This year’s edition of Mastermundo had taken some elements of a flash mob, some elements of a school trip and some of a spiritual session. Seemingly unnoticeable the heterogeneous group of exactly 100 participants grew closer literally every mile of the journey, which is in itself not surprisingly. But why was its shape so important for the build-up of the day? After taking one look at the list of asked participants, one was already convinced this day would contribute immensely to ones self-development, so why go through the trouble of schlepping around this large group from city to city, from museum to train, city council, public- bars en squares? Or was this just another way of polishing up a dull conference by adding something strange? No, it was not. And this is why.
In the age of intertwining media, where the post-modern notion of cross-media is rapidly losing its validation and the discourse on “media 3.0” is beginning to consist of hollow phrases, the new content driven participant takes the lead in redefining the several media and communication-maps. Within the dying remains of the allocution based communication systems, the new participant freely floats in and out new forms of multilateral communication. The new participant is no longer going through the mental process of accepting the changes and opportunities given by the never ending waves of media revolution, like the vast majority of the current generation of communication professionals has had to do. The new participant has acquired the ability to accept not only the possibilities of “media 3.0 and on”, but has also the understanding that all related knowledge will become obsolete at any given moment. But the new participant is not worried by that at all. By having been brought up in and with these systems and primarily being driven by content, he has shifted his learning- and comfort-zone towards the unstable, as opposed to the stable like his predecessors had. Motion has become the standard, the hypothesis zero. Therefore all definitions of space and time are now being re-evaluated and redefined. It is no longer useful to look at the here and the there, it is no longer useful to look at the past and the future. Instead the new participant will constantly rename the here and the now. Finally it will become possible to dismiss the archaic notion of history being a set of events all resulting in the present. Instead the new participant will regard the now as being somewhere on the shape we call time, where every traveler has equal opportunity to make a difference. No longer is he trapped in a fixed grid of space-time, he has finally become a vectorist, purely existing of direction and energy.
And this is exactly what Mastermundo 2008 showed us. Traveling on the existing infra-structure, but not being part of it, constantly changing the sets of perspective given to us by the “participants who knew they could say something” (notice how I carefully avoid using the term speakers, that word dates from the ancient regime as we now know), fluently drawing its own speedlines along the way, constantly creating its own context. All this in combination with the absence of the twittertwatter one normally encounters on such occasions (no added flavours, colours or preservatives) , gave this day a very strong sensation of nowness. For this day we all became the new participant, for this day the answer to the question “Where are you?” would have been “I am now”. www.mastermundo.org