El Secreto la Pelicula (aka The Biggest Piece of Spam I’ve ever received)

Click me! Then click again to maximize the image.

One of the most intriguing things about the world-wide web is its virtual tumbleweed of randomness (aka Spam messaging). In the past couple of days, I received about 20+ spam messages in my WordPress Comment Inbox BUT this one in particular intrigued me. First, I have a strange fascination with its length. Quite frankly, I can’t help but look at it. I don’t dare read it word for word but what would happen if I did? Or, reading parts versus the whole? It’s not the humdrum message about lengthening my non-existent penis or discount drugs. It’s, literally, a hodge podge of nothingness (two smilies in tow) and you know what, I kinda dig it. You’re probably thinking I’m crazy but there’s something about the modern-day ‘junk’ mail and virtual clutter we receive that really makes me wonder – where does it all come from?

I’m also reminded of video work, New News, by art collective/performers, What We Know So Far. Then again, what doesn’t remind me of art?

The pseudo news reporting is actually text from spam e-mail messages. You have to listen carefully but isn’t it strange how it seems, looks, and feels like a legitimate news cast? Now, imagine watching news in a foreign language. Would there be something particularly meaningful to you? Probably not because you wouldn’t know what is being communicated but what visual cues give way to its importance or unimportance? Anyway, this is why I enjoy work such as New News. It’s a great commentary on culture, media, and our collective attention spans.

New News from Mike Rugnetta on Vimeo.

Enjoy, reflect, and feel free to comment on this [random, non sequitur] use of language.


Author: Dorothy R. Santos

Dorothy R. Santos (b. 1978) is a Filipina-American writer, editor, curator, and educator whose research interests include new media and digital art, activism, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, she holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco, and received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts. She serves as one of the editors-in-chief for Hyphen magazine. Her work appears in art21, Art Practical, Daily Serving, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, and SF MOMA's Open Space. She has lectured at the De Young museum, Stanford University, School of Visual Arts, and more. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” was published in The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture (2016). She is currently a Yerba Buena Center for the Arts fellow researching the concept of citizenship. She also serves as executive staff for the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism and board member for the SOMArts Cultural Center.

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