At the same time, however, modern ruins are getting more and more attention as a cultural product in media, literature and art. Perhaps this is because they are the exceptional relics that remind us of the transience of being and the futility of human endeavour. Maybe this increase in attention is because the distrust towards the fairytale of spotless, never-ending progress is swelling. The modern ruin speaks to a growing (sub)consciousness regarding the darker, uncertain and confusing aspects of modernity.
Firstly, I’m pretty tech-ambivalent. I think any technology only becomes interesting once it becomes mundane. For example, as miraculous as Photoshop’s new machine-learning driven features will be, it’s tiny in comparison to something as banal as, say, the effect the internet has had in blurring the lines between written language versus spoken language. Given that design is about language and image, that’s huge.
If, however, one avoids the linear, progressive, Time’s-(killing)-arrow mode of the Techno-Heroic, and redefines technology and science as primarily cultural carrier bag rather than weapon of domination, one pleasant side effect is that science fiction can be seen as a far less rigid, narrow field, not necessarily Promethean or apocalyptic at all, and in fact less a mythological genre than a realistic one.
If it is a human thing to do to put something you want, because it’s useful, edible, or beautiful, into a bag, or a basket, or a bit of rolled bark or leaf, or a net woven of your own hair, or what have you, and then take it home with you, home being another, larger kind of pouch or bag, a container for people, and then later on you take it out and eat it or share it or store it up for winter in a solider container or put it in the medicine bundle or the shrine or the museum, the holy place, the area that contains what is sacred, and then next day you probably do much the same again–if to do that is human, if that’s what it takes, then I am a human being after all. Fully, freely, gladly, for the first time.
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