Fun Fair: Lost in The Pleasure of Hasenheide

We are looking for another outdoor party. The weather is good and there is an abundance of parties going on. We went to meet another one of our friends earlier in the day at an outdoor party near Kottbusser Tor station. It had started on Friday, and as it is now Sunday, had somewhat dwindled in partygoers and sanity. We take the U-Bahn to Hermannplatz and are now entering Volkspark Hasenheide, a large park where we hear there is another party. We have stocked up on beers and are ready to roll. We see groups of people heading somewhere so we follow the crowd through the trees, screams and lights appear. It is a fair.

As we wander through the array of tacky lights creating a cosmos of cascading constellations, flashing, floating, florescent and somewhat foreboding synaptic stimulation, the child within us takes hold and we decide we must go on at least one ride before we leave. I have a memory from a fair a few years ago; of going on a ride that sticks you to the wall as it spins round, and after the ride someone suggesting going in to the house of mirrors, where I threw up everywhere. We wander about and drink a few beers. There are all the rides one would expect to find at a fair; dodgems, Ferris wheel etc. But one stands out; it is a large mushroom shaped dome with air-brush hallucinogenic looking patterns and the words “The Hippy Experience” written on the side. This seemed like a no brainer, we had to try it: Also it was only three Euros.

We walk up the clanking metal staircase to the entrance of the dome. A grinning man with a gold tooth hands us each a pair of cardboard glasses. “Put these on and enter”, he instructs us. As I enter it is pitch black and then as I fumble round a corner electric mist covers us, a million shooting green points of geometric nonsense floods the hallway. Moving forward, I realize I cannot see my hands, and when I look back I cannot see my friends. I am lost in the electric void, gleeful bliss. We enter the next corridor. Towers of blue slats hover in our path; one must enter this space age jungle to continue. Battering through, we make it to the next corridor. This is definitely the bad trip of the experience; it has ghostly faces looming out of florescent frames with dead eyes. We sheepishly move past these spirits of dead carnie folk to a corridor that reminds me of a rave with different coloured lasers and on toward the climax to the experience: one huge strobing white light. Maybe a spiritual moment, where the border of life and death fades and we realize we are only energy. We spend an hour in there.

Finally we decide to leave, but we are intent on keeping the glasses. As we emerge in to the world we thank the owners of the ride and wander back into the fair, but now armed with a new way of seeing the world, an artificial perspective.

Why, we wonder, does everyone not choose to see the world like this? It is truly a more advanced spectrum of viewing life. It is dark now and we decide to head to a club. One of my friends says he refuses to take off the glasses and holds true to his word for the rest of the night. So is an artificial experience so bad? It may be tricking oneself into seeing fake reality but I feel it expands my view of the normal one. As I sit here writing this, I wear the glasses. They refract the light off the screen and make it insanely irritating to write, because I can see 30 fingers typing at colliding keys. I guess these things are only distractions when trying to do anything other than just contemplating the ether.

Liam Finn McGarry
I am a student at central saint martins in London doing bachelor degree in fine art. i work mainly in painting, sculpture and writing, all my work is about experiences and the human condition.
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