We dream of unlimited pleasure and of boundless ecstasy. We look to expand, demand eternal growth and yearn for multiple orgasms. We are obsessed with going "further still" and harbour illusions of a life without mental and physical boundaries, without a deadly finale, and of being young forever. We detest standstill and desire nothing so much as what is new. We celebrate the state of Plus ultrawithin a culture of Non plus ultra.
Since the dawning of the modern age or since the seafaring conquistadores set out our culture of disorientation historically has been characterised by the utopia of going ever further in order to satisfy the lust for the ultimate. Up to the present day the motto Plus ultra (further still, beyond), in the spirit of which the fleet of Charles V set sail in order to conquer the foreign lands of the occident and to capture their exotic treasures, determines our longing for the inexhaustible Eldorado of a novus mundus. Plus ultra as an imperative to exceed limits, discover unknown worlds, and realize imaginary visions has become the universal motor of western culture and the synonym of its modernness. This insatiable desire drives artistic avant-garde, sports as well as the entertainment industry, economic expansion, scientific and technical progress, the individual's egomania, and society's megalomania.
Metaphorically speaking Plus ultra - reverberating the "trail west" and the "frontier spirit" of the Wild West - has expanded and been translated into the modern forms of pioneer and techno culture, into the cataclysms of the financial systems, into cyber worlds as facsimiles of real space, or via Sci-Fi scenarios into the conquest of cosmic dimensions.
Just as the modern project once was initiated, with Plus ultra, by way of a shift from "orientation" to "occidentation" or, put more simply, to westernisation, so nowadays it is being updated as the Non plus ultra of globalisation, in natural and technical boundaries being shifted, and in the tensions between Orient and Occident. Against the background of accelerated transformations of a political, economic, technological, and social nature a na´ve belief in progress, a one-sided accumulation of capital, or a wasteful consumerism stand at variance with questions of social equality, a fair re-distribution of wealth, and of ecological responsibility.