David Bowie’s 1999 Internet Predictions. Captivating !
He’ll be remembered for many things. A renaissance figure without boundaries to contain him in any art form. The music gave him cache, but in itself it was a staff he danced and performed around.
But David Bowie a technologist? A futurologist along the lines of Henry Jenkins or Alvin Toffler? Get out of here!
But wait. In this 1999 video from the BBC’s vaults, this electrifying understanding of the web is the stuff of Vannevar Bush. Here, Bowie is interviewed by the BBC’s Rotweiller-in-waiting interviewer Jeremy Paxman.
Some context though and this in no way diminishes how excited I was watching this, but 1999 was the cusp of the first dot com. I posted my first email in 1997, and built my first website on 1998. But the Net was a still the backwater niche; corporates and industrialists unsure of its impact, and pop superstars still hanging tightly onto the coats of their publishers.
Bowie here describes it as the end of singularity, contextualising Lyotard’s (though he doesn’t mention it) fragmentation of ideas and society. Respect! Another epistemological tab for this maestro.
Enjoy. The Net chat starts off from 08.13