Friday, August 31, 2007

Newsweek covers Theresa Duncan

More than a month after after their passing, Newsweek covers Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake's tragic deaths under the "society" page. The gist of the story: the internet made them do it.

Duncan and Blake built their lives around computers and the Internet, using them to create innovative art, prize-winning video­games and visionary stories. But as time progressed, the very technologies that had infused their work and elevated their lives became tools to reinforce destructive delusions and weapons to lash out at a world they thought was closing in on them. By the end of their lives, this formerly outgoing and affable couple had turned cold toward outsiders. They addressed friends and colleagues from behind electronic walls of accusatory e-mails and confrontational blog posts, and their storybook devotion to each other slowly warped into a shared madness—what is known as a folie à deux. “This wasn’t who they wanted to be,” says Katie Brennan, a Los Angeles gallery owner and long­time friend. She compares the couple’s late-life delusions to “a kind of terminal cancer” that overtook the true Jeremy and Theresa.


“The condition of being super-social and super-isolated at the same time is an Internet-era kind of thing,” says Fred Turner, a media historian at Stanford University, who speculates that as Blake and Duncan withdrew from friends, “their only reality check left was the wisps of information on their computer screens. And unfortunately, that isn’t a very powerful check.”

We like the theory and appreciate the reality-based assessments of Duncan's career, and now we're getting the hell off this computer.

1 comment:

poussin said...

Fred Turner obviously isn't up on his Duncanology, Poulet. Had he been, he'd have known that TD and Blake were also receiving large wisps of information from a barbecue grill.