of "Shades of Catatonia"
at Stuttgarter Filmwinter, Wand 5 e.V. im Filmhaus, Stuttgart, Germany,
January 13-16, 2000.  Nerve Theory is the collaborative identity of
Bernhard Loibner and Tom Sherman.  For more information on Nerve Theory,
visit the All.Quiet website:  http://www.allquiet.org/

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