I was inspired to revisit a dream fragment from a few months ago where I was observing or going to a workshop with SF author Rudy Rucker on Growing New Paradigms. Part of the inspiration came from reading an interview with conceptual thinker and musician Brian Eno. I adapted the following exercise he talked about for music into a writing exercise: “Imagine it’s the year 2064 and all digital music has been destroyed in a huge digital accident, an electromagnetic pulse or something like that. So, all we know about the music between 2010 or 2030 is hearsay. There don’t exist any recordings. We’ve read about a kind of music that existed in the suburbs of Shanghai in 2015 to 2018, and this music was played on– then you specify a group of instruments– was played on, say, industrial tools, such as steel hammers, and augmented with samplers and various electronic versions of some Chinese instruments. And it was intensely repetitive and played at ear-splitting volume, for example. So, we then, taking that brief, try to imagine what that music would be like, and we try to make it.” This process, and others, were used to help him make the music on his new album, Small Craft on A Milk Sea.
So I took this and made it a writing experiment, imagining that I am at a cutting edge alternative school in the year 2064. Then I made up a list of the classes I would be taking. The assignment then would be to write a paper for one of those classes. Here is a list of classe’s I’d be taking…
An Outline of Occult Fiction from the late nineteenth century to the eary 2030′s. (Look for ongoing book reports here on Sothis Medias for my investigation into this area as one of the threads I’ll be exploring here in the near future -although I will have to content myself with books published up to the present.)
A History of Imaginary and Artificial Languages
Neologisms: From Dreamspace to the Creation of Culture
Holographic and Sonic Art Installations, Essays in Light and Sound
Sigils and Imprints in Digital Music of the 2010s (fringe art and occult groups)
Impacts of the Iceland Data Haven on Politics and Journalism
Repairing the Aluna/Seeding the Noosphere
Dynamics of Out-of-Body Time Travel
The Organic Growth of Urban Dream Cities
Alchemical Biodynamics: Practical Elixir Making for Bioremediation
The next step in this game is to pick a class and think of the curriculum specific to it and then write a paper based on this imaginal strategy. I was thinking of all these things in terms of “Growing New Paradigms”, but I wanted more details so I decided do a dream re-entry. I put on some electronic drone music (Coil’s Time Machines album), sat in a dark corner of the library stacks, did a relaxation visualization exercise, started deep but calm breathing and went back inside the dream.
Travelling through the door in my tree gate after acknowleding my animal guides, I see a face on the door in the trunk of my tree. I go inside and take the ladder up to the higher branches. From here I can see the hotel where the workshop/conference is being held. I go into the hotel. I see that people are attending various classes and talks. Others are playing at LARPing or “Live Action Role Playing”. The game is played throughout the hotel and combines teamwork, puzzle solving, online clues in the way of Alternate Reality Games, along with the spontaneous improvisation of free-form theatre. I see the inside of the hotel now as having the same geometries as an M.C. Escher drawing. There is a pool and a sauna where people go to heal and refresh themselves as well as incubate new ideas. A video screen is above the pool so movies can be watched while doing the backfloat. There are cots where people can go and take naps and dream.
I then have a one on one meeting with an author whom I interview. At this point I’m writing in my little pocket notebook while still immersed in the scene:
Me: How can we grow new paradigms?
Author: It’s basically a matter of cajoling spontaneous evolution and receiving hypnagogic impressions.
Me: What games might we play to help?
Author: Role Playing, Live Action, Alternate reality group puzzle solving, riddle tournaments. Anything to loosen the deadbolt of gridlock.
Me: How can we seed the noosphere?
Author: Books, music, media, actions, interventions. Get togethers. A Paradigm growing board game. Then he tells me: “Remember there is a gestational period. Containment. Container magic like knoptic jars. Neologisms are the viral coders, breakers & makers. While growing new paradigms is essential the psychic sludge of the past must be siphoned off. Healthy soil is essential if you want your projects to grow, and that work can be done by helping to heal the past.”