28 January 2012

Earth's Media Museum

The phrase:
Earth has a new profile photo 
makes sense only in the context of interactive social media like Google+ or Facebook.

Like museums, social media phenomena like Google+ allow for the observation of cultural artifacts and for contextual and conceptual art experiences.

Interactive social media might replace the need for museums in our lives. 

Unbeknownst to many of us, Google+, Facebook, Tumblr, Posterous, and the like, might soon be surrogates for museums; albeit museums without the solemn marble columns, the transient streams of school children linked as a human chain for security, and the intoxicating scent of cultural significance.

When we learn on Google+ that Earth has a new profile photo, we find that the photo is a close-up of an isolated ball. The ball mirrors the mottled head in our own profile photo. The ball reminds us that the isolation we feel is confoundingly reducible to the scale of the frame defining our reality.

Responding to Earth's new profile photo, a person with the fitting moniker of Cosmic Rob helpfully admonishes us
You only get Earth with the premium package.

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