What Would Houdini Have Said?

Call me a Luddite.

Tell me that I’m not a digital native.

Berate me. Harangue me.

Frankly, I don’t care – because I just don’t get it….

Snapchat: ‘How To Make $3 Billion-Or Was It $4 Billion-Disappear’ (And Other Quotes Of The Week)

It’s not the founders’ (perhaps) brilliant chutzpah that mystifies me – nor is it that Facebook, which is losing relevance, is ready to pay for the perception of relevance or that Google is ready to pay for anything that has scale and data that they can capture (even after the message goes to that great digital heaven, wherever it is…)…no…what puzzles me is the Digibabble surrounding Snapchat.

There is no business model: I imagine that in keeping with the platform’s raison d’être any advertisement would by implication also disappear.  With all the talk of the social power and benefit to society of Internet.org, I’m drawing a blank on the ultimate place for lack of accountability….

But I expect the Digibabble from the Digibabblers…some because they are looking for the quick profit hit and others because of the pontification power of waxing eloquent on what they convince us is beyond the understanding of mere mortals.

Truthfully – what set me off was watching my friend’s grandchildren at brunch with us today in a local restaurant, coloring with crayons at the table. I can’t imagine the scene had we taken their drawings and ripped them up – because in the digital world we only want ephemeral images – nothing that lasts….never mind these digital embryos were using wax crayons on pulp-based products…horrors!!!

I also point out that last week saw yet another record-breaking art auction:
‘Bacon, Koons Set Major Records in New York at Christies’

And that Banksy travels the world fighting those who would erase his art, doing his best to leave a permanent record of his creativity.

Imagine if the Mona Lisa had self-destructed after a few minutes or The Last Supperau contraire – we spend millions preserving art and architecture, films and books, manuscripts and cave paintings….


Because it is a record of our passing – a metric of our accomplishments – a tribute to our humanity.

Let’s be clear – I get why some use Snapchat – in fact, I learned new reasons as I researched this piece – like Wall Street Insider Trading – but let’s be clear folks – there is a record of what’s sent – and it can and will bite you someday whether or not Google buys it….

But again – that wasn’t my point – Snapchat away – please – but don’t get lost in the digibabble of it all –

I really do believe that most of us still want to keep a record of our passing, and even the most digital of us still love a cherished photo moment framed and displayed….

Bottom line – I imagine that the first Snapchat novel will soon make the scene…followed by a full-length movie…by the way, does anyone even remember that a novel is being written on Twitter or that such was tried in text?

My final take? Listen:

“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.” Émile Zola

So I don’t know about you – I don’t need posterity for my emails and my rambles – but I do plan to live out loud for my grandchildren and beyond….

So I do hope that the Snapchat boys make billions – they deserve to – but please don’t mistake solving the problem of accountability with saving the world….that’s all I’m saying.

Some further links about restoring, maintaining and celebrating Creativity around the world…and in the real world…

Louvre; MOMA; La Scala; Bolshoi; Hermitage; Prado; Polaroid Fotobar

What do you think?

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