In the winter I tripped, fell down a rabbit hole, and unexpectedly found myself in some of the most exciting social circles I can remember. I’ve been in technology for over a decade at this point: long enough to have once been wide-eyed and optimistic, to have spent many years wandering through a period of alienation, and to have seen the light once more.
In every direction I turn I see kind, generous, collaborative, conscientious, visionary geniuses. Somehow I tricked them into being my friends, too.
Today I look into the future and see the glimmers of the utopian society I first hoped technology could bring about. “How naive you were!”, I’ve sneered at myself in the years since as a handful of exploitative & extractive corporations strengthened their domination of the industry.
A few weeks ago, in between watching talks at Figma Config, my roommate & I were reminiscing about the “good old days” of design conferences that we had independently frequented in Europe.
I was due to give my talk the next day and was in the process of rewriting the entire thing while trying to rethink the metaphysical format of what a “talk” even was & how that should really manifest.
Conferences are weird: at their most surface level, they’re ostensibly just paying a bunch of money to travel somewhere and sit in an auditorium or banquet room drinking stale urn coffee, processing a hangover, and watching someone give a talk that would end up on YouTube by the time you’d returned home. Indeed, some were just like that - but the best ones I went to were transformational experiences. They were where I met & reconnected with hundreds of friends I’ve maintained across borders & oceans for a decade and where as a design student & new grad I first felt part of something bigger & more exciting than myself rather than an anonymous “designer” in London’s stagnant graphic design scene. They were more than just watching a future-video be delivered live: a magical form of collective energetic entrainment that could never fully translate by the time a video reached YouTube.
When I became disenchanted with technology in the spring of 2018, it shattered the mythology that I had spent my 20s immersed in.
Technology was extremely meaningful to me: a curious & super-powered primitive to allow us to explore the depths of the collective unconscious by skillfully interfacing human & machine. And yet I found myself in San Francisco: supposedly the global center of innovation, caught day-to-day in the mundanity of a large corporation & doing anything but inventing.
Looking around, the picture was bleak: at some point between 2011 and 2017 it felt like every exciting & scrappy early-stage startup in the Bay Area became subsumed by a corporate surveillance-technology company: every bright-eyed inventor I knew eventually spending 3 hours/day on a shuttle bus to be sad in meetings at a suburban office park.
Divine Multimedia Transmissions 0001 is a stream-of-consciousness verbal essay about creativity, interdependence & self-expression as a spiritual practice; performed with a live soundtrack & visuals
Minted on Zora under the full moon in Virgo, February 02021
It was primarily designed as a spoken word audio-visual experience. I invite you to set aside 9 minutes and watch it full-screen. You might enjoy using headphones or your favorite speakers.
To hear sound, hit the 'mute' icon in the bottom-right of the image