Para Jounral – Notes besides the point assembles text an image.
Issue 1 is dedicated to getting lost. More than 30 friends and strangers, from Mexico City to Tiblisi, from Glasgow to Dar es Saalam contributed.
160 pages, B4
Lost in cables, lost in gadgets, technology and devices, lost in thoughts and memories, on outings, in images. Complexity and abundance (of things, options, hazards) allow for myriad ways to err and lose track, in often annoying, sometimes dangerous ways. Proximity – be it corporeal or virtual – puts us in constant touch with others, only to lose it with ourselves.
Etc pp, and on and on with the lamentation.
It is easy to denounce a lack of orientation in contemporary existence. Because, who does really know where we are and where we are headed. But then, who are we, and – is it actually so important to know, at all times? Isn’t it rather the obsession with tracking and knowing always and exactly where we are that causes so much of the confusion? Who cares.
In these pages we don’t, very much. On the contrary, and true to the name of the magazine PARA (parallel, against), here we celebrate, revel in, in any case get closer to the phenomenon of getting lost. We may follow down memories (what’s the point in that?), meander on unspectacular paths along insignificant streams going nowhere, reminisce about lost objects we may or may not miss, find ourselves in nondescript dead-ends, losing track of what just...
The feral peripheries, the unglamorous anti-climax, the empty field, the non-designed paved road cum gravel/plant/random sign... In the everyday we inhabit these places more often then we think (because we think of everything else but what’s in front of our eyes, or we just think about was has been put in front of our noses, mainly screens). So we want to explore the fully-charted territory, again, to discover anew what it can all mean – because nothing is forever. It’s to inject the anti-serum of presence in absence into inescapable dullness – romanticism after irony.
This sounds all quite serious, solemn, and it is (yet not only). Transparency, information, happiness - if there’s too much of them, they become oppressive, especially when the aspiration to deliver on them becomes normative. Plus (yes it’s a matter of quantity and measure) we miss the point on a much larger issue: it is impossible to always get it right, logically but more importantly existentially. Failure is the ultimate point. And the animal that we are comes (often) on two legs, to wander and explore, try and err. Not allowing this coerces the world, reality, us into a mold that does away with the cherished pursuit of happiness information transparency. Thou shalt get lost!
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