Sean Capone
Since 2003
Works in Brooklyn, New York United States of America

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BIO
Sean Capone is an video artist and design professional based in New York City. He is an MFA graduate of the School of the Art Institute Chicago.
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DISCUSSION

Re: Re: Re: Sociology of the Fading Signal--Can You Hear Me Now?


Hi mark. thanks for the insights. i lack the critical wit to approach the issue from a marxist standpoint. also at some point in the recent past i realized that i was, sad to say, somewhat of a technological determinist, not failing to see it (technology) as the result of specific political economies but viewing it as somewhat inevitable and ultimately beneficial--whether it passes or fails. so i err on the side of whimsy. to wit (mark's comments are in brackets):

<<be multipresent. because by nature the body cannot be located in several locations at once (without decapitation at least). we substitute our presence with technology (perhaps there could be a discussion here on technology as fetish)>>

or as schizophrenia, a natural condition of replication??

<<What happens with loss/disturbance of signal is a concrete reminder of our lack of presence>>

you know what, i would say that it rather reinforces a sense of singular presence in a real way. We are yanked out of the noosphere and back into our own cartesian sense of self.

<<Obviously, underlying these ads, is the moral assumption that parental presence is necessary (which most would agree with), but the political/economic structures that alienate parent from child are completely naturalized.>>

These ads are particularly loathsome. But tugging on the parental heartstrings is an advertisers easiest way out of being creative. An even funnier but more distressing one to me is the GenX targeted ad where two focus-marketed designer teens are at an outdoor concert, and the music is so loud, they are text messaging each other while standing facing each other. "where's joe?" "don't know." Alienation of the most basic human signals--gestures, mouth sounds-- nullified by cell phones even when in each others presence!!

But what this says is that mobile technology is a possible response--perhaps not a sane one, but a functional one-- to the alienating factors of capitalism and contemporary culture in general. As a flipside to our examples, what's shown is that the sense-shattering loudness of a concert (they could have just shouted in each others ear like we all do--), or the alienation of parental absence, is ameliorated by telepresence. We have to be cautious not to replace critique with our own type of nostalgia... not to say that I think that alienation is some sort of historic inevitibility. Rather we are in some sort of... interstitial zone. We haven't quite caught up to the promises we're making ourselves yet.

DISCUSSION

Re: Sociology of the Fading Signal--Can You Hear Me Now?


more (this got accidentally posted under the heading The XTC of Communication) :

1) Total Information Loss (TIL) part II: if a signal is basically information, then the types of data we store on our portable devices (phone books, day planners, alarms, location technologies, email etc) ensures the probability of their use. Remember when we used to carry around little phone books of our friends and relatives contact information? Can you even remember anyone's phone # these days besides your own?
Bearers of information must have the security of potentiality. Back up your address books, kids.

2) Inadvertant social experiment in action: today as I was playing phone-and-email monkey-in-the-middle while trying to meet a client's deadline, the project mgr's phone rudely switched off its voice capabilities while commuting; for the next hour I was subject to flurries of email & text messages being sent from his phone to the phone of an on-site colleague, who would vocally relay his managerial anxieties. His only role was to provide a front end filter to the client, the subterfuge of which became increasingly complex in an almost sitcom way as the emails, txt msgs, and phone calls exponentially crossed and misfired.

3) Off topic for a minute, I can understand the design convergence of aerodynamically engineered cars and shoes, but why make cell phones look like that too? I suspect that they play off deeply coded cultural signifiers of speed & mobility.

4) More references: "I'm Losing You" by Bruce Wagner (the title refers to the utterance said during imminent signal loss on cells, but of course has deeper symbolic meaning--read the book!); also, Ghost in the Shell graphic novels. Side by side, at their core, these are two very different and beautiful examinations of spirituality and human value as mediated by telecommunications & signal interference.

5) Music: Scanner, Oval, PreFuse 73; we have to consider the aesthetic of hiphop, cliqhop, and IDM-- musical forms which are ecstatic over the corrupt or fragmented signal information in a transmission medium (scratches, pops, CD clicks, phonetic deconstruction). Evocation of nostalgia through the act of disappearing.

6) I ran some of these ideas by the proprietor of a gallery space and plan on revising these ideas into a formal curatorial thesis. Please drop any suggestions my way about artists who are working in any medium that addresses the physical, visual, technological, or metaphorical social spaces engendered by the anxiety--or relief-- of signal disappearance.

7) How could I forget-- Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. A most wonderful book which, aside from its many complex themes and morals, explores how the clarity of communication--the gradual learning of a language-- hinders the free association and imagination of more symbolic means of story-telling.

DISCUSSION

Re: Re: Re: the XTC of communication


I always wondered why no one made a phone in the shape of a big mouth.

