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.

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3 thoughts on “Lovers in a digital space

  1. I find it interesting the cultural trend of viruses. In the 90’s I remember the Simpsons virus that was infecting computers. It took control of the root system in DOS and any command that was typed responded with “DOH!” It was very simple and effective due to the popularity of The Simpsons. Who wouldn’t download and run a Simpsons mini game in a time before phishing scams and the infamous, your computer has a virus click here and we’ll remove it for you! pop ups.

  2. Technology would be nothing without humans to create and expand on it. We would not be where we are today if it wasn’t for the technology to expand technology, confusing as that might come off as it is still true. If Edison or Bell did not take the step and make all their “mistakes” we might not be where we are today with technology. Yes we have viruses that surge through our technology and make life a little bit more difficult on us, but we are still able to strive through the mess and mayhem and improve and expand on the technology we use today.

  3. Angelicque, Your observations about the human – technology connection are quite insightful. Be careful, in your writing, to avoid empty phrases. What does it mean, for example, that The Lovers is “nothing short of” emulating emotion? Why is it “unexpectedly tragic”? The ideas are here. Choose your words with care. For future posts, focus on using clear, concrete language.

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