As Pat Hackett most invariably came to find whilst transcribing Warhol’s vast collection of tape-recorded audio for the various publications he went on to publish in the 1970s and early 80s, Andy often drew a parallel between life and television — and quite possibly in no other time before could that comparison be more blatantly evident than today. Not all things are as they appear, and 2008 has certainly done very well to demonstrate that. It seems to be that so much of what our present generation has taken for granted (the realities of the social constructs that shape each and every one of our lives) has faced a challenge leading inevitably to the newswire-hooked re-thinking of entire social systems, both great and small, on a global scale. By this I of course make reference to the state of justice and current political affairs, the ebb and flow of cross-cultural dialogue and its associated development, the unscrupulously suspect realms of banking and finance, the institution of art and commercialization of anything that can generate revenue, ad infinitum. As our lives become increasingly downsized, digitized, monetized, mis-sensitized and controversialized, what will 2009, 2010, or even that famed hallmark of 2020 possibly bring for us when one considers the general prevailing trends? Only time will truly tell (my commiserations to George), naturally, as history-in-the-making continues on in its roundabout ways, down the trail thrusting humanity to the edge of the very precipices and watersheds omni-handedly reached by our seemingly good-willed accomplishment and ironical undoing.
Yet on a personal level, it’s but another 365 days come and gone in a blur curiously resembling the morning after your last amazing night out. Though I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions and such sentimentality and projection of the sort, I always do find a peculiarly momentary state of retrospection unavoidable. Glossing over recent events past as marked by the occasion of a new year appears to me a mechanism through which we may attempt to examine our linear progression of (many) failings and (few) successes — a personal learning-curve audit in the midst of all the gold tinsel, red ribbon and mistletoe clichés. Thinking back now, as it always happens, it is as evident as ever that that which was expected was dwarfed by the unexpected. And it is through the unexpected that I find myself owing the utmost of gratitude: to all friends and family who have made 2008 worthwhile, as well as the many thanks indebted to all of you who have regularly contributed to my work here, whether be it through your invaluable feedback or being a constant source of inspiration in the realm of all things art-and-design related. So it is on that note that I wish you a very merry if not snowy Christmas filled with ample joy, relaxation, reflection, pepparkakor and glögg (with extra emphasis on the cognac). Happy holidays, everyone!
Sarah Badr © MMVIII
See also: ‘Paint by numbers’ (pieces at random)