space age

“no matter who you are, no matter where you’ve been…we’re living in the space age”

whether the inevitability of this statement is true or not, the sentiment is sufficiently pervasive it is worth some examination. what is meant by the space age? it encompasses this projection of the technological achievements of man out into what was the purview of the deities. and with technology come projections not only spatially but projections forward in time. this concept of technology out in space and forward in time holds the promise of a broken world that will soon be “fixed” by man’s ingenuity. … tele-communication, extraction of mineral resources,  maximized production of consumer goods. the Futurist is nearby cheering on: faster, stronger, more. And in this digital age: instant, indestructible, infinite.

the space age indicates a global worldview from which there is increasingly no refuge for the community that wishes to keep the progressivist myth at arm’s length. these usually indigenous communities wish to continue living more directly from the earth, obtaining and distributing resources outside the channels of the governing powers of the western world. indigenous communities have had (and in limited ways continue to cultivate) an intimate and spiritual relationship with the past and the present right here on earth, rather than the tomorrowland technology of a “future out there”.

in many ways the duplicity of this technology concept is appealing in order to maintain the status quo. like religion, technology presents a happy, hopeful picture that is on the brink of attainment-full of promise and redemption. on the other hand, we can never quite keep up with the constant flow of consumer technologies, and in order to participate in this promised land, must keep earning and spending currency. the utopia remains tantalizingly out of reach. similar in function to religion, this love affair with technology as the defining concept for identity will drive behavior,  limit access to information, affect the psychic and spiritual conceptions of self, and in most areas of life subject the greater portion to the lesser few.

“no matter who you are, no matter where you’ve been…we’re living in the space age”

it would seem this is more of a warning and a lament. there is nowhere else to hide, for these ideas and strategies for managing societies, these duplicitious conceptions of technology that leak into the popular consciousness are but another manifestation of the progressivist, the colonialist, the conqueror. like the dedicated missionaries of christendom past, this utopian ideal campaigns around the world, winning the hearts and minds of cultures in all continents. and lurking within its shadows are threats of war, nuclear weaponry, militarization of societies, normalization of surveillance, greater disparity as wealth translates to access (education, food, water, natural space). by hook or by crook, we’re living in the space age.

when i stumbled on this video i was a little bit closer to consciously clarifying to myself what has been an intuitive connection between a variety of influences on the MX-93 film. it is trying to subvert and re-imagine this futurist utopia. furthermore, the religious-like mentality of the participants of Sun Ra’s world follow a kind of egyptian occultism. the power of technology to propel objects through space transforms into the power of the spiritual self to propel consciousness through space. projections “out there” not only move through our reality, but also the further “out there” we go in this film, the more mystical and surreal it becomes.

 

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