Monday, July 30, 2018

Offline Magic

Last Saturday I saw an enchanting performance of "Carmen" on the super impressive stage in/on Lake Constance in Bregenz. It was a looong train journey and a short stay, but so worth it. My Mum, whom I treated to the weekend in Bregenz for her birthday, really enjoyed it too. As thunderstorms had been forecast we were rather anxious that the long trip might have been in vain, but the weather gods had mercy and we enjoyed the performance in perfect summer weather, sunset shortly before the performance and all. Theatres, concert halls and opera houses are among the few places where the audience really sticks to the organisers' no phone/no photos policy. Perhaps only because the glaring screens of their phones would immediately have given you away in the dark. The above picture was taken during the "curtain call" when everyone was reaching for their phones for the first time after two hours of focused and undisturbed listening and watching. It's almost an unreal experience these days to be able to follow a performance and be able to take in every detail without double-screening or replying to some message simultaneously. At the beginning you (or rather I) can't help thinking "this would make a great picture" and are itching to reach for your phone, then you forget about it and let yourself be sucked into the plot and the cool stunts (spoiler alert: the protagonist jumps into the lake at some point). Sometimes I serious long for this period of digital innocence in everyone's lives when this was the norm and not a slightly painful conscious decision or lifestyle trend ("digital detox"). Part of me thinks that it might become the norm again in the not so distant future. We shall see.

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