SAVE / SAFE

Dramaturgical case study on post-human tendencies and borderlining as contemporary phenomenon

authorship alexandra reill | singapore / sydney / nzl / fiji / eastern samoa / vienna 2000-2003
publishing kanonmedia | vienna 2003

SAVE / SAFE starts from researching psychological states in borderlining, constellating them to contemporary phenomena forming an integral part of the development of so-called post-humanity: states-of-being related to the strong focus ratio as main approach to life has gained in industrialized nations characterized by capitalism, globalization and technocratism. Current economical trends do have a direct impact on perception and self-consciousness of individual existence.

The main figure Anna serves as a ‘modern’ individual describing situative experience and personal interpretations of emotionally perceived situations occurring during her journey through Oceania. Using the atmospheric background of her travelling through Polynesia – an area of the world traditionally and still strongly relying on social and local municipal communities still existing on many of the geographically isolated Polynesian islands –, SAVE / SAFE juxtaposes this communal form of living to the priority of individualization reigning in ‘modern’ life and compares Anna’s individual experience to contemporary scientific findings regarding the phenomenae of borderlining and post-humanity in philosophy, psychology, ethics, sociology and new media theory. Quotes out of technical literature form contemporary conclusions related to developments in a 3rd industrial revolution reflect and mirror Anna’s individual perception.

Anna is a representative of a majority of humans not yet having realized the subversive progress of so-called post-human conditioning. Of many components of her self she still thinks of as personal traits of character while they are direct expressions of post-human existence, and can be easily constellated to symptoms of the borderline syndrom – both phenomena being strongly enhanced through the influence of overuse of digital interactivity and excessive strengthening of logical thinking and ratio as a prioritary approach to life.

* The cultural container representing itself to society today and going to reign the 21st century … is characterized by substitutional relations based on the central involvement with information technology, pursued from a position of pseudo-autism … With the decay of inter-personal culture and the expansion of IT-controlled substitutes of inter-relation only one mass container is left for and generally accepted by a borderlining majority: the unavoidable search for the ego and for techniques allowing the construction of identity.*

* J. Erik Mertz, in: Borderline – weder tot noch lebendig, 2000. Translation: Alexandra Reill

Anna tells the story of a journey into the center of her self, embedded in the story of her journey ‘to the other end’ of the globe. Her central theme is the nature of ego and non-ego, the relevance of involvement and interaction, and the meaning of non-attachment.

** What really does authenticity of personal development mean ? Having it worked through for so many years, it finally emerges – this realization of a self, leading to autonomy and self – control of authority in the framework
of a society demanding for autonomous responsibility and respecting it. Which sense though does this authenticity make, if with its final acquiring its inner character proves to be fluid and transparent, if personal vanity, ego-profiling and the exertion of authority having become a natural option prove to be nothing but accessories of again dependent, mechanistic existence, thus loosing significance completely ? **

** Alexandra Reill, Anna in: SAVE / SAFE, 2002. Translation: Alexandra Reill

SAVE / SAFE supported by

SAVE / SAFE was developed with the kind support of the Department for Cultural Affairs of the City of Vienna.

SAVE / SAFE presented / installed at

— memefest 04 / ljubljana / slo / 04
— soho in ottakring / vie / a / 03
— future garden / vie / a / 03