I got my first Unix account in 1993. I didn’t know much about computers, but the adoption of a system which I perceived to be born our long-standing collective desire and seemingly perpetually vainglorious attempts to communicate across long distances through the elusive and transitory medium of the written word didn’t seem like such a leap of faith. The Internet has developed an interface since then, a painted face to hide all manner of ignorance and nefarious activity behind. In the countless artist statements, grant applications, articles and blog posts I’ve written over the course of my nineteen years, I’ve included some version of this sentence:
The more proprietary, predatory, and puerile a place the internet becomes the committed I am to using it in poetic and intransigent ways.
This commitment compels me to urge you to join #BlackoutSOPA #J18 18 January 2012. Shut down your blogs, web pages, facebook pages and profiles and twitter accounts for 12 hrs from 8am-8pm EST and show a message opposing #SOPA and #PIPA. In the amazing amount of spare time you will suddenly have on your hands, consider a #Paperstorm during the #SOPAblackout. Go out on the streets and pass flyers to inform people that the US congress is seriously and wilfully ignorantly considering legislation that will dramatically change the Internet as we know it, putting an end to many sites we use everyday. Including this one. This blog, Lapsus Lingue, runs on WordPress. In 10 January 2012 blog post WordPress urged its 60 million users to Help Stop SOPA/PIPA. Internet experts, organizations, companies, entrepreneurs, legal experts, journalists, and individuals the world over have repeatedly expressed how dangerous this bill is.
If we — the denizens of this tangled web of our own making; the collective authors of this never-ending networked narrative; the cartographers of this map of our twisting turning yearning desire for connection, for community, for communion; the caretakers of these web sites, these stand-ins for past and future places, these repositories for our long-standing longing for belonging, for home — if we do nothing, Congress will likely pass the Protect IP Act (in the Senate) or the Stop Online Piracy Act (in the House), and then the President will probably sign it into law. Even if we do something, they might. Which does not dissuade but rather further propels me to fight for the right to use the internet by using it in poetic and intransigent ways.
For more information on #BlackoutSOPA #J18 see the 10 January 2012 reddit blog post Stopped they must be; on this all depends.