“Winter” by Jason Felix

I have two files labeled “Characters” and “Settings” where I dump a lot of the art I find. Flipping through those images later is great inspiration. Sometimes I take bit and pieces directly (and without shame — see Austin Kleon’s “Steal Like an Artist”), but many times the images spark a tangential idea.

For example, while I do’t expect this is at all what the artist was going for, the first thing I saw here was a post-modern slave, someone who is semi-free. (Yes, you could argue we’re ALL only semi-free, and I wouldn’t disagree, but this is obviously a more extreme form that takes a physical manifestation.)

These days, you CAN live without social media, but it’s increasingly rare (in the post-industrial world). I imagine that will continue, and that the same will be true of augmented reality. That is, people will choose augmented reality because of the benefits it offers over the drawbacks — and there will be drawbacks, just like with any tool, from cars to fire.

Over time, that would allow a complex system of intense manipulation where the narratives we all spin to stay sane, maintain the social order, and cohere from moment to moment, could be — for example — algorithmically driven. For example, they could steer people around the world as if some parts of it didn’t exist.

I imagine people WILLINGLY donning (in youth) non-removable helmets knowing that this happens, just as we all know Google and Facebook are watching us right now, but just not care out of the nihilisitc belief that there’s nothing they can do about it anyway.