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April 23, 2012

In Teen Image, Seth Price talks about the phenomenon of hoarding, as a type of artistic internet list-making that strips the list of its organizational function and turns it into an aggregation of seemingly random items. Scrolling through these hoardings of images is both exciting and confusing and the ultimate effect is, writes Price, “what the fuck am I looking at?” Further, Price writes while the ever-increasing fragmentation of experience and the divorce of phenomena from context is a common place critique of contemporary mediascape, hoarding on the other hand is a public presentation of performed, elective identity, demonstrated through what appears to be generally blank frenzy of media. Here the artist, as a subjectivity with an intention behind what seems to be chaos, gives significance to an otherwise a mess. But it is hardly the artist as the only remaining force of intentionality, so the question is while not all internet generated hoardings are art, why the experience of net-navigation nevertheless still looks like going through a random stack of cards in a thrift shop? One could only go as far as youtube.com to see that there is either a relationship between everything that could possibly be captured on camera or take the format of a youtube supported video-file, or rather, there is no relationship and that one thing leads to the other in form of a chance operation. But of course that is hardly true, at least in case of youtube and most other [popular] online interfaces. While the user’s searches are used to personalize ads, keywords and tags generate content. The videos that appear on the right bar on youtube if you look at syriandaysofrage page are usually (or at least were for a while) all from heavy metal live shows. This of course hardly surprising since most probably metal music shares similar tags with videos of torture and murder of civilians. The right bar of the dailymail.co.uk page reporting on the recently unearthed of the video of the beating of Anastacio Hernandez Rojas by twelve US border guards, is adorned with images and links with pictures of various celebrities. Similarly, it doesn’t take that long on huffingtonpost.com before asking “what the fuck am I looking at” and “why the fuck am I looking at these?” If cosmetic ads interrupted news broadcast, the web gives much less screen time to unsponsored content.

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