SciFly // 158 // Remote Speculations Week 63/64

Speculative Events, News & Resources | Sent 5/31

Hey SciFly Readers!

This week, I want to highlight an awesome project introduced to me by SciFly reader and exhibition curator, Oscar Salguero, The Interspecies Futures [IF] exhibition!

Interspecies Futures [IF] is the first survey of bookworks by leading international practitioners from the contemporary fields of bio-art and speculative design who have turned to the book as a tool for the proposal of alternative human-nonhuman scenarios.

The exhibit is happening RIGHT NOW in New York City, and will run through June 16th at The Center for Book Arts.

The gallery isn't open for walk-ins right now, but you can easily reserve an in-person visit through their website. I highly recommend you make it down if you are in NYC!!!

Check out more information and some photos from the exhibition below!!!

Interspecies Futures [IF]

Interspecies Futures [IF] is the first major survey of bookworks by emerging bioartists and speculative designers using the codex as a tool for alternative possibilities of human-nonhuman interactions.

Published within the last 5 years, and inspired by conceptual art, the posthumanities, and advances in biotechnology, the books defy the borders between fiction and reality as they adopt formats as varied as lab journals, corporate catalogs, lost diaries and field guides.

The show highlights 6 new publications commissioned exclusively for the event and developed during the pandemic year (including books by Nonhuman Nonsense and Center for PostNatural History); as well as the influential work of Thomas Thwaites (including Goatman and its many international editions), Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg (and her synthetic design work infiltrating the cover of scientific journals); and finally Dougal Dixon, the father of speculative zoology (in celebration of the 40th anniversary of After Man: A Zoology of the Future).

Informed by methods from conceptual art, posthumanism, biotechnology (CRISPR), and emerging interfaces (AI, VR, 3D printing), these artists produce documents that defy the borders between fiction and reality. In their hands field guides, lost diaries, investigative dossiers, lab journals, corporate catalogues become portals into multiple interspecies possibilities.

Exhibitions are open to the public at:
The Center for Book Arts
28 W 27th St, 3rd Fl
New York, NY 10001

Learn more on the Exhibition website

If you want to visit in person, learn more about how to reserve a spot and the Center For Book Art's visitation policies here.
As always, I hope you are all doing well, wherever you are!

Don't forget you can find me on the Speculative Futures Slack (which I pseudo-moderate) if you want to chat! @DocMartens

Stay safe in your speculations, and catch you next week!


"The future is here, now let's distribute it." 

Doc Martens

SciFly is a design studio dedicated to leveraging speculative design and science fiction to imagine and prototype alternative futures enabled by today's emerging technology.

Online Events 🗓

Events are organized chronologically by week with events from Speculative Futures chapters listed separately at the end.

WEEK 1 - Tuesday, June 1st - Monday, June 7th


Tuesday, June 1

The Art of Blending Design + Technology // 7pm - 8pm EDT // Free
Technology and design can work together to create great products, but that's only possible with the right people and expertise. Simply providing innovative tools to enable design and tech teams to do their 'job' isn't enough. To design a remarkable product, we need to understand the problem, assess how agile can be embraced, and blend the right technology into design. Join us in this talk with senior developers and designers from Accenture Interactive. We will be discussing the Design language system (DLS), what it is meant for, and how it helps designers and developers.
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Storytelling for Change: Exploring Equilibrium with Tobi Shinobi // 1pm EDT // Free
As a way to serve our community, Photographers Without Borders is hosting a series of webinars and workshops focused on Storytelling for Change! Facilitated by accomplished and acclaimed guests from all over the world and from within our very own community. Tobi “Tobi Shinobi” Shonibare is an award winning international multifaceted photographer and videographer based between London and Chicago. Best known for his work on social media, he has an excess of 200,000 combined followers. On these online platforms, he mainly displays his specialization in finding beauty in often gritty urban landscapes. 
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Wirelessly Connecting Everyone & Everything, Everywhere // 7pm - 9pm EDT // Free
Smartphones, sensors, and a wide array of computing technologies and devices are now pervasive in our personal and professional lives, but connectivity among these devices and to online resources in distance data centers has almost been taken for granted. As we emerge from the pandemic with a renewed appreciation for reliable, performant connectivity for everyone, we are also witnessing the emergence of new wireless communications technologies—5G, WiFi 6, satellite-based networks, and more--that promise to help address limitations in performance, availability to all devices, weaknesses in coverage, and gaps in access. Join us for this comprehensive look at connectivity as the fourth utility and how these new technologies can wirelessly connect everyone and everything (computers, sensors, devices, instruments, etc.), everywhere, as we build more connected homes, schools, buildings, mobility, cities, and more.
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Inspiring Change with Data Visualization // 7pm - 8pm EDT // Free
You may have read books or attended presentations touting visualizations that changed the world and then tried to apply these same visualizations to your businesses and failed. Yes, the Minard chart on Napoleon’s campaign to conquer Moscow, the John Snow cholera map, and the Florence Nightingale sanitary conditions “rose” chart did have a profound impact on society. But how can they help your business? In this session best-selling author and data visualization consultant Steve Wexler will show real-world examples, free of esoteric chart types, that people employed to change the way their organizations did business.
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Stop, Collaborate & Listen: Matrix Co-Lab Café // 2pm - 3:30pm EDT // Free

