The End of Modernity, the Birth of the Singularity: Cultural Implications of the Technological Singularity
Modernity is defined by philosophers and historians as a stage in human culture which is referential in nature; a state of being which collapses time through its signification of past, present, future. It is fundamentally paradoxical. A contemporary, modern moment consists of a spectrum and gains meaning through the relations of the points on this spectrum. How we think, act, and feel are all bound to this conception of being in time. We are born into a cultural unit with a specific history, a specific ontology that defines our social roles and positions based on recordings of past occurrences. The present is congruent with the past and history assures us of this. We live and someday will die. We surround ourselves with momento mori as to not forget the meaning that can be associated with every breath. Life is short. It is transient, a blip. We will die someday. This is what we in our culture believe.
This view is what determines meaning in our lives but what happens once the threshold of the singularity has been crossed? Once death is no longer a promise but merely a possibility? Once the present is so different from the past as to detach itself from the reflexivity which has so far defined modernity and the meaning of everyday life?
Joel Kuennen is a graduate student in the Masters of Arts Visual and Critical Studies program at The School of the Art Instiute of Chicago. He is a contributing writer for Chicago Art Magazine and FNews Magazine as well as a practicing artist who works primarily with digital video and multimedia installation. His theoretical writings concern cinema studies, new media studies and contemporary subjectivity as inflected by spatial relationships.
This sounds like an exciting topic, I hope you’re all looking forward to it as much as I am!