Gravity and E~scape (excerpts from the art of e~scape)
Human beings need possibilities to escape not only on account of political oppression or exclusion: they have to find ways to escape the vicious circle of forced work for wages and imposed leisure. It is necessary to evade symbolic dominance and cultural entrainment; it is vital to flee the "reality" of everyday life and it is necessary to escape the flatlands of binary logic and the three-dimensional world.
Society's disapproval of a "flight from reality" soon betrays itself as a propaganda lie targeted at the educated classes. Ultimately, it cannot be determined which reality is meant in this scenario ravaged by the misery of the normal and the terror of normality. It is not those who flee from these representations and concepts of the world who are sick but those who have lost their ability to escape the straight-jackets of these so-called realities: reality as a normative hallucination is the virtual prison of social operating systems.
Systems of representation and images of the world as simulation of reality are highly efficient inductors, and hardly an expense is shunned to sustain them. Maps as representation of geographical topology are processed and manipulated for strategic reasons and access to high resolution satellite cameras is restricted.
Maps of the world are an instrument of political power. Proportional distortions resulting from the projection of three-dimensional space onto a flat surface are sanctioned by an aura of objectivity and then used for propaganda purposes. The ways of life are flagged and tagged. Maps not only offer an abstract view of the world itself but also contain information about those who create them. This becomes particularly obvious with old maps. If we want to find out from which perspective the world has been presented, we need only locate the centre of the representation - the "land of the middle", the centre of the surrounding satellite states.
If their flight is to succeed, escape artists have to be masters of the terrain. Navigation requires the manipulation of symbols in meaningful representations of topological structures. Virtual control also assures the hegemony over the resources of interpretation. In this sense cultural activists, in accordance with their new understanding of the artist's position, use networks as meta-data tools of inspired interpretation of data within a panopticum of commodified world views. Guerrilla semiotics replacing pretentious artistic creation with recombinant cultural synthesis of the techno-voodoo memetic environment.
Flight as retreat is of particular importance as a tactic for individuals or small groups (for example in guerrilla warfare). Fleeing instead of resisting gives small, flexible, and mobile units an advantage over large, hierarchical structures of domination. To evade an attack instead of looking for confrontation and to succeed in escaping is the foundation for a future victory.
The wide public resonance of popular escape artists such as Harry Houdini who quickly became a legend revealed the symbolic of the great escape. The escape artist is an expert on the topology of the knots that bind him and a specialist when it comes to the warps and distortion of planes, lines and forms. In an age of increasingly networked machines and control systems leading towards total surveillance, Harry Houdini, whose spectacular acts of escape made him famous at the beginning of the century, is turning into a role model.
The invisible dimensions are usually explained as folded within the visible space. Intermediate spaces shrink or expand in the change of dimensional perspective and are related to the warps and wrinkles in dimensional space that are created by gravitational forces. The escape artist uses the smallest gap as an open space for planning his flight.
Black Holes warp space through their gravitational forces. The economy of attention creates singularities: dark stars as social sculptures in mediaspace, mindfocus in telematic flesh, with habits as expensive and capricious as tribal African village fetishes. Personalised attractors generated by economic wars in the competition for attention span draw their self-confidence from the unconscious of the target audience.
In the battle for the psycho-cybernetic co-ordinates of the world models, the stargazers rule. Cybernetics, the study of communication and control mechanisms, appears to be a science of the interrelatedness of symbols. The interpreters of the referential framework are the navigators and control artists. The old tradition of hypertext connects star constellations, letters and abstract beings on various levels of meaning and ideographic methods of visualisation.
Lockpicking the future requires multi-dimensional maps of the world for new exits and safe havens in hyperspace; it needs passports to allow travels from normative, global reality to parallel cultures and invisible nations, it requires nomad supply stations on the routes taken by the revolutionary practice of aimless flight; it needs psycho-geographical maps that show the way to Dreamtime and public transport to Kaddath.
All of us want to escape gravity and travel to the stars...Autonomous Astronauts are working with space-time warps created by gravitational waves of black holes that open ERP-bridges (named after Einstein -Rozen- Podolsky) to parallel universes and distant realms of space-time. Science fiction and popular culture have long been using practical applications of poly-dimensionality and the possibility of travelling the dimensions, faster than light, through the gravitational channels of wormholes.
Escape artists and hedonic engineering towards escape routes from an anxiously bored society.
The art of escape becomes increasingly important for a culture of escapism that transcends ordinary hedonism.