selfportrait.net's blog covering community artists, gallery shows, and the whereabouts of young entrepreneurs and artistic talents from NY, LA, London, Paris, the world.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Duke Nukem



Is it just me or do you miss the days of the unbeatable online demo games? I sit on my 2000 Silver iBook, sifting through the remnants of the person I used to be as I came across a copy of Duke Nukem 3D Demo. Inarguably one of the greatest first person shooters of its day, the demo is frustratingly hard, savage and without proper instructions. But that’s part of the fun. You find yourself immersed in a Bladerunneresque world only constricted by the Zombies, who are relatively easy to kill one by one, but together make it almost impossible to remain alive. I then realize there are simple codes to attaining unlimited health, and equally easy codes to make the strippers undress themselves, and I find myself in a journey through conscious thoughts of the person I used to be. I blast the Ludacris and the rare Chris Webber and Allen Iverson tracks that were only free if you were really good at navigating through Napster. Barmitzvah planning that I had erased from my brain years ago came back to me like I had just eaten Proust's cake or cobbler, or whatever that man ate before constructing his beautiful modernist epic about relative memory. Journeying through nostalgia can be one of the revelatory experiences in one's life. If you have an old computer, I suggest you look through it, and if you ever had Sim Cinema, you will remember the days when Will Smith only made ten million dollars a movie and Arnold Schwarzenegger made 25. If you're wondering where this past is going, you may be at a loss. Art has become the appropriation of an endemnic, diminishing historical awareness. The world is no longer composed so simply, so that all people live with a limited attention span. Through the exploration of the past we can predict the course of the future. When I was an adolescent, subconsciously influenced by a burgeoning and conflated society of global Internet capitalism, traces of the person I once was have all but vanished. In the same era David Foster Wallace had already composed his magnum opus Infinite Jest, which essentially predicts the rise of YouTube, the inclusion of Mexico in the United States public policy and the future of AA. His novel is evidence proving that possessed by the cultural norms of a time, one can vaguely understand cultural consciousness, and be an ambassador, bridging the gap between the present and the future. So selfportrait.net users, while looking at the art that floods our pages, be aware of a context that the world has never seen before and will never see again.

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