I argue in my dissertation (The Book of the Un) that I know what people want. Mystery. Secrets. Connection. Collaboration. They want to collect precious moments, not check a box on a bucket list. I argue that people know that they want something greater than they can imagine. And the sorcery to unlock all this is imbued in the arts, specifically in ritual performance when a person is surrounded by immersive beauty and grace.
And the example I give is a show I did in 2015 called The Fallen Cosmos. It was a tricky, complex collaborative artwork that was devised to unfold before them as something to confront in the moment, instead of having the experience clearly worded so people can shop for it ahead of time to make sure it is the content they wish to consume. This was different. It was different and impossible, as chaos magik is wont to be. But it was also easier to explain what it wasn’t than what it was. If we would have explained what it was, it might not have worked.
And if you apply this reasoning to other things that don’t work, we might be on to something, no? Experience design is a hot new way to describe some of what happens at convention centers and theme parks. A teeny tiny percentage of “experience designers” are people like me who have been doing what we do for decades. I create opportunities for people to touch the divine using garbage. Meh, it’s a living.