by scott russell
We experience a world that has forsaken futurity, but is subject to (and desirous of) the ever-elusive repetition of the present-- an existence textured by habit, by situational boredom. Ennui is a sort of sickness like a cramp, but it is also a lazy comfort. It privileges the path of least resistance over any claim to genuine experience. A living room crumb is a grail, smoking is an activity. The space of ennui is that of the everyday mundane and it is made comfortable only to be saturated by restlessness. This restlessness is the heart of an invisible decay. Sound slowly worn away by air. But it also demands that one find (or happen upon) those ways (or those antics) that will fill up the day. it seems that often it is our anxieties + insceurities that function as successful strategies for feeling occupied.
The complicity suggested by the title of this project --devolve into-- is for me that shameful desire for being a lost object-- anonymous & detached· to be left without decision-making, unknowingly answerable... and it feels like a kind of freedom. we are transferred + selected at random by the 'cadillac desert' machine. Rather than overcoming, we are immersing ourselves, embracing the decay. Slack motherfuckers loitering in a webcam world of the mundane, but somehow it is a spectacle. being lost within this digital wasteland also means that we are in someway included-- why does this inclusion seem more real than the everyday tasks performed? why is what i do on a day-to-day basis more interesting on camera with potential anonymous viewers? This is the novelty, the chic of ennui.
the spectacle of the webCam arises in part from an audience that is willing to view boring activities that would-- in life-- be met with disinterest & frustration, at best. it is also more of a process of distraction than it is an exchange of information. what is exchanged is not so much what is seen or what is read, but instead the time that is used*wasted*consumed while surfing.
a strange face revealing something about him or herself. surfer starting to feel familiar with this digital image.
witnessing someone else's boredom: read as understanding.
the pleasure perhaps is feeling understood by the object of interest rather than wishing to be in place of that object of interest, or-- more appropriately-- rather than wishing to possess the qualities thought to belong to the object of interest. the surfer/viewer is already that person (as s/he conceives of that person).
currently resides in vancouver. Scott took his undergraduate degree in english literature at
unb and did graduate studies at uwo in theory and criticism. he has been published in cv2,
front and blood & aphorisms. His videos have recently been shown in the 3rd annual
vancouver videopoem festival, 4th annual vancouver underground film festival and at
gallery gachet. He is currently a participating artist in the Video In-Trinity Square
Video "Dope Show" Residency. He will be performing at Forest City Gallery in London,
Ontario in May 2002 with kim dawn and has a solo show at Ground Zero in April 2002.