Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Deprived Of Images? Thought Not.

Blogger has a new toy that looks at first to appeal to the "sit back and watch TV 'cause you've got nothing better to do" mentality. But then I started thinking that the odd juxtapositions might create a kind of unexpected visual poetry, while revealing insights into how we frame images for consumption.

What am I talking about? Blogger Play, a page that displays a slideshow of images as they are uploaded to people's blogs. You get to see anything that is being added to a public blog from anywhere around the world, unless the owner explicitly opts out.

That's the line anyway, but of course this is not entirely true. Images come with descriptions and links to the blog entries, so they can only be displayed if they are in finished posts. This is no work in progress; we are not getting a glimpse into the act of assembly. That would at least have the frisson of generative art. The truth is that these images are already fixed in context, already finished, already archived.

In fact what Blogger Play does is age the images before their time. After a fraction of a second a picture is old, replaced with another. I find it significant that the default speed of the slideshow is so fast. Nothing here is worth lingering over. It's all dead and gone.

I was thinking of adding an image to this post, but decided against.


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