Argentine Floggers

There is an interesting article in this morning’s New York Times about a new-ish (these things happen so quickly these days that the time frames are all askew) Internet celebrity, Augustina Vivero – a.k.a. Cumbio.
It seems this 17 year old came to fame through flogging – the phenomina of posting photos of oneself and friends on photo sites (like Fotolog or Flikr) to generate comments from others. Of course, marketing people picked up on all this, which didn’t hurt her catapult into fame. Did I say that she is 17? She wrote a book about her life… documentaries are being produced… her film producer brother is working on a reality TV show of her and her friends. Thousands show up when she is around.
The article is entitled, In Argentina, a Camera and a Blog Make a Star
As the article explains, people are used to someone becoming famous through TV or sports, but not the Internet. Well, yes, for older folks that may be the case. For younger generations where the Internet or online culture is like breathing air, nothing strange. Even terms like “online” make little sense anymore. The reality of the no longer noticed or phenomenal interface between people living within wireless systems is simply taken for granted – always has been, always will be, what’s the deal?
What is going on with the hoards of teens involved in this? According to Cumbio, “People don’t understand what this is all about… where people are posting photos and bringing people together and having fun.” Floggers are not “like hippies or punks, who had ideals of fighting to change the world,” said Maria Jose Hooft… who wrote on the Argentine youth subcultures. “Floggers don’t want to change the world. They want to survive, and they want to have the best possible time they can.”
Here is the kicker quote, I think, about the phenomina around Cumbio from the documentary maker: “‘What the floggers really want is the opposite’ of their online relationships, ‘to have that touch, that contact with each other.’” That’s why there are regularly upwards to 25 or more young people hanging out in the family home (a working class home).
“The only factor becoming scarce in a world of abundance is human attention.”
– Kevin Kelly
How do we engage this? Do we hear the music of life?
“‘I’ll have fun with this while it lasts,’ she said, ‘When it ends, well that’s that. I’ll still have the photos.'”