warehouse warehouse

Iterative Beings [diary #2]

by Lou Morlier

see here for the initial publication

I could not just act as if I were them. I am a theater, not an actor. I got to be them all, not just pretend I am. But it makes me vulnerable. “I, unique but not united”… I’m afraid that what makes me unique could become indistinguishable. I could be anyone at some point. Still I’d be me, uh? Is strength only found in unity? If I divide myself, do I become weaker? Why am I doing this? do I still belong to myself ? Confusion reigns. “Lui ne sait jamais s’il se dirige vers elle, s’il est dirigé, s’il invente ou s’il rêve” // “He never knows if he heads towards her, if he is headed, if he makes it up or if he dreams.” I recall these words from Chris Marker’s La Jetée.

I have been floating in this dream-like state, thinking about how we can’t get a clear idea about the world and the motivations for our actions. Yet we are rationalists, for the most part. Still tripping hard. Rationally hallucinating through our lives. I’m not a detractor of illusion, but this one doesn’t seem very attractive to me.

These online community based, normative mediums appear to me as a way to collectivize our hallucinations. To make it real. The more people doing it, the more real it gets. My alter-ego’s lives are anything but virtual. They indeed appear as my actual life for the time being, though I – and those who read my entries – know it is a simulation. The other viewers of my alter-ego’s contents, for their part, may not perceive it as such. This stresses out the need for the connected human to become aware of the mechanisms of simulation which organize – in a more and more transparent way – his daily life. Extravagant roleplays, soft-spoken fake personal attentions, home-made reality shows and the like: one could call them hyperlives.

PurJus's first video, dealing with monotony.

At one point I felt obliterated, eclipsed by my alternative selves. Then I roughly managed to understand how they could really be me rather than a vaguely familiar intruder. The norms and codes of the mediums I chose turned out to be a heavy burden. I whisper in my microphone because that’s how ASMR is supposed to be done. I film myself in my everyday life because that’s how popular vlogs are made. I stream gameplay because I watched other people do it and wanted to do the same. I am determined by strong normative structures in the construction of my online identities. I have to cope with a defined set of rules, which feel as much if not more oppressive than those of a traditional society. However finding a way around those rules is something playful to me, and I somehow enjoy to subdue myself to it, as much as it has given me a better insight of the social machinery that video-sharing websites have become.

WhispersFromTheDeep's second video, focusing on roleplay.

I may feel like someone who suffers alienation from wanting to be someone else, although I inflicted it to myself as an assignment, not a desire. A feeling of vertigo overcomes me when I lay down on my bed, after having worked all day on something that I wouldn’t really say is mine nor someone else’s.

We had this conversation with my friend and collaborator Samy Benammar, about this work resulting in a psychological disorder. He told me that I was neurotic, while YouTubers and the like were psychotic. It seemed a bit harsh at first glance, but the definitions actually verified his point. The subject afflicted by psychosis is not aware of his personality disorder, while the one suffering from neurosis perceive the unhealthy nature of his troubles. I investigated further on this side and found several parallels between psychological issues and the experiment I’m leading on myself, starting with DID.

Besides, psychotic persons are said to experience hallucinations that cause them to enter a world of their creation. Then aren’t we all psychotic, living through a more or less controlled hallucination, shaping the world according to our obsessions?

SovereignlessSoul’s stream archive, fruit of his idleness.

Lou Morlier born in august 1994 in the northwestern countryside of France. 22 years old. Obtained a Bachelor of Cinema and Literature at Université Lumière Lyon II in 2015, and is now attending a Master of Arts at Haute Ecole des Arts du Rhin. Morlier organizes the encounter of fetched materials, introduced in foreign environments. Trying – in the manner of an essayist – to unravel the subaqueous meanings of the relics he gathers during his digital cruises. Sometimes archeologist or ethnologist, sometimes fantasist or tightrope walker, documenting and manipulating random things he comes across, in a motion of poetic revamping.