We’re looking for local creatives to work collaboratively on a project commission that explores the space in between live and digital practice, which addresses the changing ways that we need to approach event/activities in response to Covid 19 and lessons learnt. You can test and pilot new ideas, try something new and innovative with another Matrix artist.
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INFRA+ Infrastructure for Fragmented Cities: Fictions // 9:30am EDT // Free
How can infrastructure be chosen, planned, designed, implemented, maintained, enhanced and used to improve human well-being in formal and informal urban areas? Speakers from across academia and practice with focus on East and Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East present their unique disciplinary perspectives and propose transdisciplinary directions for future research. Talks: Speculative Futures of Global South Infrastructures, Practices, politics, prestidigitation: exploring the infrastructural Big Dumb Object with tools from (science) fiction.
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Wednesday, June 2 (my Bday 🎂)

Performing Arts Information Representation Community Group (PAIR-CG) // 1pm - 2pm EDT // Free
PAIR-CG is a group designed to collaboratively create digital infrastructure to support performing arts digital tools. The group meets monthly, is artist led, and is open to all. The PAIR-CG is conceptualizing and representing core concepts about the sector in a way that machines can use (through an information representation standard). Building software that can solve these challenges about appropriate personalization of search results is possible, but first we must decide on how to represent core concepts in the performing arts in a way that machines can use.
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Inequalities and Alternativity in the Creative Industries // 11am - 12:30pm EDT // Free
This talk presents research on inequalities in cultural and creative industries, in the context of the ongoing Coronvirus pandemic. Building on analysis discussed in Culture is bad for you, the paper updates key themes of inequality In the workforce and in the audience for culture, along with the most recent analysis of social mobility into key cultural and creative industries. Whilst long-term impacts are uncertain, the continuities within patterns of inequality are striking. Despite government rhetoric of ‘building back better’, and sector and practitioner hopes for a rejection of pre-pandemic ‘business as usual’ in our unequal creative occupations, the likelihood is of continued, and perhaps accelerating inequalities at the centre of contemporary culture.
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Automated Futures: Short-term Goals and Long-Term Vision // 10:30am - 6pm EDT // Free
Autonomous systems are set to play a major role in our next wave of technological advancement both in industry and our community lives. As those who are at the forefront of these developments, we have both short-term goals for development and deployment as well as a long-term vision of the future and how those systems work together. Do our visions align with each other? Will the short-term goals lead us toward our long-term aims? Will our current work integrate harmoniously into an automated future?
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Thursday, June 3

Intelligent materials: creating future technology // 2pm - 3:30pm EDT // £0 – £21.14
Today’s researchers are designing materials that physically sense, adapt, and fall together instead of apart. From furniture that builds itself and flat shoes that jump into shape, to islands that grow themselves. Join Skylar Tibbits as he explores how we can design simple and elegant intelligent materials, that may one day animate and improve themselves. In this talk, Skylar discusses how materials can exhibit behaviours that we typically associate with biological organisms, the challenges we face and how they can help us create a sustainable future.
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BWDW: Black Liberatory Futures // 12pm EDT // Free

