Drunken Boat, still afloat, remains despairing of the port and is thus compelled to circumnavigate the last remaining ocean, the binary deep where wavelets of information flow ever further, ever faster. Our sense of belonging here is simultaneously compulsory and tenuous; it’s as if our greatest invention—one that we can rightly take pride in as each user of this medium is also its potential alterer—has the means and desire to reinvent us. What happens to the self when internal repositories of collective wisdom are externalized and made equal to every other bit of data? Cantos alongside coprophilia, string theory sidled up to mail-order frankfurters, international news conglomerates responding to the same event as a dude called Rocco. One feels that the probability for revolutionary change exists, but then again, there’s the influence of the insatiable marketplace: all the world’s a place to buy.

Exceedingly, then, the importance of art—not hyper-edited, corporate-financed, escapist Hollywood extravaganzas, but rather what Stephane Mallarmé described as, "that, beyond the confines of a fistful of dust or of all other reality, beyond the book itself, beyond the very text, which delivers up the volatile scattering which we call Spirit, Who cares for nothing save universal musicality"—the importance of such an art as gestates in the quiet of the furrowed brow becomes a necessary antidote to the clamor of prefabricated speech that colonizes our waking hours with pangs and demands.

Imagine America, land of plenty, home of the purchaser, an empire arguably at the peak of any empires ever, and yet at no other time or place in history have so many people been incarcerated or used such voluminous amounts of anti-depressants. We, like our predecessors were and our successors will be, are culturally coded into upholding values that from the perspective of death are meaningless, and artists from time to time can rend the veil that maintains the status quo, revealing the graces and catastrophes that constitute the human character outside fashion and ephemerality.

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