Things are in moments now. The video at the end of this page shows an editor going up the country to find longer moments than she has access to through her day job as an editor, where everything is about the cut-down to the shortest moment possible.
Meaning (both discovering it and making it) has to happen quickly in a cut-down society. Yet the paradox is at the rate of a cut-down, it’s hard to find moments long enough to gain anything meaningful from. A letter on the Awl recently described the sensation of personally melting down from the overwhelming pressure to feel significant through moments too short to gain significance from.
This has caused the rise in multisensory experiences, I believe.
Here is an example of a multisensory experience -- Further Future a spinoff festival from Burning Man, organized by the epic Robot Heart crew. It features: music, speakers, sun, dreamers, drugs, community, art, dancing, consciousness, stories, costumes. At something like this, if one moment doesn’t have enough meaning, there are multiple layers of moments to dip into to find enough.
Multisensory experiences have more total moments to choose from, so even in a cut-down generation we have more chances to find what we’re looking for by aggregating a lot of cut-down moments together.
This makes us all editors, rather than viewers of our lives now. Sights, sounds, experiences all combine as we curate a larger story of significance for ourselves from a cut-down culture. By cutting things together, the work of creating meaning is performed.
I write about this not because I am against the cut-down culture. It’s more just the context we are working in. So I write this not for any other reason than to give you a way to find more meaning if you’re struggling. I don’t think you’re alone.