Love and Other Utopias (2013)
A conceptual text for an exhibition by MadeScapes^ at Merrywalks Shopping Centre in Stroud
With the city skyline behind you and ahead the darkness of an unknown future you walk alone down a deserted highway. Each step brings to life a new corner of the world; before you arrived there was nothing and no-one. You invented this landscape and you distribute evenly its resources among you and your fellow citizens. Trade routes are established so that products can be shared between towns and cities. Your civilization expands exponentially; as it grows your society takes shape: provisions are made for education, law, and scientific investigations leading to technological advancement. All the while there you are, at the edges of the known world, walking alone down a deserted highway with the darkness of an unknown future ahead of you. The society you have created is so close to perfect it is as if you planned it from the very beginning. Food stores are never down, wages are fair, and the citizens never revolt. This is utopia, where everything is always available. Connection speed and data limitation are outdated concepts – information is instant. Everything is here; everything is now; just as it always was. This is utopia. Every possible option must be open to everyone. Every city is a copy of a copy. Every sidewalk and every shopping mall is identical to the last and the next. Each store carries the same line of stock as the last and the next and yet choice remains infinite. The utopian society you created is in agreement that the goal of humanity is efficiency, so there is never a dispute about best practice.
This is utopia, where suffering is unknown, where difference is accepted but where acceptance negates the need to be different.
Everyone agrees on the definition of things, words, and ideas. Everyone is happy, everyone is smiling, everyone loves Mondays as much as they love Fridays, and nothing bad can happen – no tragedy can occur – because in utopia there is no unhappiness, no disagreement, no opposites, no challenge, no variety, no choice.