The ideas of beauty, fashion, identity, what we are and how we present ourselves are a glitter ball of the internet and everything we consume, share energies, sex or time with. (Unless you’re the kinda Teflon-arsewipe who takes no responsibility for your actions.)
After speaking at the Digital Research in the Humanities and Arts conference in Brighton last year with the digital artist Dr Vesna Petresin, I was exposed to Massachusetts Institute of Technology boffins and have been considering Dark Matter: the missing comprehension of the universe. I now believe that dark matter is dark karma, a result of genocides and pollutants of all kinds, and digitally we are in danger of binding ourselves in chains of ‘vain data’, a superficial feedback hall of mirrors, providing a toxic data compost for our future digital selves.
The infinite cosmos is a space for the greed we see in the terrorism of controlling political rhetoric. We must not pollute the anthropocene as we have the pre-millennial world with ‘dirty data’. We are in a war now with corporate technology – as it pimps a bullying distraction of social narcissism. We must fill the voids with data before they do. Our job is to magnify the wormholes and put up signs to show the way out through these vessels of light. We must expand the light and be the change we want to see by filling our cosmoses with quality.
This quest for keeping it real in the hyperreal is as prescient as the urban search for sentience, undermined in the same way porn affects images of love. At base reality level 1, we can hope for Universal Basic Income for every global citizen, and like a hierarchy of needs – there’s a quest for shelter against the digital onslaught, like a blanket or a fire, shrouding us, the escape to the country, to the wood cabin – or the shed which we retreated to to make this second edition of Cold Lips. The font, Shedville, is a direct result of the technological apocalypse, handmade by Anne-Cathrin Saure over a wooden table, inspired by the typewritten poem I’d written to echo her partner and the creative director of this edition, Jason McGlade’s Polaroid projects.
With the first edition of Cold Lips, somewhat ambitiously, I hoped to put forward a fresh narrative for female role models; this second ed is more about being the fashion we want to see. It is about integrity and authenticity. Heart on your sleeve believers. It’s about being brave and daft enough to broach abject poverty and the gaps in those spaces. It’s not fair if what we share only keeps wages low, in slavery. Being rich in spirit is not enough, but it’s better than the alternatives …
Enter the self-styled. It’s the only way.
This editorial was published in Cold Lips II. To read the full edition, you can purchase a full copy in select shops or in our online store.