Architecting Fiction Futures

"There is no end to what a living world will demand of you."
-Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Sower (Earthseed #1)


 

The year is 2117. Your grandchildren’s children play in incapsulated playgrounds. They suck liquid elixirs from tubes made from reconstituted waste. School consists of choicing into sections of knowledge acquisition. You trade a conversation for ethers. The sky is an illusion.

Or maybe not.

Maybe we relearn how we used to live with each other, locally provisioning our wealth and welfare and building resiliency through a networked world of sharing—sharing ideas, sharing solutions, sharing love. Technology can enhance our ability to connect and learn from one another, and in the future, maybe we build a more egalitarian system of wealth distribution by not the historical obsolete methods of extraction of resources and exploitation of people, but of pooling the very best of ourselves as a species—the fragile and vulnerable parts of ourselves too—into a new world: The Fourth Industrial Revolution aka 4IR.

The continent of Africa has been posited for twenty years, at least, to leapfrog beyond the ills and embraces of fossil fuel dependency. Science fiction and its contextually astute Afrofuturism, give credence to an opening into a world that contemporary western film, art and literature are just now beginning to embrace. The world where we actually figure out existence, and existing together.

Does film have the ability to unite us? Architecting Fiction Futures posits this question as the first intersection into a global film platform called The Infinite Seed, which begins with two films intertwined in narrative centered around the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. The Seed Vault serves as an impetus for bridging narratives to every part of the planet: Embedded within seeds are the narratives of thousands of years of culture.

During the time of our workshop, short films will be made in connection to The Infinite Seed. Together, participants will explore new ideas, new perspectives, new formats, while also honoring the ancient.

Architecting Fiction Futures will take place October 20th through November 7th, 2017 at Abetenim Art Village, 45 kilometers from Kumasi (the second largest city in Ghana), with a three-day international conference between November 7th to 10th at the College of Art and the Built Environment, Kwame Nkrumah University in Kumasi, Ghana.

Workshop partners include Nka Foundation, School of Critical EngagementGhana Think Tank and Afrocyberpunk.

DETAILS ON PROGRAM HERE.

Applications accepted from April 1st to July 31st, 2017.

APPLICATIONS OPEN. PLEASE GO HERE.

For more information, contact info@theinfiniteseed.org

Israel Heller, violinist and contributor to our music composition cohort working, living and loving between Los Angeles, Berlin, Paris, Accra and Tromsø.

 

Not For Sale: The Alternative Art School Fair at Pioneer Works

Emil, our youngest team member, at Pioneer Works on commencement of the inaugural Alternative Art School Fair, November 2016.

Emil, our youngest team member, at Pioneer Works on commencement of the inaugural Alternative Art School Fair, November 2016.

On November 19 and 20, the inaugural Alternative Art School Fair assembled more than fifty international organizations at Pioneer Works, the art and cultural center in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Organized by Pioneer Works’s Catherine Despont, artist Dylan Gauthier, and Paris Biennale director Alexandre Gurita, the fair offered participants the opportunity to exchange resources and ideas and recruit new students. Blue and orange school banners fluttered from the rafters. Keynote presentations by Carol Becker, Luis Camnitzer, Dorothea Rockburne, Victoria Sobel, and Craig Wilkins, as well as a robust program of talks, enhanced the discursive atmosphere.

Participants ranged from the established, like the ninety-five-year-old Ox-Bow School of Art and the leftist imprint Zone Books, to prominent educational nonprofits like Mexico City’s SOMA, to brand-new artist-run initiatives like Stavanger’s  and London’s AltMFA. The schools’ diverse programming affirmed the many ways alternative pedagogy can act as a mode of political resistance. On the second day of events, Wendy Vogel met with the fair’s founders to discuss its impetus, how future fair editions might take shape, and the importance of alternative pedagogy in times of crisis.

[The Infinite Seed was presented as well as our film program beginning in Ghana this year. We presented under the guise of our organizing agency, School of Critical Engagement, in a panel discussion on "Global and Local Intersections", moderated by SOMA. Other panel discussions can be heard here: Clock Tower.]

Emil mans the table while calling Andy Warhol. Visitors were asked to write on our table, "What would you create to translate our world now to a generation 1,000 years into the future?" http://deadreckoningthemovie.com

Emil mans the table while calling Andy Warhol. Visitors were asked to write on our table, "What would you create to translate our world now to a generation 1,000 years into the future?" http://deadreckoningthemovie.com

Facing Climate Change, the recorded sessions.

