We live in an age of immediacy and brevity where everything from the important to the mundane, and the emotive, is instantly conveyed through abbreviation, within character limits, and most often via the discarnate. Our virtual selves are buoyed in sea of algorithms that auto-correct our dearest thoughts, geolocate our movements, and endlessly construct our extended personas. TL;DR seeks to find an intersection between abbreviation, the virtual, and the digital as that which has replaced the considered, the physical, and the inter-personal —or the actual.
Themes about surveillance and control are implicit with TL;DR. In a sense, the work could be interpreted as a Huxleyan warning. TL;DR is presented as a sort of entertainment that if left unquestioned suggests some sort of compliance. As written in the forward of Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death, “… in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think. […and] that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism.” As former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya put it when speaking “I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of … society. The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works.”