Measuring Desire

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I came across this fascinating found art project, Lovelines. The idea is to gather random information from blogs and other personal Internet sources, and place them on a scale between love and hate. The information in question relates to statements having to do with varying degrees of love and hate, pared down to the crucial. Updated every few minutes, the visitor gets to take the pulse of what people out there in the cybersphere are sharing at the time about their wants, needs, repulsions, hopes.

Like the addictive, often profound, Postsecret, these decontextualized statements have an interesting effect. For instance, I dragged the heart to “hate” and found: “I hate dates to a degree but in a sense am made up entirely of dates”, posted by a female. Immediately, I wondered, was that the confession of somebody whose social calendar is filled with what others’ expected her to do, or the musings of someone addicted to serial monogamy in a really masochistic way?

Neither, as it turned out. The person really was talking about dates. As in time.

There’s something very voyeuristic about the whole project. I think the trick is to not click through and find out what the rest of any statement means, just as I would personally not want to meet the person behind a postcard at PS. The pathos is in the blanks, in what the imagination comes up with. Seems like a great tool for those who use writing prompts.

Before publishing this post, I went back to drag the heart (you’ll see, when you get there) one more time.

“I love this whip,” wrote a male, three minutes ago.

Hmm.

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