Earth’s climate is changing and humans are the major driver. The facts are equally clear that the changes in human behavior needed to address this looming threat are lagging—Why? Why are humans so unwilling and unable to deal with this issue that gets more challenging every day? Are there better ways to present the facts to effect changes in attitude and behavior?

In light of this past week, it is time now more than ever, to begin working with one another immediately on actions.

http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/events/archive/climate_change_messaging_that_works_a_psychological_approach

Climate Change Messaging That Works: A Psychological Approach

Climate Change Messaging That Works: A Psychological Approach, November 2 at the Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, California

Earth’s climate is changing and humans are the major driver. The facts are equally clear that the changes in human behavior needed to address this looming threat are lagging—Why? Why are humans so unwilling and unable to deal with this issue that gets more challenging every day? Are there better ways to present the facts to effect changes in attitude and behavior?

On November 2 the Aquarium will host a day-long forum bringing together climate scientists and psychologists to develop strategies to motivate people to act on climate change. The forum was inspired by a new book by scientist and psychologist Jeffrey Kiehl called Facing Climate Change. The book will be available for sale, and Kiehl will be signing copies. In this evening lecture, the forum participants will share and add to the ideas in a panel discussion moderated by Aquarium President and CEO Dr. Jerry Schubel.

If you are unable to join in person, the event will be streamed and you can join us here: https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q4TkXHourqg

DEAD RECKONING featured in the CS Monitor

American artist Rori Knudtson also hopes to spur action. The interviews she is recording inform a documentary-in-progress in which characters sailing the Arctic Ocean, where ice and snow are dwindling, create art for an audience in the future. Knudtson, working with scientists and other artists, has ambitions that include an app that would allow people to alert scientists to signs of climate change and to share ideas for reducing our carbon footprint. It takes hope to make art for the future, Knudtson acknowledges. She adds: “The paradox is, what can we possibly create when we need to save ourselves?”

2017 GHANA sci fi FILM workshop & CONFERENCE

Intensive film workshop in collaboration with local residents in rural Ghana. We will create short films in response to the question of our collective human existence through the lens of science fiction. The workshop will culminate in a conference to explore the role of film as an agent of global social change to safeguard a better future for all.

The organizers invite proposals for film screening, paper presentation
and workshop. Email your proposal to: info@schoolofcriticalengagement.org


Submissions will be reviewed until 50 spots are filled.

WORKSHOP October 20th to November 7th, 2017 at Abetenim Arts Village in the Ashanti Region, Ghana, 45 km from Kumasi (second largest city in Ghana)

CONFERENCE November 7th to 10th, 2017 at College of Art and the Built Environment
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST), Kusmasi, Ghana

ORGANIZERS

School of Critical Engagement is an action-based think tank that works with communities, other non-profit partnerships, and educational institutions to transgress the barriers between theory and practice. 

Nka Foundation exists to serve underserved communities in Africa through the arts and design education. info@nkafoundation.org 

 

Images taken by Mirela Fiorese

 

 

Chapter Two highlights

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The Infinite Seed: Volume DEAD RECKONING: Chapter Two

What began six years ago as a sound installation has evolved into a large scale film and transmedia project highlighted on this website. On the 20th of August, 2016, Chapter Two of The Infinite Seed took place in the very first exhibition space that the first installation occupied: Listening Port Numbers One and Two: Longyearbyen. I had no idea then just how much this would consume me and I had no idea how much would be sacrificed to continue. I also had no idea how many extraordinary people would join to help make this a reality.

Many thanks to NOAA, RedLine, Denver Film Society, Youth Culinary Institute of Osage Cafe, Genghis Kern and Sun Valley EcoDistrict. Many more developments with NOAA will be featured here in the months to come.

