TYLER COBURN - I'm That Angel
I’m that angel
Book and performance
Edition of 500
I’m that angel is a cycle of writings and performances that explore the conditions of how we work on and against the computer, narrated from the perspective of a “content farmer”: an emergent type of online journalist contracted to generate articles based on words peaking in Google Trends.
The project addresses the master narratives of technological and socioeconomic progress that have naturalized Web 2.0’s platforms, as well as the constituents of the digital public that figure into ongoing discussions about the relationship between sincerity and authenticity; realism and reality; the diaristic and the literary; and the author and the individual who takes on, and produces under, that title.
Nodding to the defamiliarization strategies of Russian formalists like Viktor Shklovskii, I’m that angel takes shape as a stony stone, a cut in the stream—a book. Its format shores up the paraliterary, confessional, and epistolary precedents for our virtual vernaculars. Designed by Eric Nylund, the text concretizes found quotes, trending language, anecdotes, notes and rants; call it inattentionality as method.
If the book sustains a material limit that belies the diffuse shape of the cloud, then its readings attempt similar concretions, where possible, by having reader and audience occupy the sites that compose the physical form of the Internet. On other occasions, readings pair with documentation shot on server floors, thus temporarily constructing the data center within the art institution. Each scenario discloses securitized spaces in which reader and audience already reside, for we encounter the material doubles of our virtual subjectivities as data stored in server form.
Rather than concede to the seeming intractability of cognitive capitalism, these readings seek to potentiate new critical operations through shared access, listening and discussion. Across its parts, I’m that angel argues for a renewed consideration of the immanent horizons of subjectivity, sociability and creativity.