An introductory talk given to a meeting of young professional musicians and theatre makers in Germany with the title Our future.
Our future is being mapped out one way or another by electronic information exchange, gigantic digital diaspora the precise consequences of which are currently as uncertain as they are huge. Some argue that we have entered a second Renaissance, as fundamentally explosive in terms of creative imagination and social change as he first. Some point to a major ‘paradigm shift’ arising from relativity theory and quantum physics which will produce changes in human perception and social institutions that have barely begun to be felt. The collapse of ideologies and some of the regimes that ruled by them occurred as the technology was arriving to connect one person to every piece of information in the world, way beyond the reach of any border, and if this were not enough, the digital revolution has also transformed our understanding of our most vital physical processes: the world of molecular biology. This genetic information highway at work in our body and the bodies of our ancestors makes our own internet look like Noddy Goes to Toytown. In this maelstrom of change the personal vision of the artist becomes more important than ever. The truly creative artist has always challenged orthodoxy, but the contemporary conditions of super-modernity make this traditional position difficult if not impossible; risk, unpredictability, existential questioning, these are no longer the exclusive territory of the artist but almost the routine condition of everyday life. This condition is not susceptible to challenge by posture or statement. The super-modern artist, who ever that may be (it may be everyone), has no choice but to embrace commitment and involvement at the deepest personal level, and not in order to come up with any answers. There is no grand Bauplan to be discovered. The artist can only present the patterns and processes of their own experience, and hope, with luck these may strike a chord with others, they may be pertinent or even prophetic.