What Post-Digital Streets Look Like

It’s a strange thing, to wander down streets I haven’t been down in twenty years, and see dotcom URLs and email addresses everywhere, on signage and posters and flyers. Twenty years ago, very few people here were online, ecommerce was barely started, my own email address was still a string of numbers and there was a good deal of resistance to the idea of the online world penetrating or layering over the IRL space. Just twenty years. One of the phone shops in the high street just shut down. It’ll be replaced by either a coffee shop or a tattoo parlour, the two fastest-growing physical retail sectors in the area right now. If you’re not offering something you can’t download or click for – a physical experience – then your days as a physical storefront ran out some time ago. Unless it’s a genuine fetish, like print on paper in a specialist environment.

It’s kind of fascinating to see the craters left in the real world from digital bombing runs.

 

(Taken from a recent edition of my newsletter, ORBITAL OPERATIONS, which you can subscribe to at this link.)