Inspired by a loss of personal freedom, which is largely self imposed, “imagine” aims to explore the possibilities we lose as we grow older. I started this project with research into what it is children posess that we as adults have lost. The answer seems to be the ability to immerse oneself in imaginative play. Current research has found that this ability tends to decrease with age, and that the current methods used to teach todays youth may be depriving children of “unstructured playtime”.
What I aim to explore in this series is the part of this situation which recieves less attention: evidence that adults lose the ability to play imaginatively with age. A growing culture of people have begun to push back this trend and play imaginatively as adults. Flashmobs, urban exploration, historical reenactments, and numerous other groups and subcultures seek to extract adventure and fun from the otehrwise standard routines of life. The webcomic XKCD has embraced this sort of sentimental exploration of the ‘inner child’. The comic depicts characters who merge fantasy with reality frequently, and I have found the ideas to accurately voice the growing discord I feel with reality as it presents itself to me. Comic 137 entitled “Dreams” examines the limitations we impose upon ourselves as we age:
“The infinite possibilities each day holds should stagger the mind…” an unnamed stick figure says. “We live trapped in loops, reliving a few days over and over, and we envision only a handful of paths laid out before us. We see the same things every day, we respond the same way, we think the same thoughts, each day a slight variation on the last, every moment smoothly following the gentle curves of societal norms. We act like if we just get through today, tomorrow our dreams will come back to us.
“And no, I don't have all the answers… But I do know one thing: the solution doesn't involve watering down my every little idea and creative impulse for the sake of some day easing my fit into a mold… It doesn't involve constantly holding back for fear of shaking things up.
“This is very important, so I want to say it as clearly as I can:
“FUCK. THAT. SHIT.”
The Floor is Lava