Friday, September 09, 2011

archaeologists of the everyday

each day, as millions of bloggers sit down to compose the day's post, we dig into our experiences and often, our photo libraries. why do we do it? out of a desire to share? to connect with others? to show off? to get something off our chests? to keep those nigglings of insanity at bay? to construct an album of a life? an everyday life?  russian has a word for that everyday life - byt' - which somehow carries more meaning - it captures something of the underlying sorrow of the quotidian sameness of the everyday. and also the kitsch that it contains. and the poshlust - which nabokov called "petty evil or self-satisfied vulgarity." because there is some kind of narcissistic self-satisfaction in all of this blogging and all of the pretty pictures shared on flickr.

we are such a NOW kind of culture - i say as if there is but one culture. but i guess i mean the culture of the interwebs. we want to share things as they happen - works in progress, often unfinished. we can hardly wait to share. me, i seldom use photos that are more than a couple of days old - i have a need for the documentation to be of now. we do 365 photo projects, where we document every day. and while i'm grateful for the project, as a repository of my memories, there isn't something worth documenting every day. some days, it's just a box of vegetables from the garden or some walnut (or pecan) honey. because not every day is filled with exciting events. these traces we leave of our everyday...what do they mean? and what will they mean to future analysts? are they worth analyzing at all? or are they just byt' in all its glory.  what, if anything, is all of this doing to art and literature?

heavy questions for a friday. but i'm grateful to dubravka ugresic's museum of unconditional surrender for getting me thinking again. (and sorry that i can't seem to produce the right diacritics on my keyboard to spell her name correctly.)


Elizabeth said...

Sharing and connecting to others is a very basic human need and since blogosphere is here, we might as well use it to the fullest.

Have a great weekend and enjoy your reading hours.

Molly said...

Planetary alignment! Blogincidence! I so needed this post right now.

Unknown said...

We love the blog-writing and flickr-sharing encouragement to find the beauty in everyday moments and the additional encouragement to improve writing and photography skills.
It is wonderful to connect with others in different countries and cultures - to see what they find beautiful in their 'everyday'.
Thank you for the thought provoking post!

nacherluver said...

The world has opened up its large expanse and shrunk at the same time.

A few reasons for blogging. Connections, sharing, validity.

What is it doing to art and literature? I have discovered amazing artists and writers I never would have encountered without blogs. I am thankful for that. I have purchased art from fellow bloggers. I have passed on the links of fellow artists and writers.

celkalee said...

I concur with above statements. A friend asked me yesterday why I bother, what is the gain, who cares? Mmmm, it is everyday life, mine, ours. Rarely does anything special happen here, but I spent a long time getting to everyday life. I like it here and my feeble blogging attempts help me document it for me and to share, if anyone shares my interests. As usual, thought provoking elements to ponder over the week end.

stephanie said...

This morning on my ride into work I was thinking about history and the records we have of people from centuries ago. I wondered how it was that there are movies made about people like Mozart, because really, how do we really know what he was like enough to make a movie about him? Then I started thinking about how much constant documentation there is nowadays, and so many ways to do that documentation. I guess it really is interesting to think about why we do it and what will people of future generations think of us and our need to share as much as we can about who we are and what we're doing.

will said...

I'm certain we've something in common ... the thought process is never off. You're an encyclopedia and whirlpool, sometimes a dust devil ... relaxation happens when your mental energy is released.