Moderated by social justice futurist, Angelique Kedem, this In-Conversation discussion will explore visions of Black wellbeing, collaboration and power. Join to hear an international panel of activists, creatives and philanthropists discuss and dream of what Black liberation could look like. 
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Designing The Future of Music ...and beyond // 9pm - 10:30pm EDT // Free
Join us for an exchange with creative visionaries Nep Sidhu, Richelle Gribble, and CCA alum Lawrence Azerrad, moderated by Dean of Design, Helen Maria Nugent, about the power of employing creativity to radically reimagine our futures and the outer reaches of possibility. How are artists, designers, technologists, healers, and activists redefining our relationship with music and opening our eyes to alternate narratives that have the power to transform our ways of being in the world? From time immemorial, humans have used music and music culture to share our stories and to make a difference in the world. Music sparks change, frames our most fundamental human experiences, and shapes our emotions and identities.
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TED Circle: The ethical dilemma of designer babies // 11:30am - 12:30pm EDT // Free
Creating genetically modified people is no longer a science fiction fantasy; it's a likely future scenario. Biologist Paul Knoepfler estimates that within fifteen years, scientists could use the gene editing technology CRISPR to make certain "upgrades" to human embryos -- from altering physical appearances to eliminating the risk of auto-immune diseases. In this thought-provoking talk, Knoepfler readies us for the coming designer baby revolution and its very personal, and unforeseeable, consequences.
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The Pursuit for New Aesthetics - An Architectural Talk with HIRANO Toshiki // 8pm EDT // Free
Ahead of the London Design Biennale 2021 in June, in which HIRANO will be representing Japan with his latest installation project Reinventing Texture supported by the Japan Foundation, we are proud to welcome him at an online talk event where he will discuss his defining projects including the work he will be presenting at the Biennale. HIRANO will also explore what he considers to be the new architectural aesthetic, as well as how his creative philosophy has and does determine his architectural activities. 
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Plastic Planet // 1pm - 2:30pm EDT // Free
Plastic has become a ubiquitous part of modern life, used across every sector and produced each year in greater and greater quantities. Yet we know irrefutably that plastic waste is having a detrimental impact on our planet: from the destruction of marine life to the hazardous effects of micro-plastic consumption on animals and humans. Faced with the shocking reality that by 2050 our oceans may contain more plastics than fish, this talk hears from the artists and scientists working together to research and inform the public about the dangers of our increasingly plastic planet. Their work not only highlights the wide scale effects of plastic pollution, but implores us all to take action, before it’s too late.
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The Role of Contemporary Art in Gentrification & Land Grabs // 1pm - 3pm EDT // Free
Tirdad Zolghadr will speak about contemporary art’s complicity with gentrification schemes and the role it has to play in land grabs and urban development. Foregrounding alternative ways of working in an urban context and proactive methods of utilising the traction of contemporary art Tirdad will discuss curated projects including STATISTA and REALTY.
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Sculpting The Virtual Future // 6:30pm EDT // $0 - $50
Join Indigo Arts Alliance and the University of New England Art Galleries in presenting Sculpting the Virtual Future! On Thursday, June 3rd at 6:30pm, we will present “Sculpting the Virtual Future”, a screening and artist talk by Firefly the Hybrid, of Decontie & Brown. Firefly's new short film, "Digital Triptych", is currently on view as part of the exhibition "Speculative Histories & Material Culture" at the UNE Art Gallery, Portland Campus. Looking at the inevitable transition to a post-human future from an Indigenous perspective, "Digital Triptych" offers the viewer a way to face this future with openness and love, rather than with fear. A screening of the 7-minute film will be followed by an artist talk and Q&A, moderated by poet and musician Atiim Chenzira.
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How time works with Sean Carroll // 1pm EDT // £15 – £45
"Time" is the most-used noun in the English language, yet some physicists don't even believe that time is real. In this talk, Sean Carroll will argue that time is real, yet that some aspects of it remain mysterious. Time seems to move forward because entropy increases -- the universe was orderly in the past, and grows more disorderly toward the future. Scientists are currently working to puzzle together how increasing entropy explains memory, aging, and why our decisions can affect the future but not the past.
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Friday, June 4

Exceeding the Gendered Boundaries of Play // 3pm - 4pm EDT // Free
What if we played games not ‘like a girl,’ but instead, ‘like a feminist?’ An Associate Professor of Media Studies at the University of Georgia, Dr. Chess probes the cross-section of video game studies and gender studies. Her latest book published by Duke University Press, Play Like a Feminist, prompts us to consider video games through a feminist lens—and both surpasses “the boundaries of gender yet still advocates for gender quality.”
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ONLINE Lunch Club: Anna Frijstein // 8am - 9am EDT // Free
Artist Anna Frijstein will provide food for thought by sharing her ideas on Play, Performance, and Pedagogy. Together with you, she will think through how ‘play’ can be used as socio-political methods to free ourselves from normalization, control, and patriarchy. Anna Frijstein, is a Dutch-born and London-based artist graduating in Performance at the Royal College of Art, London (2019). She works with the visual, social, pedagogical, and almost always performative. Whatever she does will be executed with a playful approach. Beneath this playfulness lingers a sense of uneasy dark humor that confronts suppressed feelings around current socio-psychological, ecological, and economical issues. 
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Live Coding: RONIN for Graphic Design // 2pm - 3:30pm EDT // Free
RONIN is and open source graphic design Live-Coding language. In this workshop participants will learn how to create visually striking generative designs, and edit photos using RONIN's scripting tools. Live-Coding is a programming technique used in performance and graphic design. Participants will learn the basics of Helpers, syntax and complete basic exercises in generative design.
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Saturday, June 5

