Collage: this is where we have arrived after so much work and aspiration. It swallows up our conceptions of art and gives us something that is commensurate with our age. The music heads can tell you: some of the best music going cant be heard on the radio. Its on the internet, where the sound collages of DJs and mashup artists circulate freely, like one long avenue of late-night clubs that keeps getting longer. The art historians saw it coming: because art goes first, and culture follows behind it en masse, an awesome elephant-train that sways in the weight of its docile, flap-eared inertia. Can we call this good or bad? Does the art of humans move into parity with the artifice of biology as we get closer to something like A.N Whiteheads idea of concrescence? One imagines the hi-pitched ear-ringing tension of science and art ready behind the curtain, prepared to reveal that they are the same person, like the vaudeville performer who looks like a man from one side and a woman from the other. Perhaps collage is art played at its highest stakes, like the jigsaw of DNA that conjures life-giving and life-taking organisms. Someone very clever said, “Everything we see is only a mirror of our own limited thinking”, and to embrace this notion is an empowering expression of maturity. But we cant stop wondering, can we? Q.R. Markham was recently outed as a longtime plagiarist after his new spy novel, ‘Assassin of Secrets’ was discovered to be cribbed from more than thirty different sources. This singular literary artifact is the kind of road sign we see lately. Works by Quentin Rowan (his real name) are selling online for more than their original price. McLuhan would ask, “what does it say about the quality of time we live in?”. Perhaps we glimpse in these works a strange almanac of our future consciousness.
The Almanac of our Future Consciousness