Here's a video I made on Vine.
If you haven't checked out Vine, I recommend it. You get 6.5 seconds to make a simple stop and start, edit when filming, movie. You touch the screen and it records, lift your finger from the screen and it pauses. That's it, 6.5 seconds of barbaric jump-cuts. What's weirdly enchanting is its absolute gluttony. It's one of those products that could only exist in this culture, quick in, quick out, almost no time to wait to even consume something any more. Like Crack Cocaine - a sick little hit and absolute indulgence in self. On Vine, everyone looks like they 're in the ecstatic throws of a romantic European death, and due to the alternate experience of life on our social networks, the energy we invest in them and the seriousness with which we take of our positions there, they are.
But it's a treat to consume; it fits perfectly into a space left for it by the prevailing modes of cultural production. It's Twitter of the moving image. Remarkably, it manages to distance humans so far in a particular direction, whilst offering the exact opposite that it quite poetically begins to redefine our place in society. Like Twitter, Vine is essentially status. But an understanding of status based on a corruption of the word as we begin to fragment via all manner of prosthetic memories. Our status harbors a lie. It is a score essentially, of how many people you've kept away from you by a set of strict disciplines and unwritten codes. And yet the inverse is at once also true. These technologies may move people away from each other, but they also bring them closer; in other ways. It is a lazy reading of the speed of communications to simply suggest something is lost. For reasonably, something will also be gained. We're not so dumb we don't want something in exchange for our souls.
I've acquired Vine as prosthetic memory, there isn't enough room left in my mind to store all the stuff I seemingly need to get in there. I can see 6 screens sitting here in my studio. Desktop monitor, second desktop monitor dedicated solely to an open window of Spotify and functions as my 1 inch deep stereo with nearly every song ever published just 2 clicks from my ears. Another mausoleum. An iphone, an iPad, a laptop and a Kindle. And all this struggling for room in my vibrating brain. So now and again I feel the need to document, present and archive a 6.5 second clip of it.
I scoop up some signs and chuck it into the ether. I make videos of using drugs, polishing my shoes, playing a new drum, brothels, tea. They're so wildly indiscriminate, void of any quality control, but, and this part is crucial, for it brings together the narcissism, the cry for help, the tomb and the need to be loved. It's definitely me. That's the thing. It is definitely me. And thus we reach a time in the early part of the 21st century where we can say that about an object. Where a technology can easily and with no controversy be described as definitely 'being' 'me'. It's definitely me, of a collection of 6.5 second videos.
Go and have a look at sad little embarrassing, self obsessed and fly-by movies of me doing things. See what I use to polish my shoes. There I am at TV chef and ball- bustlingly hot, Gizzie Erskine's book launch with Page Three blonde and doll-like creature Brandy Brewer. There are a couple of brief and clinical surveys of the inside of a Chinese brothel, and a few I'd classify under: 'Various Narcissisms and associated trite'. But here's the hit. Go have a look, they're hypnotic. Not just mine, (mine are almost the exception to the rule I'm proposing) all Vine videos, due to their length are rendered almost perfectly sculpted.
You don't have long enough to get bored. It simply isn't yet possible to get bored in 6.5 seconds. And the way they automatically loop as if the clever boys and girls down at Vine just knew we want to stare vacantly into repeating space. We are suckers to a video loop, and 6.5 seconds of any jump-cut heavy visuals stuck on loop will hypnotize most. And when you tire of the loop, with a slide of the thumb, the next one is loaded, and it's another movie triumph. You can't get bored and the end is the beginning. We're all above average movie directors now because Vine makes failure an impossibility. Vine makes an immediate cliché of everything it efficiently puts into quotes, and however pointless, embarrassing, narcissistic, desperate or simply in any other context, bland, we can always rely on a cliché to stabilize us, whatever we actually think, and whoever we actually are.
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"Who here uses prostitutes?"
(no-one says a word)
"Okay - who here uses internet porn"
(giggles and shuffles)
"Most of you - obviously - well, I have to inform you that those people in those films are
prostitutes, you just...