<p>The internet, what’s all that about then?</p>
This all pervasive contradictory tool is both devil and savior, endlessly discussed, vilified, revered, used, abused—it is all things and nothing.
You could pretty much say anything about it and it would probably hold true, such is its strange power and slippery character. We’ve become ever-so-slightly reliant on it, while also projecting our own metaphors of what it should be or is—tainting it with a kind of technological romanticism. We overrate it, take it for granted and find it eternally fascinating and remarkable and a little bit annoying, too. We think of it as being as important as the printing press yet the humble washing machine supposedly facilitated greater change.
In their “digi-documentary” Internet Rising filmmakers Andrew Kenneth Martin, Marina Eisen, and Alex Eisen hope to add to and expand the conversation about what it all means while “investigating the evolving relationships between the Internet and [the] collective consciousness of humanity.” And, nobly, rather than just reaffirming their own views it looks like they’ve tried to get a broad selection of opinions from the various facets of people who are happy to express them, and who are responsible for some of our most fundamental theories about the web.
Talking heads come flying at the screen in an attention-deficit barrage of cuts and visuals, put through grainy video filters and glitchy effects to achieve a tone and aesthetic that feels very much rooted in the visual language of the internet. These headphoned interviewees peer out from their webcams as distorted graphics ripple the screen among them are such sages of the web as Kevin Kelley, Douglas Rushkoff, Vinton G. Cerf, Tiffany Shlain, Jason Silva, members of Anonymous, the Executive Director of Linux International, a doctor from an internet addiction clinic, and countless other internet prophets, futurists, singularitarians, and Second Life citizens—each offering his or her own ruminations on what it all means.
It’s informative and entertaining—informataining, if we’re to coin a neologistic portmanteau.