Today I had an interesting conversation with a friend, in which we discussed the current political climate, identity, relationships, and art. In sum, she said that as people, we need to be against, which is essentially defeating because in doing so, we give that thing–whether it be a person, group of people, or idea–power.
But that thing has power to begin with, right? And by ignoring it, that power does not diminish, it is only forgotten. Right? What happens if a balance of power is achieved? Is it possible? Will people really ever be able to let to of the predetermined constraints that they were born into, or of the endless possible identities that they could take on that relate to our corporal reality?
The interface of the web could do that very easily. But even so, it is not as subtractive as it could be. Even the with anonymity that can cloak one’s web presence, the second one associates themselves with something that can link them to the physical world, assumptions are made and others are already trying to categorize, place, and associate. I think we do this to find comfort and grounding in this digital age we’ve found ourselves in. Even with the knowledge that someone we’ve connected with solely online might be giving us an identity that is dissimilar to that of their physical existence, a “lie” is more comforting than nothing at all.
I suppose this rambling took a sharp turn, but I guess what I’m proposing is that the web opened up possibilities for a true balance of power amongst its users because of its subtractive nature, but often we are not willing to let go of the things that tie us to the things we cannot change about ourselves and each other.