Saturday, November 29, 2014

Zero visibility.

Nothing could have prepared me for cultural meltdown.

One moment I was dressed in a suit, failing an interview for a secure job in sales.

The next moment, I was standing in a warehouse in North London peopled by androids.

Zero experience.

"Do you have any experience in the music industry?"


"Do you have any experience in the film industry?"


"Do you have any experience in the computer industry?"

After the third question, they were apparently satisfied that I had all the competences required.

I was hired.

I had no idea why.

Do androids dream of electric sheep?

I liked the androids.

Jim Whiting Installation
My friends asked me what job I had found. I didn't know what to answer.

How do you explain to other people what you are doing, when you yourself have not the slightest idea?

How do you plan for new worlds?

I only had plans for a world which no longer existed.

How do you communicate via media that you have never ever imagined?

I was completely in the dark.

I like the dark. 

The dark was intensely stimulating.

I imagined new worlds.
I drew new worlds.
I was living in a new world.

We were creating a 'psycho-sensory experience'.

What does that mean? I can not start to explain.

I found some of the original publicity. I think it is worth quoting.

"We have been asked many questions in the past about what you will be seeing.... Unfortunately, we will be unable to answer your questions."

As I was dialoguing with my friend Kevin Hodgson,  he introduced me to a documentary via Terry Elliott about the writer William Gibson.

I had never heard of him, or at least I don't remember hearing of him.

What I saw seemed all strangely familiar to me.

"No maps for these territories."

Watching the video, I was brought back to a warehouse in North London.

We talked of robots, of mind-expanding culture, of technofear, of networks, of societal change.

I fell upon an interview of a friend of mine from that period, the artist Richard Brown, interviewed here.

Zero visibility

I have no idea where we are heading. 

I have no idea what forms of expression we will experience a century from now.  

What I am sure of is that we have for the moment zero visibility.  

That is a source of hope, a source of fear, a source of excitement. 

For those of us working in education, these are challenging times.

I reckon Eric Hoffer says it better than anyone.

I am not sure past experience is going to be of much use here in these stange landscapes. 

We have no maps, we need to map, to trace our steps...

1 comment:

  1. I often think about the fact that we are educating students who will have jobs that we can't conceive of.