Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Calling Fiona Shaw “utter shit” is not what most advocates of interactivity have in mind. This in itself is indicative. What’s at stake is control. As an audience we are generally required to lend our participation on terms that we can take or leave but not normally negotiate. There’s plenty of so-called interactive work in digital media that is doing little more than elaborately decorating the same curt binary: you can click here, or you can fuck off. What we have become used to is a simulation of interactivity, in which not having a seat, say, is a denatured proxy for having a real stake in the proceedings and the necessary information to form the basis of a genuine decision-making process. What I’m reminded of above all is the way in which liberal democracies are strengthened by their own visible toleration of dissent. Protest marches are quickly and cleanly absorbed in the name of exemplary freedom and democracy, and the right to strike is hygenically curtailed in the courts, while the freedom to be able to speak without being a mouthpiece for institutional violence is everywhere obliterated.

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