Much gratitude to Ruth Glendinning, Louise Martorano, Jim Butler, Eric Hackathorn, Ann Reiser, Caroline Hinkley, DeAna Durbin, Andrew Benson, Madeleine Robb, Jason Flores-Williams and Genghis Kern. We look forward to returning to the area with a rough cut of DEAD RECKONING in Spring 2017 to be screened at the Denver Film Society.  -Rori

The Infinite Seed Chapter Two takes place tonight

Our line up tonight includes:

Jason Flores-Williams, Civil Rights Attorney and Activist

Dr. James Butler, Director of Global Monitoring/NOAA

Ruth Glendinning, Economic Development and Community Engagement, The Infinite Seed

Eric Hackathorn, Data Visualizations and Games Program Manager, NOAA

Rori Knudtson, DEAD RECKONING Director and SPIRE screenwriter

 

Event begins at 6 p.m. at RedLine

2350 Arapahoe Street, Denver, CO 80205

Generous thanks to our hosts: RedLine, Denver Film Society, Sun Valley EcoDistrict and Youth Culinary Academy.

 

Update #1 to our Cinecrowd campaign for DEAD RECKONING

We take you INSIDE the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to meet its mastermind, Cary Fowler. The primary question of our documentary film DEAD RECKONING asks our cast/crew to create something to be stored in the Global Seed Vault that will translate our world now to a generation 1000 years into the future. The questions were written inside the Vault and many more individuals have been asked since on video since Cary was asked here on March 1, 2015.

Our first question is "What would you create to translate our world now to a generation 1000 years into the future?" I knew that Cary would know how to answer this one. He has created the ultimate human time capsule to store the world's food heritage, legacy, narratives and future. The seeds are profoundly interconnected to us and should remain so--not the corporate control that has taken form since the past century. I emphasize agri-CULTURE here. Without acknowledging this key word "culture", we negate ourselves completely.

Cary's first book about the Seed Vault is available next month. Listen to his recent interview here on NPR, "In A Remote Vault in Norway, Repository Stores The World's Seeds". - Rori

 

A glimpse...

The Infinite Seed: Volume DEAD RECKONING: Chapter One "Let this darkness be a bell tower and you the bell"

It was a beautiful evening in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque on the 6th of August, 2016. Many thanks to our hosts and new partnerships. To commemorate the 71st anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and what would have been my father's 70th birthday, I was incredibly moved by the energy of the night. A rainbow showed up on cue, kissing the Sandias Mountains, as the best performance I have ever witnessed. 

Much gratitude to Madeleine Robb, Juliet Robb, Sarah Robb, Caroline Hinkley, Angie Beauchamp, DeAna Durbin, Will Dunn, Lowan Stewart, Genghis KernLos Pobanos and Sol Harvest Farm. We look forward to returning to the area with a rough cut of DEAD RECKONING in Spring 2017 to be screened at Los Poblanos.  -Rori

Image and video by Will Dunn.

Image and video by Will Dunn.

Cinecrowd campaign for DEAD RECKONING has launched!

“What would you create to translate our world now to a generation 1.000 years into the future?.”LONGYEARBYEN

This is not a rhetorical question but posited as a very real inquiry for the basis of ‘Dead Reckoning’ that is set to film in the Norwegian Arctic archipelago Svalbard in October of this year. The film is just the beginning of an international project that seeks to align hyper local initiatives in communities with major climate science institutes, international artists and filmmakers and policy makers in mitigating climate change.

“In 2004, I took my first trip above the Norwegian Arctic Circle with my then two-year-old son in tow. I knew then that I could never not return.In 2010, I entered the Arctic landscape of Svalbard after working a year to get there. I knew when I landed there the first time in July 2010, that I would never be able to stop dreaming about the Norwegian Arctic.  

The changes these past six years have been profoundly tragic. The people who live and work in this terrain are some of the most committed humanitarians I have ever known.”

The Arctic is a truly beautiful, mystic and inspiring place and has been under threat for many many years. With some true pro-greeners at the CineCrowd office, we could not be more excited about and feel more committed to a project as ‘Dead Reckoning’! (We secretly plan on hiding ourselves on the vessel towards the Nordic Circle)

Not that keen on the cold temperatures? Be part of this amazing project from a little distance! Check out their page here.

The Infinite Seed

 

by Rainer Maria Rilke

translation by Joanna Macy + Anita Barrows

 

Quiet friend who has come so far,

feel how your breathing makes more space around you.

Let this darkness be a bell tower

and you the bell. As you ring,

what batters you becomes your strength.

Move back and forth into the change.

What is it like, such intensity of pain?

If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,

be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,

the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,

say to the silent earth: I flow.

To the rushing water, speak: I am.

Sonnets to Orpheus II, 29