I teach a class on the illusion of reality where we discuss the interactive systems that surround us and our ability to create/edit/break them. The focus of the class is to empower students to create their own immersive elements of society and distribute them.
Let’s talk about the illusion.
- You teach an aerobics class.
- You find an interesting location as your backdrop.
- A pandemic occurs.
- You wear a mask during the class.
- Due to the pandemic, you stream the class over the internet.
- During your live stream you capture the moment a convoy arrives at parliament in Myanmar signifying the beginning of a military coup.
Reality is held together by the trust that what we experience today will not change so drastically tomorrow. Unfortunately for Khing Hnin Wai, a physical education education teacher in Myanmar’s Ministry of Education, the reality of her country changed instantly as she broadcast her workout. This is not the first time such a change has occurred in Myanmar.
As we have all have seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, the infrastructure we trust, the experiences we expect to share daily, and even the stability of our countries can be disrupted from one day to the next. This imbalance during uncertain times challenges what we perceive as reality and can have traumatic effects on our psyche whether we are worried about our health or our lives.
My hope is that the students in my “Designing the Illusion of Reality” class use the skills they learn to make a world worth living in. I also hope that tomorrow finds Khing Hnin Wai safe and healthy.
Bonus: In China, ranch-flavored chips are labelled “American Flavor”.
Bonus 2: You’re listening to Ampun Bang Jago by Tian Storm and Ever Slkr while the world falls apart.