Thursday, May 15, 2008

Information Overload

videoI've spent the past couple of days in London. While I was there I got chance to take a look at the Cans Festival 'Exhibition' which is just a short walk from Waterloo Station. It's the kind of place you could easily spend a whole day, but I only had about half an hour to spare so it was the briefest of glances. As you walk through the tunnel the colour, wit and propaganda leaps out from every painted brick. Most of the pieces in the 'fat end' of the tunnel were pretty large works, painstakingly executed. But at the far end, just beyond the bend and back in the daylight, was a whole patchwork quilt of smaller stencils, hardly a single square inch of the concrete was visible. I reckon there must've been a few hundred artists who'd gone to town on it. 

As I stood there taking in a 360 view I sensed my mind beginning to 'zoom out'. There was just too much information, it was too much to process. I started wondering if I was actually surveying not just a randomly assorted mish-mash of artists but actually a single, powerful, metaphor of the world we now inhabit. Our senses are struggling to cope with information overload. There are so many messages, so many voices demanding our attention. Yes there's a heck of a lot of crap - but it's such well packaged crap - how do we begin to discern the good from the bad, the worthy from the pointless? And perhaps most relevant to a blogger like me, if we feel we actually have something to say, how do we cut through the crap and get noticed? 

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