Friday, June 24, 2016

keeping order

as anyone who knows me will tell you, i love rules.

i love rules.

i love lists of rules, regulations, dos and don'ts, various signage indicating proper behaviour for any given area.

rules are good. they establish and maintain order. they answer a great many questions that, relieved of the ambiguity surrounding them, can help you to have a great time wherever you are, whatever you do. a carefree time, even, just within the confines of these rules.

i fully agree that sometimes there is some truth to the old saying 'rules are meant to be broken.' not all rules are good or fair. but most are.

i also think the world is in great need of more rules. i think we need a rulevolution to better equip society to deal with one another. little regulations regarding etiquette and behaviour in this age of technology. case-in-point: cameras. in a way, we're not humans anymore. we've become a society of cyborgs, equipped with the ability to record one another, make videos, even go live when, how, and where we see fit. life is seen through a digital lens and no longer the proverbial one, and while the benefits of this widespread technological embellishment are evident, the side-effects are almost too evident, creating a sludge of slow-moving people after the 'perfect shot' of themselves with some well-known scenery in the background.

working in close proximity to one of london's best-known landmarks, my daily life is littered with more than its fair share of tourism and--as a result--a simple stroll out to fetch lunch turns into parkour course. dodging and swerving constantly to avoid colliding with people engrossed in the activities of their smartphones.

for me, though, it's not the inability to walk in a straight line for more than two metres that grinds my gears. it's those you find in art galleries circling the various pieces of art with their phones, barely paying the art any mind with their actual eyes, opting rather to 'capture the moment' on digital record. i won't go on about all the ways this is fundamentally wrong (i mean we all know they're never going to watch it again) so instead, i take it upon myself to police these people back into acceptable social behaviour.

i go to the tate modern at least once a week with two intentions of equal importance. the first is to see the art, take the time to appreciate whatever aspect calls out to me that time, and spend as many moments as necessary to express my love of art to the actual pieces that inspire me. the second reason is simple--to walk in front of people trying to take photos and videos. i feel by sabotaging their ostensibly noble efforts to 'take it all in' i am teaching them a valuable lesson. art belongs in a museum. not your motherfucking phone. the most common reaction comes in some form of an apology, which i usually ignore. what is there to say? "that's ok?" no, because it's not ok. "no worries?" certainly not--it is a worry.

no, instead i allow them to stew in their shame as i make my way to the next piece of art or situation in which someone is trying to take it home with them, stored in the digital bowels of their smartphones.