After our inaugural Psychogeographers of Ontario (POO!) walk, I dragged Helen, Luke and Dana to this used bookstore I’d been eyeing for a few weeks on College. I walked out with two old Margaret Atwoods and a Virginia Woolf for $3 a piece, but the real gem I found was Arthur Kroker‘s totally ridiculous pomo philosophy of cyberculture from 1993 entitled “Spasm” which I bought as a prop for the talk Leigh and I are doing at Notacon in a few weeks about the how the internet has been (mis)represented over the years by academics and journalists.
Spasm one of those completely over-the-top-hype-filled books which proclaimed “OMG everything is going to profoundly change because of this cyber computer biznass!!” that were all the rage in the 90s. See also 1990s books that supposedly explained the entire philosophical underpinnings of the internet/cyberculture yet managed to do the exact opposite.
The jacket blurb says it all:
Spasm is the 1990s. A theory-fiction about the crash world of virtual reality, from the cold sex of Madonna Mutant, the pure sex of Michael Jackson and the dead sex of Elvis to the technological fetishes of Silicon Valley. Written from the perspectives of cultural politics, music, photography, cinema and cyber machine art, Spasm explores the ecstasy and fadeout of wired culture. Here, we suddenly find ourselves the inhabitants of a glittering, but vaguely menacing, technological galaxy where the machines are finally beginning to speak.
Spasm is a book/CD to take along with you on your hacker journey across the galaxy of the electronic frontier.
And yes, Baudrillard is invoked.