Ars Electronica 1986
Festival-Program 1986
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Festival 1979-2007


The challenge of the turning point

'Fritjof Capra Fritjof Capra

We are at the start of a new age, a turning point–at a far-reaching change of images and values. The image of the world, now slowly withdrawing, comprises the imagination of the universe being a mechanical system–the image of human body being a machine–the image of life being a permanent competitive struggle for existence–the belief in unlimited material progress by economical and technical growth–and–last but not least–the belief that a society in which female is subordinate to male at any place, is following an essential law of nature.

All these receptions have proven very limited in the last decades. They need a radical new definition. Such a definition is actually taking place at present. The new conception of the world is based on ecological and feministic values. It points out the connection and interdependence of all phenomena, and the integration of the single human being and society in the cyclic phenomena of nature. It recognizes the unjust and destructive dynamics of the patriarchate. It contains the nonacceptance of any form of exploration and the duty of being free of violence at all levels.

Today, the new sight of reality is developed at the confines of science. It is based on a consciousness, far beyond the scientific scope, on a deep ecological perception, which is after all based on spiritual experience. Therefore the new conception of the world is in many ways coinciding with spiritual or mystic traditions.

Furthermore the entire and ecological conception is elaborated in a row of social movements and propagated in ecology, feminist and peace movements, and in numerous civil initiatives. There were obvious signs in the previous years, that these movements are about to come together and form a powerful strength of social reorganization. The knowledge of this cultural change as a fundamental and long-term evolutionary phenomenon and an active contribution to its peaceful and harmonic execution are the challenges of the new age for us all.