"Environmental Intelligence" - Programs A & B (Both Virtual) // 8:30pm EDT // $35
All living beings on planet Earth depend on a clean and healthy environment for the survival and sustainability of life. The pieces presented in “Environmental Intelligence” illustrate some of the environmental issues and concerns that are on the rise due to destructive human behavior. This two-part concert uses dance and spoken word to foster understanding of climate change, deforestation, air and plastic pollution, waste management, and environmental justice for all people regardless of racial and socioeconomic disparities. Much can be done and much has to be done to address these issues. Humanity can have a direct and positive impact on the environment. We are all in this together. Program A is a completely virtual concert. Program B is an in-person immersive experience.
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Access + Ability: Redefining Accessibility in the Arts // 1:30pm - 3pm EDT // Free
In partnership with Emerging Arts Professionals' Art Workers Week and the College of Adaptive Arts, genARTS presents an interactive discussion featuring various perspectives about accessibility for artists, arts professionals, and cultural producers. Join this virtual panel with local experts and learn to rethink strategies for engagement with communities with differing abilities for your creative work and events.
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Sunday, June 6

Exploring the storytelling & performative potential of NFTs on hic et nunc // 1:30pm - 3:30pm EDT // Free
This meetup is focused on artists who are creating digital work and experimenting with NFTs and cryptoart. We're excited to be collaborating with the hic et nunc (H=N) community and @poptwig a collective of curators, collectors and artists. H=N is an eco-friendly option for making NFTs. The open source platform makes use of Tezos and is an alternative to ethereum. We'll be focused on the H=N platform for this meetup and many of the people joining will be artists and collectors from the community. 
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The Gentlest Work — a queer myth in pieces // 6/6, 7pm - 6/13, 6:30pm EDT // £0 – £27.54
A digital installation exploring queerness, trauma, and joy in the myths surrounding the Oresteia through performance, poetry, and art. For the past three years we have obsessed again over siblings Orestes, Electra, and Iphigenia, as well as Pylades, the man whose life becomes so tightly interwoven with theirs. We have sought out the queerness that is latent or hidden or, in the past, actively excluded, as well as the queer pieces of ourselves we've found refracted in their stories and the history of their stories. The Gentlest Work takes the form of a digital gallery of creative responses to the myths that you will be able to explore in your own time.
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Monday, June 7

Unsung Heroes of Technological Societies: The Maintainers // 7:30pm - 9pm EDT // $0 - $5
The real heroes of the digital age, and all the technological revolutions that have come before, are not just the inventors and entrepreneurs that get all the glory. It’s the hard-working men and women that build and maintain the infrastructure and perform the nitty-gritty engineering, manufacturing and maintenance that allows it all to work. In fact, the mythology of high-tech innovation and the short-termism it promotes is hiding two unsettling truths. (1) Productivity growth has been slowing. (2) Infrastructure has been ignored and underfunded. Reforming the business practices and cultural attitudes that led us here is a critical priority in the efforts to build a thriving future for us all. A maintenance mindset, and the long-term thinking it requires, is more important now than ever. Lee and Andy will explain why, and provide concrete examples of how the growing Maintainers movement is leading the way.
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WEEK 2 - Tuesday, June 8th - Monday, June 14th

Tuesday, June 8

Sandtable沙盆推演 : Mapping Ah Kwan's Island // 6/8 & 6/9, 8am - 9:30am // Free
In this pilot workshop we will experiment with the themes of design speculation and the Anthropocene as explored between the lines in Sandtable 沙盆推演, the Hong Kong pavilion at London Design Biennale. Complimenting the installation at Somerset House and and reflecting our collaborative process, this workshop will expand into cartographic forms of storytelling, producing a collaborative map on Miro inspired by and enquiring into historical sources. In small groups you will take on a theme in the map, reimagining Hong Kong, the Kwan Tai Loo road and the journey the group make around the island. The maps produced will be published on the HKDHNet website, and help to form future workshops and events combining design, speculative history and storytelling of Hong Kong.
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How Accessible is the Future? // 10am - 11am EDT // Free
On May 20, we have celebrated Global Accessibility Awareness Day. This day is to remind the world to take this subject into consideration. Some see accessibility as a need, some see it as an obligation and some as an opportunity. Going digital at a fast pace requires us also to remember to include a specific place for inclusive design, not only in developing a specific module but also in the entire architecture or even in the entire business strategy. The two speakers will dive into all these perspectives, will investigate the trends, the standards, and give us some advices on how to include accessibility in our future applications.
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Tales from the CyberSalon  – #2 A New High Street // 1:30pm - 4:30pm EDT // Free
Spanning four events across the year, ‘Tales from the Cyber Salon’ will feature newly commissioned, speculative short stories written for the exploration of Healthcare, The High Street, Digital Communities and Political Representation. Join us for our second event on Tuesday, 8th June where we will be interrogating near-future and post-retail visions of the high street and reimagining the centres of our towns and cities.
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Wednesday, June 9

