Photo by Nick Johnson.
Bill Wasik of the NYTimes (yeah I read the article on-line but I still live in New York and love it, Bill) writes a piece dethroning New York City as the reigning epicenter of artistic production and instead crowns…the Internet? I was feeling Wasik before he started on his Internet transcends actual human contact tip. See, I used to be a huge advocate of “New York is not provocative more like evocative, dead, and overburdened with fake-ass-people where no interesting or organic art of any form is produced.” Before I moved back here I spent hours with friends in grimy bars in Minneapolis and Chicago arguing that the best music and art was being produced elsewhere, in those ubiquitous “main streets” of America type towns that President Obama always referred to in his campaign stump. But, nope, New York is still dope and there is still ridiculous energy, art, music, jewelry and clothing being produced everyday here. Though the economy has been suspect and Madoff wilded out and caused the downright decimation or major depletion of monies for the arts in the mainstream doesn’t mean that the art isn’t being made at all! And furthermore, we all know that the stuff that legendary musicians/visual artists/writers is made of are never initially part of the establishment anyway.
Wasik interrogates the process of stardom on the internet and sets it wildly apart from that of that of becoming famous in New York. He does it in a way that puts a value on the success of people who get famous on the internet and pits them against those who become successful by networking in New York. So, if you make a youtube sensation of your wedding where you emerge husband and wife after an amazing dance routine you’re not as cool as, say, Wasik who maybe got pats by fat cats all the way up to Harpers. And I’m not saying that’s not as cool. But, like, has Wasik ever heard of legacy? of money getting you places? I know firsthand that vetting in New York exists in many different capacities and that people i know have gotten famous when others who are way more talented are thrown to the wayside. I’m not saying Dash Snow wasn’t great but I definitely wouldn’t have gotten famous for throwing jizz around.
Finally, my dude, the Internet is still a medium and not a place. The photograph above is taken outside of a school in Park Slope by a photographer from New York documenting what he sees. Makes sense cause that's what photographers do. Without that there'd be no photography to put ON the internet. The internet is just a platform by which to share and by no means does it take on the physicality and emotion of an experience like watching some kids from the neighborhood practice their skateboarding. Looking at photographs, reading blog posts, articles, watching films and clips is all good and fun and enriches your life and stuff but I once learned (and will always remember) that a well-functioning and happy person needs human touch 5x times a day and I get that times like x 10 on the Q-train on my way to work.