compassion, collaboration & cooperation iN transistion
The exhibition was called The Founder’s Paradox, a
name that came from the title of one of the chapters in
How to Build the Future. Together with the long and
intricately detailed catalogue essay Byrt was writing to
accompany it, the show was a reckoning with the future
that Silicon Valley techno-libertarians like Thiel wanted
to build, and with New Zealand’s place in that future.
These were questions I too was eager to reckon with.
Which is to say that I myself was interested – helplessly,
morbidly – in the end of the world, and that I was therefore
interested in New Zealand. And so I decided to go there, to
see for myself the land that Thiel had apparently set aside
for the collapse of civilisation: a place that would become
for me a kind of labyrinth, and whose owner I was already
beginning to mythologise as the monster at its centre.
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