Post Twitter
4 November 2022

Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter has motivated me to stop using the platform and start thinking about other, older ways of thinking in public again.  Prior to Musk taking the company private again, I had largely stopped using the platform to communicate with others in any meaningful way.  It became a site to get news and hear the inner monologues of a few interesting people, but those accounts had grown few and far between.  Mostly I seemed to be reading about narrow bands of interest from interesting people or watching journalists practice an extension of their (paid) work as writers.  All of this has been accompanied by a shift towards live-performance on Instagram and TikTok, which I have little interest engaging with. As a ‘word person’, I had also stopped writing and thinking in forms longer than a caption outside of my art or the occasional writing project.  I don’t think I’m going to return to regular blogging, but I do think there is something to returning to a space where I can think out loud when no one is looking.  I imagine anyone reading this has decided to visit this site looking for a particular art work or some piece of information.  It is an island in a sea of information and does not have to perform in an attention economy.  Anyway, it’s ironic that the democratizing platform of Twitter has ended up in the hands of a billionaire who is looking to turn Twitter into a profit-engine.  It’s something that would fit neatly into one of my more dystopian timelines about the contemporary era which has seen some of the worst effects of wealth and income inequality come to pass, including the erosion of democratic institutions that Thomas Piketty warned about in Capital in the 21st Century.  So, you won’t find me active on Twitter anymore @powhida, but I’m leaving the account there as a digital headstone for over a decade of sometimes interesting and often embarrassing public engagement about being an artist in New York.  #RIPDrunkartist 

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William Powhida
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