Patrick Simons wrote:

> How about a big ear shaped phone, or one with a long flexicord
> attached to it?
>

DISCUSSION

the XTC of communication


more:

1) Total Information Loss (TIL) part II: if a signal is basically information, then the types of data we store on our portable devices (phone books, day planners, alarms, location technologies, email etc) ensures the probability of their use. Remember when we used to carry around little phone books of our friends and relatives contact information? Can you even remember anyone's phone # these days besides your own?
Bearers of information must have the security of potentiality. Back up your address books, kids.

2) Inadvertant social experiment in action: today as I was playing phone-and-email monkey-in-the-middle while trying to meet a client's deadline, the project mgr's phone rudely switched off its voice capabilities while commuting; for the next hour I was subject to flurries of email & text messages being sent from his phone to the phone of an on-site colleague, who would vocally relay his managerial anxieties. His only role was to provide a front end filter to the client, the subterfuge of which became increasingly complex in an almost sitcom way as the emails, txt msgs, and phone calls exponentially crossed and misfired.

3) Off topic for a minute, I can understand the design convergence of aerodynamically engineered cars and shoes, but why make cell phones look like that too? I suspect that that play off deeply coded cultural signifiers of speed & mobility.

4) More references: "I'm Losing You" by Bruce Wagner (the title refers to the utterance said during imminent signal loss on cells, but of course has deeper symbolic meaning--read the book!); also, Ghost in the Shell graphic novels. Side by side, at their core, these are two very different and beautiful examinations of spirituality and human value as mediated by telecommunications & signal interference.

5) Music: Scanner, Oval, PreFuse 73; we have to consider the aesthetic of hiphop, cliqhop, and IDM-- musical forms which are ecstatic over the corrupt or fragmented signal information in a transmission medium (scratches, pops, CD clicks, phonetic deconstruction). Evocation of nostalgia through the act of disappearing.

6) I ran some of these ideas by the proprietor of a gallery space and plan on revising these ideas into a formal curatorial thesis. Please drop any suggestions my way about artists who are working in any medium that addresses the physical, visual, technological, or metaphorical social spaces engendered by the anxiety--or relief-- of signal disappearance.

7) How could I forget-- Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. A most wonderful book which, aside from its many complex themes and morals, explores how the clarity of communication--the gradual learning of a language-- hinders the free association and imagination of more symbolic means of story-telling.

DISCUSSION

FWD: Signal Dowsing


(fwd of an email post from friend s. smith):

A note from "a telecommunication Zen garden":

In a dead-ish zone, a wooded hillside near a large pond inside all the
loops around Dallas -- in my neighborhood -- we do the Driveway Dance:
kind of a slalom out toward the street while dowsing for signal with
raised cell phone. In addition, we have to put up with the grousing
about living in an "electromagnetic topographical black hole" from our
visiting rels and friends, as well as delivery folk and repairmen, but
we also get to watch them do the dance.

Nonetheless, I, too, notice that we just accept "the inevitability of
the Glitch." Cell technology has become, to me, something I only use on
the road.

Which is pertinent. ***** and I are developing a wildlife preserve two
hours from Dallas up toward the Red River in Fannin County. It's pretty
remote but has great reception. Pegs out almost all the time. Which is
useful in the country. Lots of miles used to be put on the pickup
looking for someone, or that special someone. Now it's like everybody
has a walkie-talkie, and an umbilical cord.

Hmmm.

At any rate, even an expansive environment like the country -- as
opposed to the crumpled psycho-physical terrain of the city -- is
defined in a mind-to-mind way by its telecommunications, and therefore
the mind-altering effects of the Faded Signal. River and creek bottoms,
large steel structures containing powerful machinery, and just good ol'
failure of something in the cell system itself all contribute to
interruptions of the neural network. Yet, as Sean points out, we --
including the fiercely independent and pugnacious Bubba -- accept it
with barely a whimper.

Troublesome? Maybe.

I think people accept that things don't always work because most people
have a fairly good grip on reality, a reality most clearly defined by
the Second Law of Thermodynamics: things break. Since no amount of
engineering will ever repeal it, if one doesn't accept it, they are by
any definition insane (although this is rarely an impediment to the
academically inclined). More simply put, why should we expect any human
contrivance to work all the time when we haven't experienced any that do?

If your power supply, computer, relevant software, internet connection,
ISP and thousands of routers, cables, switches are working, -- and if
your brain just happens to be in the mood -- use your browser to look up
the Canadian comedy group Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie and their song
"Every OS Sucks." Then, alas, accept the inevitable . . . and on
occasion, enjoy the tranquility.

www.scootersmith.com