Freelance art writer, Art History PhD @ McGill, bookseller. Studying conceptual art and #postinternet w/r/t systems, networks, information, dematerialized objects, immaterial labour, #fullcommunism, etc. saelantwerdy at gmail.
Evgeny Morozov writes from Palo Alto, a Californian charter city established by the founding father of Stanford University, at which Morozov is a visiting fellow. Palo Alto, nestled in a dewy corner of Silicon Valley, has been at various times home to Google, Paypal, Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard: a prime piece of sun-drenched, Nor-Cal sprawl. Social media is to the Read/Write Web what sprawl is to the metropolis of Modernity: a homogenous, cancerous, rhizomatic junkspace that expands exponentially outward on a sludgy wave of strip malls and sponsored links, greed and induced demand. This ruthless modernization produces miles of “junkspace” – a term coined by the architect Rem Koolhaas, who wrote that “…More and more, more is more. Junkspace is overripe and undernourishing at the same time, a colossal security blanket that covers the earth in a stranglehold of seduction… Junkspace is like being condemned to a perpetual Jacuzzi with millions of your best friends… Seemingly an apotheosis, spatially grandiose, the effect of its richness is a terminal hollowness, a vicious parody of ambition that systematically erodes the credibility of building, possibly forever.” Koolhaas was referring to the airport and the strip-mall and the single-zone sprawl, but he could have been talking about Facebook.