States of social destabilization, defined by fluctuation and mutability, have historically yielded a proliferation of utopian and apocalyptic visions. The psychedelic counterculture of 1960s and 1970s California grew out of a state of destabilization, and made numerous advances towards a utopian future. Currently, much of the world has been destabilized in our shift from an analog to a digital society. Today’s destabilization, perhaps a continuation of the change set in motion in the 1960s, has led to the emergence of both techno-utopian visions, and prophecies of a technological apocalypse.
In three inter-connected sub-sections, “Destabilization,” “Utopia,” and “Apocalypse,” this paper examines the role of destabilization in relation to Deleuze and Guattari’s rhizome; the history of California utopian movement; the internet as a psychedelic site; and the techno-apocalypse of the theoretical singularity. Through this examination, we may begin to understand how – as a direct evolution of the networks and non-linear models of thinking proposed by the psychedelic counterculture and Deleuze and Guattari – the internet and virtual spaces have increasingly altered our awareness of time, space and the body, creating a state of destabilization and the emergence of new utopian and apocalyptic visions.
Awarded the 2011 MFA Visual Studies Thesis Exhibition Award