Standing in line at a cafe on a bright autumn day, my eye scans the scene and is immediately drawn to...a lit computer screen. #hyperreal.On this Halloween afternoon at Strada, where the Jolly Green Giant walked by with a nonchalant air as I was locking up my bike, when you're given permission to be a side of yourself who is actually someone else, I'm tempted back to the ideas of Umberto Eco, Jean Baudrillard, and myriad others who probably have thought such things but whose ideas weren't published in the 'right' form, the idea of the hyperreal, "absolute unreality as real presence".
But I'm not feeling it in the occasional Halloween costume that saunters by, as much as I am in the ubiquitous medium that populates cafe tables, desks at home, offices, and indeed people's pockets: screens. Screens, the rectangular, shimmering surfaces into which we peer, to which I've paid my homage to before on this very blog (saying the same thing this time? Perhaps...), the 'windows' that Anne Friedberg has done much to describe in her recent book, too.
I'm not sure if there's a profound statement to be made about this today, just a noticing, a marking, of how easily, how naturally, my eye is drawn to them, as are the eyes of others, to those spaces where reality seems somehow so much more real, or is it enabling, than the plain old blue sky and yellowing leaves on these patio trees. Is it strange that this day of costumes should be an occasion for seeing screens, as opposed to looking directly at what lies within them?