Digital traces of who we were, what we did, what we looked like, how we sounded, behaved, what fueled our passions, what held our focus…even now, in only the 21st century, are everywhere, and being stored inside — and made accessible from within — a variety of forms.
I have been a fan of Negativeland for, Jesus, 25 years now. Founding member, Don Joyce, is now dead. However, along with Negativeland’s music, which is likely available where you reside (it wasn’t for me, not back in the day), thousands of hours of Joyce’s radio programming and sound collages are now available via the Internet Archive.
Most of us don’t record thousands of hours of music. Still, there should be a single sign-up sheet that legally binds all social media, all technology companies, all cloud service providers, to release upon our death, every “hey, alexa” request, every Soundcloud bit we recorded, every story we shared, every photo we posted.
Right now, this information is not kept, and releasing it onto the world is too dang hard.
Then there’s another method of revealing our former corporeal selves, and here, comedians point the way:
Opening next August in Jamestown, New York is the National Comedy Center, which promises to be a humor hall of fame starring well-known stand-ups you can’t see live anymore. Instead of video installments, wax statues or robot clones, the performers will be holograms: life-size, 3-D holograms that even up close look like real people. The center is working with Beverly Hills–based HologramUSA to render the new space a club where you can watch funny people (most of them long dead) perform at their peak with routines that kill (virtually).