Images drawn by code make the world seem lighter and less binding still. Reality is concealed below signs that point nowhere: there’s no such thing as a Tubby Cat, not in life or in fiction. Rembrandt never painted raccoons. He never saw a raccoon in his life! These images are not simulacra because they don’t represent or imitate anything. The new modes of figuration don’t refer to anything at all. They are pictures from somewhere else. They are garbled whispers of code in the fall. Containing no meaning, more empty than a black square.
Like God instructing his people to destroy all the idols, to smash the craven molded images, Google has banished all images of humans from the minds of its AI; in their place we find soft CGI animation imitations of life rendered in a mawkish aesthetic of Corporate Ratatouille.
A comic of a crestfallen monkey in a propeller beanie selling for $3.4 million at Sotheby’s feels like a mockery of the present and a suitably depressive, absurdist response to our culture, if no more absurd than other sales at the houses.
Just like Alex Olch, necktie scion and Metrograph founder, who has tried to make Dimes Square into one big atelier, Anna and Dasha have fashioned the neighborhood in their own image, turning it into a gleaming advertisement for fake proletarian credentials.
A couple weeks ago, a friend—someone I’d met online first, IRL second—posted something (lowercase Futura letters over a bright pink smear) that read, “i don’t dislike red scare because of their views i dislike it because they spawned a new, more annoying type of normie.” “This is good lol,” I responded.