• Photos: Stew Zong
  • Text: Theo Mohamed
  • Before consciousness was embedded in the minds of early hominids, they, like all other life forms, understood their purpose was to expand and reproduce. With consciousness, came the burning desire to understand what, and, more importantly, why they were. The subsequent emergence of the idea, gave way to value which ultimately gave way to culture. Culture created communication by way of speech and pictograph as a means of sharing ideas and through this new ability to communicate arose the community.

    The community, originally a form of protection, enabled its members to develop a deeper understanding of the world before them through the division of labour. The various key pieces of knowledge gleaned from this mode of living could then be shared and ultimately serve to raise the community far beyond its original status. The exchange of knowledge, not merely its existence, became the lifeblood of human existence; it is the mode by which we attain purpose.

    In this prehistoric age, communities came together based on action, be it survival, worship, or war.

    Today, communion is governed more by preference than operation.

    With the media explosion of the 20th century came the celebrity and ultimately: fandom – the backbone of most ‘communities’ formed in our age. The thirst for agreeability–the core function of fandom–and the comfort it provides has been further fostered by the connectivity of the internet. Communities now exist only to increase their potency through quantity over quality of thought. Their sole purpose is to diffuse the ideas embedded within their shared adoration of some form of media. The manifested thought pattern, then, is circular in nature as a result of the aforementioned unidimensional contribution by its constituents. Many of these communities fail to achieve anything beyond the trapping of their participants' minds within a closed thought loop.

    In order to provide an arena for successful progress, communities should once again be established on the old basis of expansion (operation) rather than diffusion (preference). The members of a functional community do not all desire, quest for, or want for the same things–each one remains an individual. The resulting perspective multiplicity in an ideal case enables multidimensional thought to return to daily exchange and eliminate the textureless drivel of fandom.

    Our most frequented form of digital media–that of the social variety–is designed to prevent us from finding meaningful communities. Formed on the basis of personal statistics, they reduce the meaning of human consciousness to a ‘like,’ skewing our perspective such that that is all we understand about ourselves: our likes. We must, then, look elsewhere to find people that can help us build beyond what we are. In doing so, you will liberate yourself from the heavy, depleting interactions of the online world and find that synergy, and serenity, is found not there, but, beneath your feet and beyond your eyes.




  • Photos: Stew Zong
  • Text: Theo Mohamed