Thinking about thinking about thinking!

Throughout the experimental module this year I have explored various experimental techniques and practices including different ways to communicate a particular idea or concept. I have always admired the illustration work displayed in lecture and this led me to see how to combine the hand drawn style with digital images.

The research for this module led me down a variety of paths. I have been interested in quantum mechanics and the concept of parallel realities for a while and the hyper-realities we are presented in today’s society. After reading Borges piece of writing “The Garden of Forking Paths”, I realized that the ideas expressed by quantum physicists and the 1950’s LSD trippers, was not as new as I had originally thought. Ultimately I found that reality is subject to your place in the world. This led me to look into the different narratives we are being told by the media and advertisers, who are all working for money; the root of all evil.

The essay “Travels in Hyper-reality” by Umberto Eco is an examination of the simulation theory in society, mainly focusing on the American condition. This was particularly interesting to me because throughout his writing Eco acts as a critic of society and also a guide to the recreation of history, art, nature and even cities. His writing specifically targets the Disneyfication phenomenon, how whole cities are created to take people out of the “real world” and puts them into a world of “imagination and wonder”. While this can be a good thing, which I’m sure it would be beneficial in a “real world” to be taken away for periods of time. Unfortunately the world we live in today is as fabricated and fake as a Disney phenomenon.

Eco tried to explain the psychological reasons to why people are gravitated to the falsified version of reality. He said that people want put themselves into a false world in order to forget/mask their otherwise boring everyday lives. Today the media is responsible for this! The news has gotten more and more depressing, the deficit has grown, leading to people losing their jobs or having to work for little money, and people’s lives have gotten more stressful. This pushes people to seek narratives that are fictitious and express alternative realities. We can see this by comparing the number of fantasy films/tv shows with the national debt, in recent years the number of superhero movies being released has grown exponentially.


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