Kubrick & God Simulacrum

I'm fairly adept at playing video games. As I sat there, succeeding in the static realm of virtual reality (surreal and controlled chaos), I'd realized how much of an android I've become. The chemical gratification of advancing through a plot isn't necessarily new. Such is the function of all virtual entertainment--novels, movies and now video games. But the medium, our technology, is preprogrammed and removed from the direct control of our hands--the last semblance we have of unadulterated nature. And even our hands are regarded as impure things, never quite sterile enough. Tools mark our progress in evolution.

Evolution exists. It should not be so controversial or frightening. Like any natural process it occurs on several levels. 2001: A Space Odyssey is as much a visual odyssey as it is a reworking of an ages old origin tale. How far have we come? Are we unknowingly deconstructing the romanticism of life in favor of rationality and order? When will we reencounter the black monolith?--a postmodern tree of knowledge of Good and Evil. Hal 9000 beckons me at street corners, boarding trains, in the quiet pieces of any metropolitan day. Above and below ground. He, Hal, is the quintessential metaphor for the hubris of man's infatuation with his tools.

The film's austere silence--the lack of basic human interaction--the morbid Happy Birthday transmission reminiscent of online social networking well-wishes; it all conveys an odd regression in our supposed evolution. An evolution of people away from each other and towards tools--sympathetic, servile creatures algorithmically perfect or infallible. The lack of genuine human presence leaves negative space, both visual and aural. We are exposed to the vast black emptiness of the universe; the white noise of the console and the heavy breathing of a man stranded in space and time. The sublime, the metaphysical, the microcosmic devolution of creationism :

God makes man
Man becomes sentient
Man mimics God
Man creates life/tools
Man is now God
life/tools become sentient
life/tools mimic God
God is now Man
Man is incensed
Man destroys life/tools
Man is alone

Slavery is one of the oddest human institutions. It still exists in several invisible ways. How do we explain the natural recurrence of this phenomena? An appropriation of time, knowledge, people. Hoarding. Anti-Social behavior. Apathy. Death.

In the final disturbing scenes of the film man confronts his mortality. David Bowman becomes the starchild--significant of the next step in evolution--a renaissance of man.

Are my colors

Are my colors


my brushstro

ke phraseolog

y my brushstr

oke & Are my

colors anythin

g-dot simulac

rum --?-?-?-?

& Am I the G

od simulacru

m I see the G

od simulacru


I get you Kubrick. Maybe.

spatial gravity is the same as atomic mass.

1 comment:

Loughton Daide said...

i guess i never thought of our lack of control over the medium. it's a good (if asimovian) thought. i just naturally assume video games are the future medium of art, because it melds audio, visual and kinetic stimulus. but we need more indie artistic video games. there is an industry for them that is growing. also i <3 your poem.