PERFORMING REALITY / REALLY GOING FORM IT
AN ESSAY BY QUEUE SPERANZA PT. 2
Again, frame begins. But in this second part of the larger project of "the greatest freak out ever", the frame is more pronounced, implying not only narrative but twinned historicities: the post-postmodern and the mythico-biblical. The echoing emptiness of the domestic ("real") space swallows the attempt at self-definition Stephen so tragically grasps at within the auto-articulating ("digital") space. This sterility, this anodyne veneer of tranquility, becomes a base upon which a second proto-mythical narrative of archetypes is danced in steps of 1s and 0s.
Stephen's rallying cry of "Stop freaking betraying me, I'm on your team," while appearing at first to be operating with singular pure force that defies attempts to theorize any deeper meaning besides a stereotypical reading of "masculine" aggression canalized into specific physical forms, actually 'betrays' more complicated subaltern proto-verbal fears concerning masculinity, kinship, and the articulation of self. Here the biblical irrupts into our modern frame, washing over the floodplain of domesticity and altering the visual landscape we scan for signifiers of meaning. Cain and Abel vie with Jacob and Esau for semiotic significance; Blood and pixels intermingle. The result is a chimeric performance, or, more specifically, the performance of a chimeric state. Stephen craves confirmatory articulation of the borders of his self even as he rages against the dictatorial rule of heterosexualized bloodlines in the modern conception of family. The computer screen, then, becomes a wall, not a window, and the vise grip of modernity on the nascent project of adolescent gendering grows tighter.
Just when we feel Stehpen deserves nothing but pity, frame emerges again to push us back towards the canyon edge of understanding artifice.
"Add him on myspace by typing stephen quire" floats in red, and the axis of this world shifts wildly. Is Stephen a persona, some creation of the viral economy? Is this video series really a chronicle of the sever anger and emotional volatility of a young boy struggling into manhood, or is something more composed, more formal(ized), and ultimately more sinister at play? As the digital space continues to unfold, the light of sure truth becomes murkier, more removed, casting all we see in a twilit pall of ambiguous intentionality. Plato's cave, disabused of any notions of causality, emerges as a structural metaphor with the possibility to undergird further discussion of this fascinating project.