Old World New World, connections, networks, pathways
May 30, 2013
Pilgrim paths, green roads, drove roads, corpse roads, trods, leys, dykes. drongs, sarns, snickets, holloways, bostles, shutes, driftways, lichways, ridings, halterpaths, cartways, carneys, causeways, herepaths. In Holland there are doodwegen and spookwegen – death roads and ghost roads. In Spain there is the Camino de Santiago the pilgrim routes that guide pilgrims to Santiago de Compestela a sacred place of enduring significance for Catholics.
These were and still are the open api’s of a networked world a long and sometimes a more ancient time ago. Pathways have always been about connection and meaning making. Bringing us too and from, joining us in ritual, love, culture, commerce, spirituality, and even deadly battle. I have always been fascinated in humans, communication, connection and meaning making and the consequences of what happens when we get those right and when we get those wrong. And perhaps collaborating with the artist Richard Long (a long time ago) got me thinking about the natural world, an old world and our relationship to it in the new one?
I love walking the dog and I have been on a two hour walk in the fens this afternoon. Its a good meditative space and good physical place to be. And of course No Straight Lines is all about meaningful connection. And as I tramped under a fenland sky hell bent on drowning me, I thought about our relationship to technology and communication technologies. These open api’s of the past allowing information/people to travel and how we are now constructing the same drove roads, holloways (a path so much travelled that is hollows itself into the ground) in a digital context, or that what we are in and witnessing is a human need at a global scale to find meaningful connection; love, spirituality, culture, commerce, etc., Because without meaningful connection we are nothing. This constant quest for connection and our capacity to create, and create culture, whatever in aggregate (collectively) is perhaps what makes us unique?
So we have always lived or more importantly we have always thrived in a networked world.
So our quest as a humanity is to rebuild those meaningful connections but at a different human scale, that replace or indeed upgrade our world from cartways, carneys, causeways to communication networks like a living breathing eco-system that wraps itself around the earth?