Gamecity Forecast: Is work still a place? // 11am - 1pm EDT // Free
For many teams and companies switching to remote work brought up challenges in working together - as well as opportunities to try out more flexible concepts of work and work spaces. What can we take away from these experiences to shape the way we and our teams want to work together in the future? Join us for Gamecity Forecast, a compact 2-hour-workshop-format, in which we’ll explore how the ways of working together in the games industry changed during the last year and what those changes entail for our work environments.
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Mediated Intimacy: Kris Grey // 6/9, 12pm - 6/11, 3pm EDT // kr100
The Covid-19 pandemic has radically altered the ways we create and experience intimacy. This workshop is an opportunity to reflect on the past year of physical isolation and digital connectivity. What have we learned about the potential of digital space? What affect lingers in the realms of social, sexual, creative, and domestic? What are the surprises? How are we processing a mediated experience of global trauma, public health crisis, widespread inequity, and massive social uprisings? Where are the boundaries between personal and professional/public space? What things have brought joy and pleasure into our lives during this time? Together, we will reflect on navigating digital space over the past year, bear witness to each other’s process, and create a new work unique to the group. 
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Agora Talk 26: MissUniverseGAN: Generated beauty standards - Fabiola Larios // 1:30pm - 2:30pm EDT // £0 – £5.98
During her artist residency, Fabiola Larios works on a new series of work related to the female beauty standard. How do Beauty standards are continually changing and evolving each year? She analyses the last 50 years of beauty canon and how certain criteria are foreign matter to new generations.
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Machines + Media 2021: Facing the Future // 10am - 3pm EDT // Free
NYC Media Lab & Bloomberg present the 5th annual gathering of technologists, media professionals, and academic thought leaders for "Machines + Media 2021: Facing the Future." With Big Tech under fire and innovation moving rapidly, we're convening expert panelists to discuss how we can both embrace and manage the impact of technology on our increasingly essential media ecosystem.
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Build in Wood, a Nordic- US Dialogue: Circularity in focus // 12:30pm - 3:30pm EDT // Free
The construction industry is a large contributor to CO2 emissions, but advancing a circular and wood-based construction industry could potentially lower this significantly. The Nordics are frontrunners when it comes to building in wood and imagining a digital, circular and wood-based future for the construction industry. The West coast of the United States is also working with this agenda and they use wood as the main material in many constructions. The area is now home to leading technologies and a strong and growing business for a circular wood industry. The second webinar of the BUILD IN WOOD a Nordic- US Dialogue. A webinar series organized by the Nordic missions in Silicon Valley will focus on CIRCULARITY in the construction industry.
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Rooted Recipes Project x Forging Our Futures // 10pm - 11:30pm EDT // $0 - $20
Join the Rooted Recipes Project (RRP) for a night of virtual storytelling. With a worldwide pandemic and the onslaught of anti-Asian violence leaving our communities devastated, RRP is re-envisioning how we can hold space during this pivotal moment in time. Though we won’t be able to serve up a physical meal, we’ll be serving up food stories that’ll just be as emotionally and spiritually nourishing to highlight and support our beloved neighborhood, Chinatown. We aim to create a space for our collective grief, our joys, and everything in between. The Rooted Recipes Project is a collective founded by Kim Boral, Joseph Nontanovan, Aileen Suzara, and Thuy Tran, all who work within the food world and are also artists and organizers within their respective communities. It is our connection through food and shared stories that we may reclaim our past in order to move towards a liberated future.
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Thursday, June 10

The Making of the Interspecies Futures [IF] Catalog // 6:30pm - 8pm EDT // Free
Join Claudia de la Torre, founder of backbonebooks, in conversation with curator Oscar Salguero, as they discuss the making of the Interspecies Futures catalog. The pair will discuss the design decisions behind the conceptual sci-fi paperback style catalog, as well as speculations as to how the book might exist beyond the duration of the exhibition.
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Creating Futures For Fashion Through Speculative Design // 6am - 8am EDT // Free
In transitional times societies are characterised by complexity and contradiction, where old systems are crumbling while new ones have not yet emerged. In a global context driven by chaos, fast pace changes, sustainability challenges, and erratic societal behaviours, rethinking fashion is crucial.To explore the futures of fashion we invite you to experiment speculative design and foresight methods in a participatory hands-on session. 
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Auraldiversities: Future Listening (Session 6) // 6am - 12:30pm EDT // Free
A year-long programme addressing the ‘auraldiverse turn’ in Arts and Humanities research and theory, questioning how and what we hear, what we listen to and why, as situated within our contemporary milieu: that of ecological, existential, social, economic and epidemiological crises. Entwined with sonically sensile organisms, sessions extend well beyond human worlds into speculative acoustic realms of future listening.
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Living Materials: Ethics and Principles for Embodied
Stewardship // 11:30am - 1pm EDT // Free

