A Year In Nadada: Week Forty Four- Riding High

From the air Richter is a chessboard of houses, theme park rides and fields. A chaotic theme park bursts from the ground, pushing their way past trees and hedges towards the future.

The robots march between them in jerky movements, their pistons grinding amongst silver and gold cogs. Their necks contract like squashed giraffes. Only a few buttons on the chest and some lights where the eyes should be prove these are more than mechanical automatons.They move on a constant loop, and wouldn't get tired even outside of Nadada.

We are part of a fleet of hot air balloons, a few passengers or crew members in every one. The Butter Mouse sits on the rim of the basket, a paw tasting the wind. She is back to her new self. One robot pretends to work the sky bound vehicle, but in reality pours wine straight over the side. Similar Burgundy streams flow from the balloons.

Another robots writes out the history of Richter in red paint on the latticed sides of the basket. The language is over the top and fruity, and I don’t understand how you can use a word five syllables long in every sentence. I’ve summarised what’s he’s written so far below.

This place was an experiment set up by visitors to Nadada about twenty years ago. They created the robots using their imagination, and set them on their path with one agenda; to see if their creations could create. To see if the realms of the imagination could expand beyond humanity, our of the organic sphere.

The crucial proviso is that the robot weren’t given any specific ideas of what to make, or any materials to work with. There were no frames of reference in their programming, or hints of what to imagine. Only a burning desire to create.

For months they whirred round in circles, ruts and diverts in the dirt their only achievement. Then the plants appeared, bursting into full bloom in seconds. Then the rollercoasters tore through the ground, built from steel and wood from nowhere.

The visitors left them some wine bottles as a celebratory present, and departed. Now the robots have their own bottling factory, located under the heater shelter.

What the essay doesn’t expand on is how.  For example, there is a fun house has spooks and monsters and witches on the side, a sign warning children that it might be too scary for them planted in the dirt. What sense does that make? How could they know what they look like, when all they know is an empty stretch of Nadada?

There are two possible theories. One is that the creators set them off in the first place with some kind of accidental residual imagination. Tiny seeds of ideas have formed a totally coincidental landscape, based on the thoughts of those who brought these machines to life.

The other theory suggests that imagination is somehow a holistic spirit, which we all tap into. Something external rather individual ideas from our imagination. The robots are feeding off this energy, one that isn’t exclusive to humans, but could power anything in the world.

Either way they serve great wine, have good balloon rides, and somehow we have to do a show to them next week. Right now they popped open another bottle of champagne, and don’t mind that I am writing in the corner. The bottle says champagne, but there is a cat on the bottle walking down the street, paws in the pockets of his zoot suit.

How were we hungry only a few days before?

No cabin update as yet. I’m going to challenge the crew after the gig.

Our balloons in the sky. 

Our balloons in the sky.