Lovers in a digital space

The performance piece called “The Lovers,” by Solanki is a very unexpectedly tragic piece where in a set of networked machines that display love poetry, one is infected by a virus. The virus slowly affects both machines, all while slowly making the text an awkward mutation of itself.

The impact of “The Lovers” heavily relies on our human need to connect with one another, the love aspect, the root of downfall in many a story (the cliche Romeo + Juliet, every hero archetype story out there). In this case, the infected computer that had spread the virus to the other computer would be the downfall of both computers as illustrated through poetry text . In so many instances, we let technology emulate human nature and emotions, and this was nothing short of that.

In the book “Digital Contagion” by Jussi Parikka, we explore the phenomenon of computer viruses through cultural analysis. Parikka states that “The digital virus is not solely an internal computer problem but a trace of cultural trends.” Yet another way of reflecting a human like aspect onto technology. Technology would be nothing without humans, and thus our cultural impact is what makes it what it is, viruses and all.

When examining this piece, it is difficult to take ones human emotions out of it. In the dichotomy of technology vs. nature, the lines are blurred just a little bit overtime. Even though these machines are obviously not human, they share very human concepts. The metaphor of the virus is an unusual one as it is a phenomenon that we share with technology, as well.