Forget the loci amoeni of the classical world. They don’t make sense anymore, unless they power the loci communes of the digital world. The pastoral meadow by the river, the open woodland, are there to be instagrammed, trapped in selfie narco-cissism, colonised by our lost sense of incontrollability and awe of the world.
Enter the Echo, the Mirror, the Panopticon. The loci terribiles of our online landscapes. The drama of seeing everything and being seen by everyone, of being surrounded by ghosts reverberating their cacophony, the only thing keeping this nighmarish edifice bieng the illusion of togetherness. Of walking and talking together. Rejoicing and suffering together in a hall of mirrors.
Like fractals forever reconfiguring in new ways, the online landscape is always different and always the same. The meaning of ‘social setting’ loses all meaning in the wastelands of our online greenery. Nothing is set, because everything is trapped in potentiality: the ‘could be anything’ never quite finds actuation. The endlessness of choice paralyses the advent of embodiment. The infinite space between electrons generates infinite anxiety, the birth of the always-on, everywhere and anything. Our bodies fight allergically against the intrusion of the indefinite pronoun, and our minds discover the limits of boundlessness, the destructive capital of self-reliance.
Infinite mediation proclaims a new dawn, one where proximity and distance dissolve into meaninglesness. Space becomes a property of webdesign, time – the interval between clicks, slimming down, leaving a trail of our diminished humanity behind for others to monetize and alienate.