The basic concepts of cloud composing: non-representational (reference is spread elsewhere), meaning saved in another space (punctum based composing since meaning is not found in the space you read but rather in some personal connection motivated by a detail or two), and functions by hyperlinks (the logic of <A>, but not as a mere linking tool – rather as a spatially organizing tool).
The frequency of Foreigner. One of the most humdrum of all classic rock bands is one of the most dominant on classic rock stations. Where is the line drawn between Bad Company, Free, and Foreigner? One and the same? An F.M. radio station. Scanning the frequency. “Hot Blooded.” “Dirty White Boy.” “Urgent.” Any given day, one can and will hear Foreigner.
The only radio equivalent to Foreigner is The Eagles. If I name all the rock bands I saw in concert growing up in suburban Miami, these are the two I did not see. Why are they not numbered among my many concerts?
1983. In the small music store where I bought my first guitar and amp, I walk past the items for sale toward the backroom where lessons are taught. Each week I am to bring a song I want to learn on tape. The instructor will listen to it, figure out how to play it, and teach it to me. The first song we worked on was “Dirty White Boy.”
2009. On the way to work. 96.7. The meta-ad (as if we are not already listening to this station – we need to be reminded that it exists) comes on using three songs to promote the station. “Hot Blooded” and “Hotel California” are number one and two of the songs. The third is “Slow Ride.”
# has become the symbol of what is happening right now. We process information so quickly, that we need tags (markers) to help us organization it among the various outlets of reception.Â Like a conversation about Foreigner. # is also symbolic for the number sign. A “greatest hits” album collects the “top” songs by a given band. The songs are metaphorically numbered.
My permanent “right now” is the status update. Indeed, most of us in the cloud are constantly updating our status.To know who I am, we say, you have to know what I am doing right now. Identity is of the moment.
In “Funky #49,” Joe Walsh sings “Don’t misunderstand me.”
What are you listening to is the always present status update. What are you writing is the status update of the Web. What am I writing right now? Every post, update, feed, twit, etc is a way to get at the question: what am I writing right now. The number (#) of posts I compose on a web space like a blog could be interpreted as numerical and thus representational (i.e., one might point to them in order to demonstrate legitimacy – I work – or importance – I’ve written a lot) or these posts might merely be updates of the same idea. The blog can be merely a way to update.
A Foreigner song might be explained as the update of three chords (either root, fourth, fifth or three chord structure in general). The Eagles song might be explained as the update of the country/folk structure: G, C, D. The number is still three.
When I was 15, and MTV still played videos, I saw a Joe Walsh video for the song “The Confessor.”Â The video opens with a shot of a parched landscape. Walsh sings: “When you try to see the meaning hidden underneath/ The measure of the depth can be deceiving.”Â I taped it as I did all videos: waiting at the video machine already set to record/pause. When the video I wanted came on, I lifted the pause. My personal video collection is updated with others’ video collections. “The Confessor,” though, is not yet uploaded to YouTube. It’s metaphoric number, what are you listening to, has not yet been called. I cannot understand my own relationship to classic rock until I understand this last point. Why are we updating some information and not other information? What kind of information have we been holding on to all these years, waiting to update (a video, a performance, and idea, a text, a post, a family photo, etc)?