Bubbles prevent us from understanding ambiguity as a school of thinking (© shutterstock)

Bubble Bubble

I hate bubbles. First of all, a bubble is a pure comfort-zone. All agree, all love each other, united against the world. Everyone thinks the same thing. And where two people think the same, one of them is obsolete. Second, a bubble is an intellectual shortcut. Of course, people tend to organize their lives comfortably. In fact, the world suffers from ADHD, the fidget spinner syndrome that bubbles so perfectly fit into: For every flinch there is a bubble and the sensitivities grow. One is gender-sensitive, the next religion-sensitive… the next body-sensitive… It’s all about doomscrolling, from one insanity to the next.

Everything is black or white. No more nuances, no twilight. Dealing with ambiguity is hardly possible anymore. Simple solutions are booming in the affect economy of social media. It is logical that these simple solutions cannot think beyond the adolescent world view of dualism. Good here, bad there. And every bubble has its lickspittles and saliva lickers who mutually support and reinforce each other: Everyone is on air, no one is on receiving. Or as Carl Gustav Jung said: «Thinking is difficult, that’s why most people judge». And where opinion and emotion elude facts, dialog is impossible; the occupations of universities are a living example of this war of beliefs.

Bubbles prevent us from understanding ambiguity as a school of thinking. To do this, we would have to remove the earplugs, put down our smartphones and (re)learn to perceive the world with all our senses. What we have lost is contemplation and silence. We are no longer able to cope with contradictions and ambiguity. Have you ever noticed that trains and airplanes will soon no longer need windows? Everyone is staring at this square decimeter of Chinese electronics.

Even the art bubble, which sips its way from art fair to art fair, is no exception. Everywhere you go, you meet like-minded people to reinforce the relevance of your own bubble. Because the bubble creates the comforting sense of belonging on the right side of history. So, every bubble has its own do-gooder arrogance; you either belong (and are consequently good) or you don’t. Art becomes a decorative sideline or even worse: an investment object. This type of art industry is deaf and blind, no longer open to the early warning sensor that art has always been. Instead, art is expected to provide clear answers. The shitstorms send out their best regards. But couldn’t the visual arts be a bootcamp for learning how to deal with ambiguity? It’s hard to be curious with your head down. With a cell phone at nose level between the viewer and the artwork, you are hardly receptive.

It’s clear: complexity seduces simplification and lazy thinking. One of the worst forms of lazy thinking is populism, regardless of which side it comes from. Rethink your own bubbles. And dream of no longer being part of any bubble, how free and independent you could be and what new things you might discover. Ambiguity is the new CompleXellence.

With this in mind – and underlined twice this time: Stay curious.


Hans Rudolf Jost

PS: Unbubble your life and visit our exhibition «Dream with open Eyes», book your visit here.





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