originally published in "Purple Prose" #13, fall 1997, Paris.
re-published in "Plan Libre" catalogue of work by photographer Luisa Lambri,1998, Milan.
As life on the net progressively becomes a reality, Real Life seems in comparison to become more and more abstract. The way reality is perceived on the net, has nothing to do with a visual reality but a mental one. Ditto Abstraction. This new abstract reality has to do with the way people or places are perceived rather than they way they actually are. The thing is places on the net have no room for abstraction, because they are very clearly defined: Nobody wants to talk about anything other than the most ordinary things like what did you have for lunch, where do you go, what color are your eyes? stats? pix?
In Real Life, space is abstract because its not so clearly defined. You have options and they're complicated to exercise. Real space and Real buildings are clutter with images of others before them, lost in a mental loop. Formal abstraction has given room to an abstraction of thought. The form is clearly defined-even ordinary-but the motivation or to use a really awful word "the concept" has become abstract, unnecessary. Real cities become more what you imagine them to be and less what they are. Buildings acquire personality and psychology, and they seem to react to thought. They are previews of buildings that could possibly exist, or parts of buildings that never were. Architecture becomes an accumulation of images that don't carry any specific meaning; they just carry themselves onto the next frame and the next city.