The information super-cliche
Even to utter it's name increases it's strength. To mention it, in
any manner, acknowledges it as a reality. It grows stronger with
each use. It becomes more solid. Our mass-informational minds
turn (in)to each other to find reference for meaningless metaphor.
We become the sounding board for silence. The mass media
resonates the cliche and the meaning becomes hyper-real. That
which never had form becomes reified, it cannot be stopped.
Metaphor and hyperbole gather strength in a post-modern
advertising world. The object is of no relevance. Echo-speak of the
object sounds louder than the object itself. The performance (p)art
of performance art is obsolete. Actually consumating the
performance is superfluous. What becomes the most real, the most
important, is the hype in which the act is embedded.
When the metaphor takes a life of its own, the idea/meme
becomes salient and engulfs all thought. Advertising no longer
sells a product, it sells advertising. Promotion sells itself. People
have forgotten why they are (t)here. Art for the (m)ar(ke)t's sake.
Metaphor serves itself. It's a symbiotic being that captures the
minds of human hosts, using neologistic force to ensure it's
continuation. It is a lifestyle, it is cyberhype [Wark, 1994], it is the
po from po-mo. We no longer simply consume any more, we are
consumed by the infectious desire to procreate a conceptual
species (meme) which exists e(x)ternally. The meme which takes
hold and becomes real, can live without reference to anything but
itself. Auto-mutation ensures that it retains a heat-sealed
freshness. The meme evolves, it has entered further into our
deep-conscious. It is reified, it has salience, we can touch it, feel
it, smell it, believe in it and most important, we give it form by
our unconscious need for it. In almost every magazine ranging
from lifestyle to tech, there has been extensive banter about
commercial information structures. The metaphor has become so
extended that it has lost it's origin in meaning. When you are
crooning down the information super-highway and a red potato-
truck loses it's load in front of you, who's going to be there to
scrape up the pieces? When exactly is it that we stop to consider
the hollowness ring of the metaphors we use? The advertising
takes a life of it's own, it's object becomes a secondary priority.
We know what the metaphor is used for. We know in what
circumstance we can banter with it. We make vague references to
it to extend it's forms. I mention cyber, and you read a thousand
hours of designer cliche in an instant recognition of something
which stretches far beyond my intent. I had only to mention it for
the hyper-metaphor's self-reification through exposure process to
Changing information models.
The object becomes subservient to the hype surrounding said
object, information is changing in the way it effects us and the
way in which we interact with(in) it. There is little substance to
the cliche but as the cliche becomes real, it gathers self-
momentum and infects the way in which we perceive our
environment. Cyberspace and futuristic impressions infiltrate our
conception of the world through the media-hype which forms our
window to the world, that which is slightly sensational filters in
through mass exposure until the fantastic becomes hype(r)-fact.
Reality mimics fiction. The futuristic writers of the 60's and 70's
have defined what designers today consider to be "modern".
Today's science-fiction writers define what our future will be like
by capturing the mind's of the scientists, the artists and the
people. Whether or not it is a case of the chicken or the egg, the
present is being shaped by the future of the past and the future is
being shaped by the pasts of the present and the futures of the
day. Either way, things are changing according to plan.
When we read books we have a flow of information which we
engulf and integrate. True. The use of computers empowers us to
change our relationship with information. Maybe. If we leave the
production of the new media up to the people in power at the
moment we will be provided with a seemingly endless array of
challenging and inventive information. False. Technology
empowers everybody to be-do what they want to do-be. False. If
we forget it, it will go away. Not. The weirdos will inherit the
This is a true story. Only the names have been changed to protect