This conversation between artist and archivist Cori Olinghouse and art historian Megan Metcalf examines embodied conservation skills, which are essential for the preservation of performance and related mediums yet remain mostly invisible and under-theorized in visual art. The presentation begins from the premise that dance and other performance forms have inherent strategies for continuation that mitigate against their ephemerality.
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Reimagined Futures // 7:30am - 9am EDT // Free
We are launching Reimagined Futures at the London Festival of Architecture 2021. With the help of a panel of experts and thought leaders from the worlds of architecture, dance and theatre we will share the inspiration behind 'Reimagined Futures' and explore the current legislative frameworks which guide and shape the design of performing arts buildings. We'll then work with our online audience to identify and discuss the access needs that are often overlooked, beginning a process of consultation with historically excluded artists and audiences across the UK.
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WONDERFEST: The Future of You // 10:30pm - 11:30pm EDT // Donation
How "future-oriented" are you? In the near term, nearly half of US adults would have trouble finding $400 to cover an emergency expense. Looking further ahead, our collective futures are threatened by global climate change. Meeting such challenges partially depends on the human ability to regard future selves as continuous with — if not identical to — current selves. What does psychology research have to say about future self-continuity so that we might better guide our individual and collective development?
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Post-Pandemic Public Spaces // 12pm - 1pm EDT // Free
COVID-19 and the many measures to control its spread have fundamentally changed the way urban residents think of their cities and public spaces. Streets and squares once designated for cars now belong to pedestrians and restaurants; access to nature, open spaces, and sports and leisure facilities has emerged as a vital need. Meanwhile, digital interaction and socialization has rapidly accelerated, fueled by video calls, gaming, streaming, and e-commerce. Join our three experts for a conversation on the design possibilities for physical and digital spaces post-pandemic.
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Friday, June 11

UNFIX FESTIVAL 2021 // 6/11 - 6/27, various times // £0 – £43.71
The innovative festival investigating ecological crisis and renewal through the lens of social, cultural, political, environmental and personal transformation will return for its sixth edition - this year in a digital format, providing an online and accessible platform for audiences and artists alike.  The festival will offer an online dreamspace for creating imaginal solidarity between communities across the world as we face the ‘new normal’ and the restarting of the machine after COVID.
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Re-Fest | Multiverso #2 // 2pm - 3pm EDT // Free
Multiverso #2 is a theatre event created by and for this time, inviting the audience into a Zoom room to watch and interact with this live performance. Eight immigrant and refugee artists from disparate geographic locations, with no single shared language, find a way to blend their stories, visual art, and music into a hybrid live event that reflects common struggles, common journeys, and a desire to make art in a new life. Led by Mind the fact, Station Athens Group, Polyplanity Productions in Greece, and The Trojan Women Project of La MaMa in New York City, Multiverso uses technology to bring together in one cyber space a group of individuals who might never have the opportunity to stand face to face.
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Shifting the Narrative: Megan Izen // 1:30pm - 2:30pm EDT // Free
Throughout history, artists have shaped and shifted the world around them with the art they create and share with their communities. From graphic design to TV shows, artists tell stories that transform the way people think. Megan Izen, managing editor of Word Force at Narrative Initiative, will explore what is narrative, the role artists play in shaping them and how your art can make change.
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F⚡CK UP NIGHT - Why we failed the energy transition // 9am EDT // Free
The global energy transition is an ambitious project – and yes: sometimes things can go terribly wrong. Flawed political regulation, stranded assets and exceeding costs are just some of the classics which could be observed all over the world just over the past decades. Bringing in a European perspective, our distinguished speakers from Poland, Germany, Austria, Finland and France will showcase to you the most significant energy-related national fuck-ups and mistakes. But as we are here to solve and not dwell on issues, each session will include a section on how this problem was either already resolved or how it could be tackled in the future. 
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Perceiving, Planning, Moving: how robots understand the world // 10am - 11:30am EDT // Free
Four of our academics will talk briefly on some of their research highlights, before a demo and a Q&A on what the future of robotics looks like: Autonomous Service Robots - Nick Hawes, Soft Robotics, and 3D printing Artificial Skin - Perla Maiolino, Self-Driving Cars and Explainable Autonomy - Lars Kunze, Walking Robots - Ioannis Havoutis.
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SORRY, NEITHER: Afrofuturist Perspectives // 1pm - 2:30pm EDT // Free
Join the Naughton Gallery’s curator and a selection of artists from the gallery’s current exhibition, Sorry, Neither, for a discussion on Afrofuturism and Black futurity. In the reimagining and repurposing of the fraught past, present, and future of the transnational Black experience, Afrofuturism has been expressed through art, photography, cinema, literature, music, fashion, and beyond. This online talk will explore the fascinating intersection between Black culture, technology, liberation, mysticism, and the imagination. Featuring a range of visual artists based across the globe, this celebration of Black culture – yesterday, today, and tomorrow – offers a powerful and unapologetic perspective on Black futurity.
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Saturday, June 12

