Monday, March 19, 2007

A Step Back: Appliying Manovich to Picture Perfect Life

Manovich was able to look into my computer's hardrive very well and summarize it in "The Database." As I was reading it, I was thinking of my music files and the insane amounts of pictures. Personally, with so many databases it is hard to keep track of them all or even truly know what's in them. Part of me wanted to be in denial and say our world really is not ending up like this, but as I kept reading and scrutinizing life and the environment around me, I couldn't help it.
Manovich argues that "The Database" is a way of life that is being more and more popular. He argues that the internet, a collection of more databases through websites (including this one; a database of our thoughts and class assignments), is a growing database with lines and lines of coded data. Having done a bit of web-creating in High School, I can vouch for his theory. But more than just through the internet, facebook, myspace, and even gmail life is becoming a database.
We have databases of images and pictures of a variety of things, that we might not think about the amount of time we have spent behind a lens or infront of a computer. Think about it... So you take a picture to freeze time and preserve a memory, but when do you actually go back to re-experience it, and is your experience a real experience, seeing how for some of those moments you were experiencing it behind a lens? Doesn't re-experiencing the memory through a clip of images within a database change the way you remember it? No longer is the memory preserved through actual living it, but through life through the lens.
Now don't get me wrong, I am not leaving my camera behind, ever! But in a world where preserving seems to be a priority, when do we get to live life without worrying about what future generations will think? If the future is really the reason we are preserving life for.



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