PLATFORM shift+ is an artistic network created to meet the new challenges of producing theatre for young people in the digital age, recognising the urgent need to engage with digital technology at a time when many young people move naturally between real and virtual worlds.
The network will develop 40 theatre productions based on newly developed plays/concepts in order to connect theatre makers directly with young people in an artistic dialogue, with an activity programmed to encourage transnational exchanges of artists and their works.
On November 21 I talked to the first meeting of the network partners, in a hotel in Winchester, England. This is what I wrote beforehand, pilfered from several different documents, notes and scraps of hard drive. It isn’t what I said, but it may be of interest.
The World is Not Digital
We are not living in a digital world.
We are not heading toward a ‘digital future’, whatever the current shorthand may be.
The physical world will not vanish, we will not be sublimed into the machines to live, Tron-like, under the control of the Master Control Program.
We remain meat, the product of chemistry. We remain embodied minds and always will.
There will be no singularity and no interfacing with consciousness.
But that doesn’t mean that the digital doesn’t matter. We now live in a liminal space world where physical experience, analogue culture and digital technologies co-exist, an Age of Electronics, not an Age of Bits.
In this new age we here in the privileged West with easy access to computers and smartphones and connectivity will develop a digital culture, just as the early scholars with access to printers and codices and postal systems created a print culture.