This week I experienced a day at the Transmediale Festival in Berlin. The festival draws out new connections between art, culture, and technology with strong focus on contemporary culture and politics in the form of multi-media technologies. I met an interesting Portuguese bystander who is an inventor, or, what he likes to label himself as “a creator.” I was interested in the “why” factor of the inventing process and the mentality of being a “creator.” This is also a slow progress toward a confession of a man playing a failed god, and a double persona with a never ending quandary prototype of his own being.
My trouble is insomnia. if I slept properly, I would have never created anything…I like to think that God was an insomniac, toiling away for an eternity in the secure blanket of nothingness. Creating time to kill it. A lot can go wrong when you’re creating and don´t sleep for days on end, of course. I think we can see that in many of these exhibits now, the fatigue, the anguish, the pride and solidarity of it all.
We create to be fully in our own minds, our own ideas, rationals and scenarios. It is like writing a book or directing a movie. There is always a hero, a damsel in distress, and a villain. The hero of course, is the final project and what it becomes. The damsel is the process, the beauty and desire for a happy ending, yet, always doubt. And the villain is yourself. The emotional darkness. The fear of failure and the angst for something more than oneself can handle. Sometimes it’s a romantic story. The other a tragedy…few times it is a thriller, but it usually ends up a comedy.
Inventing is an art form like anything else. Drawing. Painting. Photography. Sculpting. And most importantly, which many artists and inventors will never tell you, is that it´s a liars game. We steal and cheat. We are the worst kind of lovers. In fact, thats why I´am here now. Not for the inspiration and interest of it all, but to see where the competition stands! I think every innovation from the light bulb to the hybrid car has been stolen in one way or another. Yet, that is the beauty of art. Where would we be now if we were not all thieves? The desire to relish in our own beings? And it all started with dilapidated stick figures on cave walls. The apple may be gone but there is always the core to eat when we are hungry…
A question a creator must put into terms with themselves is this, “Are we not only benefiting ourselves, but improving for the greater good of man? Is the creation a disease or a cure? Sometimes you try your best to create the cure, but in the end, it results in nothing but chaos. E=mc2 is probably a very prominent example…Can you imagine the feeling if you created the most astounding equation in the history of science, to help understand how the universe works and how we can help this race of ours, and yet, it goes on to making bombs and killing thousands? Ah, what creations we are…God must have been very tired. Yet, I guess the greatest part of creating is the beauty of the unknown.
I am older now I must admit. I am tired, and so is my mind. I am not ashamed to say that I have slowed down. It use to come so easily, like heel to toe. Smoke to ash. The stench lingers but there are no remains. I was one of the first men to have a solid prototype for a perpetual motion machine? I had two surface plates which was the driving source of the engine. And between these two surfaces you fill it with high pressure gas. And this high pressure air would create a force pushing apart these two surfaces. The force would then push these plates apart and provide the energy for the engine. But, it didn’t work because of the formula FORCExDISTANCE. But, it violates the first law of thermodynamics. The French have it now, but I am not mad. As I referenced earlier, a liar cannot be angry at a thief. I do not believe I walk this earth in vain. Yet I wonder, is the realization that I may toil and writhe for the rest of my days an illusion? A reality? A lie? Or perhaps the dirty truth? These are yet more dilemmas we creators invent for ourselves. Will we get something in the nick of time? The time before mercy, or will it be too late?
We invent because life is boring sometimes, like drawing cocks on our school table or the bathroom stall. We as humans already have a plan made. We know how it starts and we know how it will end. There is not much to fix except somehow evolve, and that is nothing new. Creating is an actual physical means of writing a formula for your life. Perhaps it is purely a structural basis to live. It is a complex of living in the now and thinking hundreds of years into the future.
Creating is a dangerous game because we are playing god, of course. I am not a religious man, but God is not exactly a metaphysical idea either. Purely a symbol of what we as humans will always desire, but never claim. Next to my dreams about being God, I also dream about being mad. When all is well, I feel like the most powerful being in the world, as if I have created the soil beneath our feet myself. And when I fail, I feel like the devil, and wish to abolish all the beautiful things into the eternal flames.
I acknowledge that I am simply a human trying to fight the truth that technology and innovation will outlive me and all of us. Perhaps it will be our conqueror. But to me thats a beautiful thing. Wouldn’t you want to fall to something out of your own creation? Collapse on your own accord? Even though it was not intentional, it was possible to create something that can do such a horrible thing…Just like God himself, tired and bored in the secure blanket of nothingness.