Sunday, May 22, 2016

Identity Protocols


Yami-ichi makes the move of commodifying internet art, of saying how can it be materialized and sold.  So we move from immaterial patterns (file types and codebases etc) to a material snapshot that also gains an existence as a physical product.  It's a print-on-demand world of algorithmic objects - at the hub of this is the notion of merchandise identity - the immaterial world asks "what is a thing now?" and computers respond that it is a calculation - that yes, we can produce things like we had, but if we lose one print-out it doesn't matter - what matters is the digitally encoded pattern to make more.  So we have market ephemera, but ephemera whose basic existence lies in the calculation towards reproduction (the digital file, the program/settings use to create and print, etc).

What does brand and cultural space look like in the world of the algorithmic object?  It becomes about the rules with which to make a brand - slogan, logo, company name, etc., as opposed to any manifest brand.  x-o-x-o-x.com is a website I created that serves as a kind of anonymous corporate and bureaucratic entity that is situated between the personal (in every sense including the maligned corporate-legal one) and the totally generic.  A brand that identifies so vaguely as to dissolve into the status of a template.  The site itself refreshed into a stream of new slogans and particular identities and branches off into different projects that take the personal-generic identity to become associated with different visuals (ie logos) and language (names and mottoes etc).  So it is a computational placeholder from which brand particularity can be generated and along which the complex personal-bureaucratic continuum can be explored.

To materialise this concept I decided on an idea of generic company paraphernalia.  The template again is x-o-x-o-x.com, the xo logo, the motto Kisses and Spam, and from there proceeds through procedural substitutions.  Both the logo/motto and the material (t-shirts, mugs, mouse pads, pens, etc) are arbitrary, what is constant is the pseudo-corporate entity x-o-x-o-x.com from which the particular products and identities are created.  Thus brand and one's being and identity (and that of an object) is determined by protocols, by a basic formula that says this is what identity is for a person/object.

The "artist statement" takes on the voice of the personal-bureaucratic entity and makes recommendations for the value of proper communication and branding - that neither the messiness of the personal nor the overwrought red tape of the bureaucratic is necessary when combined properly into the capitalizable.  It's an ecological balance of product ontologies - advice on how to streamline your subjective and objective existence into a viable entity in technocapitalist space.  The space of the computer and the space of the market - the formulas and branding skills you need to survive.
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