Maurice Specht 1 Jan 2002

Better Than Fantasy

A Three-day Trip

Looking back on the three days of intensive talking, listening, looking and experiencing, I can't feel but having been on a journey, a trip.

Within this trip I have been on great abstract heights, within very concrete technology, within ourselves, within the machine, and within the products created by the intersection between the apple and the human. The difficulty surrounding these days comes into sight this way. How to connect all these different planes of experience? The experiences were sometimes so differentiated that it became hard to see how all of these people were talking about this same strange new world. But these constellations of different planes of experience are not strange artifacts created within Felix Meritis, they are a reflection on how our daily life is being constituted.

These sorts of reflections on how the world is constituing daily life are not new. But what makes it interesting nowadays is that the critical perspective with which to look at the constituants of our society have broadened up in the years after the second world war. The way people act, react, think, feel, experience etc. is now (un)consciously formed by a far greater arsenal of constituants. Not only the state, the economy and the church are involved in this act, but also machines, software, aesthetics, materials, etc. It is this new way of thinking about ourselves and the way we act in the world that has been connected to a changing world we live in these three days.

Something is changing within our world that makes our relation to it into a question. But with every new thing come a set of questions surrounding this newness. What makes it new, what differentiates it from previous experiences? How did we get here? What are the consequences of these changes? And last but surely not least, has there been a change at all? Has something really changed? And if not, what's all the fuzz about.

As I already said I can't feel but having been on a trip these three days. I went of into the unknown. The first day people from this faraway country started talking about what it was like, what was happening over there, how it would change our world. Who controlled it, what we had to look out for. And with that the attention of the people was grabbed. It was like looking into a book of an anthropologist talking about some tribe, without any pictures. It was like science fiction, but they said (some of ) it was real.

And what do you do when your attention is grabbed, you start looking for an entrance into this strange country. You go to some sort of 'travel-agency'. And this is exactly where we landed the next day. The people of the 'travel-agency' showed us some brochures of parts of the country that was talked about the day before (or so they said). Within this country a lot of exploring had been going on. High in the sky, within belief-systems and personality development-programs to name but a few. Things that were sacred in our world, were being experimented with in this new world, and the developments were growing more intense by the day. And than they gave us a sample of a thing that came out of this world. It was called electronic music, a development that started some thirty years ago, and was still developing. And with that the road ahead of us ways clear. We were off to a (') real(') possibility.

The next I entered this land, and than it happened, I was all disorientated. No experience I had before could have prepared me for this. We walked around in a world of post-digital music. (Post-digital, I didn't even experience the digital music yet) It was filled with soundscapes, noise, clicks and cuts. People told me to dance. People tried to explain to me how it works, where it comes from, etc. All those things that normally help you to come to grips with a new thing. But I didn't know how to behave in such a world, I didn't know what to think, I didn't know how to move. It was like being on a space journey, but arriving there with only a manual training. The question still remains, how to act in this strange world?

Looking back, I can't feel but having been on a trip. And you know what the destination of the trip was, it was called reality. These three days we had not been moving, but we went on a trip. And we asked all these questions about the newness of reality. And that was exactly the whole point of these three days. It was a reality check. What has been said about it? Read on and find out; you might find a (partly) new constitution.