Future of Biodesign with Slime Mold // 6/12, 11am - 6/16, 6pm EDT // $30 - $60
Slime molds have fascinated scientists with their ability to make decisions, anticipate change, and cleverly navigate their surroundings. These “molds” are not actually fungi, but instead a mass of cells that gather together to form a seemingly smart and mobile “superorganism.” Designing with living organisms teaches us to build relationships on a micro level and allows us to be vulnerable to the small living things in our planet. The world of biodesign brings us back to the power of nature and all that is around us. So, join us as we discover our world around slime mold and create art!
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Matter Out of Place| Masterclass: Contagion // 6:30am - 7:30am // Free
It is essential for life, both medically and metaphorically, yet we are repulsed by it. Blood tells many stories, about life and death and a world in between, yet there are stories that remain untold: what happens with the blood of animals in the age of industrialized slaughter? And what kind of stigma has to be faced when carrying an infectious disease in your blood? This masterclass will ask those questions and explore the narratives that unfold once microscopic images of blood are visualised.
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Stories With Consequences with Laura Trevail // 9am - 10am EDT // Free
In this workshop, you will be equipped with the resources to create interactive stories where your readers’ choices determine their outcome. We’ll get started with the open-source, online tool “Twine”, and along the way pick up skills and techniques for approaching any new technology as a creator. Our precarious future depends on the choices we make today. Let’s build new mechanisms to tell useful stories about that. Now. Together.
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Sunday, June 13

Solar Powered Sound Art // 1pm - 2:30pm EDT // Free
This workshop will introduce participants to a range of techniques for creating solar-powered instruments. We will discuss the history of the field, common conceptual approaches, and a number of technical methods. Three techniques for building instruments will be demonstrated: Direct drive acoustic instrument, Solar-powered analog synthesis, Sonifying light frequencies.
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THERIAK: Behind the Scenes in a Lab | Workshop // 4:30am - 6am EDT // Free
Disease maps are a long-standing scientific tool used to understand the spread of disease across populations. Craske’s The Disease Map takes an engraving of Basel by Matthäus Merian (1593-1650), and turns it into a disease map by engraving it onto a custom-made petri dish, within which cholera was painted (onto agar) over several days while also being inhibited with synthetic peptides that Craske designed. The process was recorded using time-lapse photography. The protocols were designed through collaborative and experimental work with Dr. Irene Wüthrich and Dr. Steven Schmitt, from the D-BSSE, ETH Zurich.
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CONTAGION Closing Event: Lecture by Sir Jeremy Farrar // 9am - 10:30am EDT // Free
Science Gallery Bengaluru is organising CONTAGION, an online exhibition that explores the transmission of emotions, behaviours and diseases. The domino effect, the ripple effect, or the ability of one event to set off a chain of others has been known and described in various ways. From a yawn in a classroom setting off a wave of them to a chain reaction within a nuclear reactor leading to the creation of energy, this effect can be seen everywhere. Human social interactions are among the most studied examples of this. We have observed historically that our ability to travel, combined with our need to communicate and connect, has led to some of the worst epidemics.
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Playful disruptions: loopholes, networks, care // 6/13, 10am - 6/24, 11:30am EDT // Free
How do we forge intimacies as we are pushed further apart? These workshops convene a peering collective in search of playful practices for disruption. Cutting through individual isolation and auto-affection, cultivating co-affecting networked relations, the ruptive effects of play are staged throughout this series. Partial affects are looped, sharing in considerations around care, becoming cacophonous. Dwelling in loopholes, otherwise exploited and evacuated, frames and facilitates communal spaces for fragile convalescence, resting and in and from this, resisting. The network is embodied across earth surfaces; bodies, minds and screens sharing-in-difference. In total, this workshop series tests and transforms the notion of generatively intimate disruptions, and in this the limits and thresholds of our collective capacities for communing (with) care.
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Monday, June 14

