|Reggie James||Jun 23|
I turn 25 on Friday.
Fortunately, one of my birthday gift came early. A pair of Spectacle 3’s. Once I got over the syncing hump, what I experienced was nothing short of magical.
In Black Mirror, there’s an episode where your contact lenses record every moment. You’re able to rewatch these clips at any time, from your ~natural~ first person perspective.
The Spectacle 3’s come with Google Cardboard. So when looking at what I’ve captured, I am able to directly revisit my perspective. It pushes pass the idea of content, and moves more properly into “recorded memory”.
Spectacles are an incredible piece of extentionist embodiment. I am able to effortlessly capture as I am seeing. My body is the steering mechanism of the lens.
I’ve written before about the destructive nature of recording with your phone. I lift a piece of glass between me and the subject. Breaking me away from my place in the scene. Diverting my gaze from the subject, to the digital representation of that subject. My relationship being mediated by the medium of choice, and altering it into a saved file tucked neatly away next to the previous one.
In Turkle’s “The Second Self” she discusses how early interaction with computers changes how a child thinks about their own mind. How they use psychological language to describe the inner machinations of computers. And subsequently we adopt language that refers to our own minds as if they were machine like.
My interaction with Spectacles opened a door to allow me to think of my eyes slightly differently. How connected is my gaze and my attention? How much am I ever taking in, in a single moment? What do my eyes achieve now… and where is that headed in the future?
I’ve been thinking a lot about aesthetic principles as a gateway to widening the lens of what we build. In “Finite and Infinite Games” — James P. Carse talks about playing with boundaries as a means of expanding our freedoms in both the permissible and distasteful.
This led me to think about when we push aesthetic boundaries, what is distasteful to one generation becomes a defining characteristic of the next.
In “What Technology Wants” — Kevin Kelly talks about technological progress and its relationship in unlocking human potential. What happens if the harpsichord isn’t made before Bach is of age to play. Or if YouTube didn’t exist at the right time for David Dobrik. Assuming this was their ideal destiny, who would these individuals have become without these tools existing at the right time.
There is a deep rabbit hole that I have explored and am still exploring in piecing those selections together as one cohesive narrative.
But what I keep coming back to — is the present day trans-humanist relationship with technology expanding not just what we do, but our own sense of ability.
Do I know as much as I think I do if I don’t have my phone in my hand? Can I write as well if I don’t have this magic keyboard, or will my thoughts get stuck? Like a sip of alcohol to get your emotions a little less guarded, our pieces of personal technology are the valve in releasing human ability.
Spectacles finally opened a piece of creativity that I have been wanting to express for a while — daily video creation. My daily “creativity stack” expanded the day I received them. I record with my Spectacles. Play with the few videos within Snap. Export them to my camera roll, and upload them to TRASH. Where I can tweak an AI mashup, and pop out a truly vibey piece of expression.
The timing of all of these inventions coming together + their accessibility, has allowed me to rethink not only my daily creativity — but my vantage point to life, my eyes themselves, and more.
What I’ve always loved about Snap is their aesthetic principles, are different than the rest of SF social companies. They have become a camera company, this is genuine and critical to their future.
Lately there’s been an overwhelming feeling that technology has been aesthetically stuck. I think this has led to, in short, less feeling.
Feeling from technology is incredibly important. It’s what drives us to understand the self and our relationship to technology in a shared language.
“The Nest makes me feel more aware” — we can break down the expansion of awareness — the positives of knowing what’s around your home, the negatives of always thinking someone’s around the corner…
Knowing has been core to SV aesthetic principles for a very long time.
There is so much more to explore. Snap being a camera company is a shift from knowing to seeing. I think this is beautiful and creates a lot of optionality for their future. Most obviously, leading the charge in AR.
We can’t fall back on familiar aesthetics to press forward into new space. The question for all of us that seek to bring new technology into the world and improving our relationship to it, is what comes next?
I don’t do edits really, so excuse typos and things that don’t make sense.
Thanks so much for giving me your attention. I hope it was worth it, if not… unsubscribing will not hurt my feelings, and will give you back time you literally cannot have back.