Doublethink — a term coined by George Orwell to describe the state of believing, with equal conviction, two contradictory pieces of information. Ironically, it's perfectly encapsulated by those people who try to convince you that Orwell's sci-fi classic, 1984, is coming true, all the while checking their phones with an addict's fervour.
Visual artist Matto Lucas is offering a hyper-exaggerated example of this concept. Taking cues from Orwell's dystopic masterwork, Lucas' Department of Total Freedom has announced its inaugural COMPLETELY UNMONITORED NORMAL HUMAN SOCIAL GATHERING EVENT #0001 at the Braybrook Community Hub as part of Melbourne Fringe.
Lucas claims the free event, running across September 22–23 and 29–30, is an attempt to better understand the way we socialise in the current digitised climate. A way to 'celebrate our complete and obvious freedoms'. Audience members will participate in a speed-dating style round of dictated discussions, with an unknown fate awaiting those who deviate.
Anyone who's not bluffing about having read 1984 will recognise this as a government exercise from miles away — it's being hosted by Maribyrnong City Council, after all. It's claimed to merely be an 'interactive performance'. Or is that Big Brother-speak? Guess there's only one way to find out.
Two plus two is four. Remember that as you walk smiling into the arms of your oppressors this September.
This interactive event will take place between 12–2pm and 6–8pm on September 22, 23 and 29 plus 12–2pm on September 30.