by Kevin Huizenga
The sixth and (maybe? maybe not?? NOT.) final issue of Kevin Huizenga's revelatory exploration of and meditation on time and space: Ganges. This issue focuses on some of the effects of technology on our temporal experience. As always, Huizenga takes the opportunity to explore the unique properties of comics; searching for new, untried and/or under-appreciated approaches to what the medium has to offer by way of communicating concepts and states – of mind as well as of being.
While all of us employing the latest gadgetry, apps, platforms, etc. have no shortage of anecdotes pertaining to our experience, Huizenga isn't satisfied with simply relating a story – he wants to take you inside of it. He aims to demonstrate, with the comics making tools at his command, what it feels like to move through space and time with technologically augmented awarenesses and perceptions, how the experience of moment and place is thereby altered, and so provide readers the opportunity to step out of their hyper-connected selves, to see what's happening in their minds and so begin to develop the ability to construct a consciousness of the changes taking place that incorporates an understanding of how the nature of our experience is being transformed as a consequence of it being mediated by a technology and immersed in a connectivity which, lest we forget, are owned and managed – for the most part – by for-profit corporations with agendas of their own.
Yes, of course, we all know that the world we live in is changing, but what is less obvious, what it is important to keep in mind, is that it is being changed, that agency is involved, and that competing interests are locked in constant struggle to determine the future – our future – and that this future is ever more being determined by a controlled altering of human interactions with and through temporal and spacial reality by technological impositions designed to align our perceptions with the agendas of corporate entities and the interests of the hegemonic capital that they serve. And while this capital is in turn putatively subject to private ownership, these owners are not themselves immune to the technological forces being employed to reshape civilization and are so subject to the same perceptual impositions, perhaps even more so due to their higher degree of immersion in technology. It is worth considering the possibility that these developments may be leading to a state of affairs in which the abstract aims of capital to replicate itself are liable to determine future paths irrespective of any direct human agency.
Thus, it is imperative to gain a greater awareness of how present – and future, as every day brings something new – technologies are altering our experience of reality and so be able to evolve our behaviors, characters and beings in ways that enable us to consciously adapt to the changes in our perceptual environment – changes that may very well turn out to be as momentous as the changes occurring in/to our physical environment – in order to maintain, and, ideally, advance, human agency. Kevin Huizenga's timely and necessary work is aimed at providing just this awareness.
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