Tangible Memories with Margherita Soldati and Alice Héron // 1pm - 2pm EDT // Free
Join our unique workshop that will take you on a sensorial journey across memories of past experiences, feelings and body sensations. The artists Margherita Soldati and Alice Héron will guide you in a series of exercises that will reconnect you with your body, in a time when we all feel so far from each other. The workshop is designed to explore your memories through the sense of touch and give you a boost of the happiness hormone oxytocin. By diving into your memories while reconnecting with your body, we hope to help stimulate oxytocin production and induce a feeling of being present, centered and connected with ourselves.
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Upcoming Speculative Futures Meetups 

Imaginar futuros con la gente para cambiar el presente // Speculative Futures Madrid // Wednesday, June 2nd, 12pm - 1:30pm EDT // 3,56 € (In Spanish)
Los Estudios de Futuros y otras perspectivas que orbitan en torno a lo especulativo, son metodologías y enfoques que se han aplicado con éxito como herramientas de investigación, educación o como activadores y detonantes de debates públicos. Si este enfoque es útil y valioso para probar y explorar ideas de una manera accesible y creativa, podríamos decir que imaginar futuros -y/o debatir sobre escenarios especulativos- también nos sirve para involucrar a miembros de organizaciones o contextos en un diálogo sobre sus esperanzas y temores individuales y construir una visión o relato colectivo de una manera más disruptiva y rica.
Creemos “que la tarea más importante de los Estudios de Futuros es facilitar a personas y grupos formular, implementar y re-visualizar sus futuros más deseables” (Jim Dator).
En esta charla mostraremos algunos ejemplos de cómo se puede hacer esto de “imaginar futuros con la gente” y hablaremos de algunos aspectos metodológicos clave a los que hay que atender cuando se trabaja de manera participativa.

Futures Studies and other perspectives that orbit around the speculative, are methodologies and approaches that have been applied successfully as research tools, education or as activators and triggers of public debates. If this approach is useful and valuable to test and explore ideas in an accessible and creative way, we could say that imagining futures - and / or discussing speculative scenarios - also helps us to involve members of organizations or contexts in a dialogue about their hopes. and individual fears and build a collective vision or story in a more disruptive and rich way.
We believe “that the most important task of Futures Studies is to facilitate individuals and groups to formulate, implement and re-visualize their most desirable futures” (Jim Dator).
In this talk we will show some examples of how you can do this of “imagining futures with people” and we will talk about some key methodological aspects that must be addressed when working in a participatory way.

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Applied Science Fiction: A Practical Introduction to Design Futures // Speculative Futures Louisville // Thursday, June 3rd, 5:30pm - 7:30pm EDT // Free
Please join us at our next virtual meetup – Thursday, May 27th for a crash course in Applied Science Fiction. We'll talk about design futures methods and how they can fit into the work we're doing every day. Matt Dobson will introduce some tips and tricks he picked up at a recent Futures x Design training and other methods for a practical approach for future methods. We are excited to continue to expand our conversations around design futures!
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Indigenous Placekeeping, Plurality, and Futurities // Speculative Futures Phoenix, Friday, June 11, 4pm - 5pm EDT // Free
The Indigenous Design Collaborative (IDC) is a community-driven design and construction program, which brings together tribal community members, industry and a multidisciplinary team of ASU students and faculty to co-design and co-develop solutions for tribal communities in Arizona. This presentation, Indigenous Placekeeping, Plurality, and Futurities, sheds light on the methodologies and concepts the ASU IDC is currently utilizing and exploring. Concepts of indigenous worldviews are often “unthinkable from the perspective of Eurocentric theories” and have been gradually undervalued and invalidated overtime. The pluriverse acknowledges and validates humanity’s interconnectedness as species through concepts such as: ancestrality, autonomy, and futurality.
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Speculative News & Resources 📰

News, resources, and musings about emerging technology, speculative practice, and futures design and related topics.

Snap Now Lets You Build Lego in AR Remotely with Others, Reveals AR Tie-Up with Disney, Plus AR Business Tools // NextReality
On Thursday, during the company's Snap Partner Summit 2021, a wide range of tie-ups and new features were unveiled, with some of the biggest brands on the planet joining the AR fray. Perhaps the most notable partnership is Snap's new effort with the Lego company. Although Lego is known for allowing kids of all ages to use plastic building blocks to create art, toys, and even robots, now Lego fans will be able to build Lego constructs together, remotely, via a new feature from Lens Studio called Connected Lens
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My Interview with an NFT // