The apocalypse is a collective experience.
“It’s like a movie” …we lately have been comparing reality to our experience from movies. But is it something that is a singular cataclysmic event (as seen in the films we refer to?) or is the Apocalypse a process? Are we in the initial stages now? Or have we been since post WWII? The word is thrown around liberally on social media considering the fires, the pandemic, the social unrest as of late. Yet, here we are, both thrilled and terrified at the opportunities that may result from the shift in the paradigm.
Why Los Angeles? The city, having been the crux for the art of cinema for over a century, is undoubtedly a character in the thousands of stories that have taken place there. Beautiful, haunting, a beacon of American culture internationally. It is the epitome of postmodernism in its nebulous quality; it never seems to begin nor end and served its allegiance to capitalism, now in its last stages. The world saw American pop culture begin there, perhaps it is poetic to see it end there as well.
This year’s curation is a culmination of the last 5 years of my PhD research that I wanted to share with larger audiences and not just the few other scholars reading my work. In a term I coined: The “Auspicious Apocalypse” I look at the collective subconscious desire for the “end” in hopes to resurrect with something better, something new. Sometimes you have to burn it all to the ground to start over. Can we do this and maintain some semblance of humanity? Will it remind us the importance of community in doing so? Perhaps the fear of the Apocalypse is worse than the Apocalypse itself. Is it wrong to choose not to crawl into a fetal position paranoid for whatever is coming and instead face the music and feel more alive now than we ever have?
These are questions that will thread throughout this year’s festival in congruence with parties and panels and other interactive events, we hope to come out of quarantine ready for live interconnectivity again. We invite you to Zeitgeist, June 2021!