In my travels to Peru i discovered an accidental subculture.
Subcultures are cultural groups within a larger culture. They differentiate themselves from the parent culture to which they belong, often maintaining some of their founding principles. Where mainstream culture passively accepts commercially provided styles and meanings, a subculture' actively seeks a minority style usually with its own music, style and vocabulary. In most cases subculture movements establish certain goals and direction for themselves.
An 'accidental subculture,' as I'm coining it would be exactly what it sounds like; a culture beneath the surface of the mainstream but with no aim or apparent direction, devoid of a driving force, stitched together from elements of everything it sees around it. An accidental subculture absorbs fashion, trends and customs from all time periods and walks of life with no filter. They are black holes. They possess anti-aesthetic qualities. It is, in affect, culture that is unaware of itself. A wasteland of old or discarded ideas and forgotten things.
ACCIDENTAL SUBCULTURES EXIST LIKE AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE SUPERIMPOSED ONTO OUR CURRENT CULTURAL LANDSCAPE. WE CAN LIVE IN THE PAST AND PRESENT HISTORY OF OUR TOWNS AND CITIES. TIME AND PLACE BLEND TOGETHER TO CREATE A UNIQUE AND UNPREDICTABLE ASSEMBLAGE THAT CANNOT BE PREDICTED AS NO ONE IS STEERING THE VEHICLE. AN ACCIDENTAL SUBCULTURE COULD BE DEFINED AS, "THE UNINTENTIONAL JUXTAPOSITION OF COMPETING AESTHETIC AND IDEOLOGICAL ELEMENTS OF A GIVEN POPULATED AREA."
CLEANER AND MORE MODERN CITIES, ESPECIALLY THOSE IN THE URBAN LANDSCAPE HAVE A SMALLER TRACE OF SUBCULTURES ALL TOGETHER (ACCIDENTAL OR OTHER). THESE LANDSCAPES REMOVE UNWANTED CLUTTER AND TRACES OF HISTORY. YOU WILL FIND NO OVERLAP.
TO THE ART ENTHUSIAST, THE ACCIDENT TURNS OUT TO BE A WELCOMED ONE AS THERE IS ENDLESS INSPIRATION TO BE DRAWN FROM THE CHAOS. IS IT USEFUL BEYOND THIS POINT?
AT ITS HIGHEST PURPOSE OF ANY FORM OF CULTURE IS TO HELP PEOPLE CONNECT WITH EACH OTHER AND BUILD COMMUNITIES. COULD A CULTURE WITHOUT A VISION ACHIEVE THE SAME SUCCESS?
TERRENCE MCKENNA ONCE SAID, "CULTURE IS A PLOT AGAINST THE EXPANSION OF CONSCIOUSNESS." ON ANOTHER OCCASION HE CLAIMED, WE NEED TO BE CREATORS OF CULTURE, NOT CONSUMERS OF IT. COULD SEARCHING FOR ACCIDENTAL SUBCULTURES COUNT AS CREATION OF NEW ONES? WOULD THIS COUNT AS A HAPPY MIDDLE GROUND BETWEEN TERRENCE'S QUOTES?
WESTERN CULTURE HAS MADE ITS MARK ON PERU AND IS CONTINUING TO DO SO. IT CAN BE SEEN ON THE STREETS AND IN ITS MANY CONTEMPORARY SHOPS AND RESTAURANTS.