Friday, May 28, 2010

Ambient Intimacy

A Twitter how-to manual introduced me to the term 'ambient intimacy.' It is probably the first time I've considered an internet term to be poetic. It describes the state of being connected from a distance in a very personal way. Not just having an idea of where a person is and what they are doing, but holding lightly on to another's experience. Always touching by underground wires.

I think that is the way art happens, too. Art rarely comes as a direct experience, but like a connection, offered up for you to put in your pocket and walk away with. And then later take it out to look at, and feel connected to something. The big criticism of virtual social life is that real social life suffers. I prefer to circumvent the issue by thinking of the virtual social sphere as an art thing.

Twitter as a performance piece. Who knew?


1 comment:

  1. Hi Curtis,

    Farah here (the Saturday intern). I've been thinking about the ubiquity of social networking a lot in the last few years. I've been using the term 'ambient awareness' to refer to this phenomena, but I like 'ambient intimacy' better. There's more agency implied in your term, and yes, it does sound more poetic!