Bruce Sterling recently suggested that it no longer makes sense to talk about “the internet” as a whole. Instead, we ought to refer to the distinct corporate structures that define the topography of experience online: Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft. These companies provide users with similar services and, increasingly, they organize them in self-sufficient “silos” to encumber disloyal users with incompatibility issues. Sterling’s claim that there’s no more internet sounds premature and calculated to provoke buzz (cf. Wired’s September 2010 cover story, “The Web Is Dead”), but it’s useful nevertheless as a reminder of the limits on the user’s agency as these companies attempt to consolidate their control over information and bind the net to their devices.
With that in mind, Michael Manning’s Microsoft Store Paintings might be seen as a proposition about what happens to internet art when doesn’t make sense to talk about the internet. The digital abstractions are painted at locations of the retail chain named in the series’ title, sometimes at the first-ever Microsoft store in Mission Viejo, CA, which opened in 2009. Microsoft’s retail outlets are, of course, a riposte to the success of Apple’s stores, launched after two decades when the software giant happily dispersed its products through Best Buy and CompUSA. They herald the non-internet seen by Sterling.
An image of a Microsoft Store from Michael Manning's Instagram
Bradley Benedetti, Demiurge in the Cupboard, Circusology of Native Leadership Piece 1, 2012
Orca Tears Turquoise( Wish'd We'd Ha'd)
"How can I retry when I was a watermarked birth? I was a global write, universally speaking. My only choice is to image search. rch, sea. Can you smell the past? It is yours. Commercial help gonna fix this Etc.?"
“Nostalgic For captivity…Scent of an orca's tears. Anti-virus wishing wells
If you haven't had your first familiar encounter
please refer to the catalog.
now that I’ve slowed down your 3 dimensional momentarium
I can let you in on something.”
sea u kiosk museum efficiency baby
if you take your TIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIME . I’ll wait for
breeze and ufo- take your time
we were supposed to grow old together"
Libra von Katzengiest
“I just, I just, I just toed this rope, you know , I just tied this
rope three times, well 6 really because I said it and then did it, but I
mean I tied it while saying it, well hahah you know what I mean,
anyway, the point is it WORKED
This dimension is feeling stuffy
I’m tired of living moment to moment, GET ME OUT OF HERE
I feel really 3 dimensional, I’m looking for something more, I felt
nervous not knowing what came next
In the 4th dimension I get to see it all, people from the past, the
future, really its the continuous present ever flowing around me and
you into one big ball of energy.
5th dimensional living felt too complex, the text was fifth dimensional
5 feels really dark velvety, red, very red ...
Ian Cheng, from This Papaya Tastes Perfect, 2011
Here are the Germans in Arizona and New Mexico.
Their skin turning the coral-red of the veined rocks, of the local jewelry, as if the color had begun to rub off on them in the heat, some kind of desert frottage but really a sunburn is the just the opposite, if you think about it.
But that is how things are when they are opposites: you can't tell them apart.
Like the first time the group saw a Swastika on a native's cloth rug beady red inside a clutch of eagles, their wings eddying around it—one of them realized for the first time that the sign looked exactly like a miniature windmill (another learned later that in Navajo the symbol did almost mean that, in fact—"whirling log")
Another German was embarrassed; but for the others, this sign was a sign and they telegraphed Goebbels immediately.
It was like when Cortez had arrived in Mexico:
His men found that the natives there already worshipped a deity with long hair and fair skin, Quetzelcoatl, who had walked the earth before he ascended into the heavens. Ignoring any other possibility, Cortez understood this as the proof of the universality of Jesus, our Lord and Savior.
The Germans didn't know it then, but that turned out to be the "breakthrough" of their reconnaissance mission. It was the best these code crackers would do: discover a symbol they already all wore on their uniforms.
The rest of the Navajo language remained as much of a mystery as when it had first been captured coming across the Allied wireless.
After they returned home, those Germans still thought of the Allied Code, but something changed. It made no more sense, but before, whereas ...
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A crater dismounted facing towards
Natural counting towards two a surface
You said ‘immaleable ruin’
That settles in the palm of a hand
Standing in it’s shadow
Giving a one way signal
Like no one is home
Back and forth
Like where are you from
Make from me leaned over
A sitting desk
A standing desk
Five thousand bookmarks
Returning numbers in fines
I have paid for this in interest
A revolving door turns unconvinced
I am still at home
I have not left yet
I am in Queens
What one line can accomodate
A text wrap around
Alternative to a shade of preparation
Alternating between white and another white that you notice less
Putting one glove on takes two hands
And what can my cold hands say to that?
Standing on gravel
site specific self identifying
A path following
An aluminum Swiss water bottle
She told me they sell no deodorant here
I knew she was lying I asked
Why I know that you are lying
She told we do but they don’t need deodorant here
I knew she was lying
I said you are lying
She said you are the salt of the earth
With one hand held over two breasts
No dark storm can rage over two breasts
With one hand
And cream shirt worn
Into a dark 3 p.m. screening
Of my life my love
This love is truly abated by
No one else’s breasts
A distant swiss watch chimes background fade
Powdered marble on powdered marble on
An unlined t shirt
Cognito ergo sum
Index finger in hot black coffee
There is no aporia in heaven
She said wiping her nail ...