Wow – it’s finally official! In just two short weeks, my relationship with Berlin will come to an end.
Or, to make it sound less dramatic: I am going to relocate my physical operating range to… South East Asia, with my future homebase in Jakarta.
Now Jakarta isn’t exactly foreign territory. I was born by a beach just outside of the city and eventually went to school there. The prospect of returning now feels like bumping into a highschool crush: More than a decade later, both grown up and matured, you realize you still have a lot in common. You feel infinitely giddy about all the stories you have to catch up on.
I suppose “moving” in this connected world isn’t such a big deal. From my twitter stream I get the impression that half the world is constantly on the move, traveling from Europe to the US to Asia and back with the same ease as people on a daily commute from the suburbs into town.
And maybe that’s all it is.
Who cares where someone ‘lives’, as long as their mind is istantly available. Our permanent connectedness has made being physically somewhere else much less frightening and strange.
Mindspace knows no borders, but the lagging behind of meatspace in this matter is obvious. Visas, languages, timezones, jet lags, incompatible mobile phone carriers. And then the actual meatspace comes crashing in, taking the form of noise, smells, humidity, and the lack or overabundance of certain infrastructures we have grown to take for granted.
Are those just annoying, ridiculous little artefacts of the past in an otherwise seamless rendering of the self?
In perfect mindspace, we live fluid lives, detached from time and surroundings. But I believe that for now, the artefacts of meatspace will impact me, and little by little, I may find myself changed by my new environment.
Why is it necessary to make choices? Try to imagine the possibility of simply creating an instance of yourself, whenever difficult decisions come up, and simply walking down both paths at once, as is suggested in Charles Stross’ novel Accelerando. Each instance could explore the option, soak up the experience and reunite with the main branch at any point. How would this affect identity construction, I wonder. Instead of being “spoiled by choice” – surely one of the sicknesses common to the generation growing up with endless options and opportunities – living each choice to the fullest. Could possibly drive us even further into insanity.
For now, the choice is made, the promise of opportunities weighed one against the other. Who knows where this will lead to, but I’m definitely looking forward to the exciting times ahead!
Thanks to all the nice people who have made my time in Berlin worthwhile. Flatmates, friends, colleagues from work and uni, the twitterverse, random party folk!
I’ll see you all online, with just 5 hours of head start in the summer. I can now spend more time exploring and writing about what interests me in art, technology, and science from a new Southern-Hemisphere angle.
And I’ll keep you updated about my new job, which is to help the Goethe Institute Jakarta transition its online communication to become more dialogue-oriented and community-driven.