Sunday, September 24, 2017

Real-Virtual interface: "ViewCart" and postmodern boundaries

It was just another moment of consumerist pursuit when Kaleidoscope met a screen attached to a real cart. Yes, he knows that he indulges the e-carts regularly but this is the thing which makes real-virtual interface -literally possible and takes us to a completely convoluted and juxtaposed world of disappearing boundaries. God bless technocaratic society in which Kaleidoscope like others has to live on.

The ViewCart

The view cart is nothing but a regular shopping cart with a screen attached to his handle. The screen plays continuous series of advertisements. See the photograph:

An imagined story:

Imagine kaleidoscope begins his shopping extravaganza because of his discontent self within the mundane everydayness. Of course, Kaleidoscope is like that 'shop girl' of Adorno who visits the cinema not because she believes that the fantastic events of the cinema could happen to her, but because only in the cinema can she admit that they will not happen to her (Adorno 1992: 49-50). Yes, Kaleidoscope might well buy things which he needs to sustain life and then will glance through things which he cannot buy because of money (or because of health!). He might end up to the wine-shop corner to pick up a pocket friendly bottle to enjoy the transcendence. Now imagine he is carrying all the items in to that "ViewCart" with a screen always displaying one thing or the other. Now he is supposed to "watch steps" as he roam around the shopping mall therefore, the screen of the viewcart would continue to attract his attention. Imagine he bumped onto something and than looking at the front like the dumbest persons in the world to find out what? An attractive person? no, life is not a scripted love story - he will end up watching another advertisement or product which he can never have. Perhaps the attractive person would also remain inaccessible. Kaleidoscope knows my body, your body and availability of it - like most of the others - and of course he doesn't have the guts to offer like Guan Antonio in "Vickey Christina Barcelona"!

Antonio in Vickey Christina Barcelona directed by Woody Allen

The real lack of control:

Enough of the creative imagination inspired by otherwise serious looking Adorno, Kaleidoscope met the Viewcart like many others simultaneously. While he took a photo, others tried to control over it by playing fingers over its screen. Yes, it is not a touch screen device and hence you really cannot manipulate your choice over the device. Hence, no matter how hypocrite such supposedly freedom of choice might entail - even that amount of control is absent with the view cart. It definitely going to take you to the world of the imagined future, possible products and make you act on your possible fantasies. It precisely the moment in history when several boundaries like virtual/real, perceived/imagined, conscious/unconscious, subject/object are dissolving.

What is so special in ViewCart?

The fundamental question, what is so special in ViewCart? especially when we are totally immersed in the late capital rise of consumerism and we are actually embodied by and embodying products, brands, consumptions and what not - in sum the symbolic capital or the class. However, the ViewCart is different in the sense it is more aggressive. ViewCart with the uncontrolled display of the screen gives a consumer a little choice of not to become a consumer. See, when you are inside a shopping destination you are already into the world of products. You live in a virtual air-conditioned environment covered by the walls of products or walls of your images (when there are mirrors) and images of the products. The only connection to reality is while you walk. Since, you have to move you have to occasionally watch your steps and that is "reality connect." The "ViewCart" is perhaps destroying one of the last resorts of such connections and taking you faster to the world of empty matrix of imagined products, your consumerist aspirations and your utopic happiness.

Yet, as Freudian analysis of dreams, the pursuit of consumption is an illusory solution to the real problems of social life. Hence, we buy a music CD, a book or a bottle of alcohol for some future leisure day and we believe in the future leisure for which we continue to toil. Now, when we would be buying things for an imagined future, the ViewCart will show us what more can we buy and should we buy and we ought to buy.

Therefore, next time you bump up to a ViewCart with attached screen remember Kaleidoscope and don't forget to look at the ground as you walk.

1 comment: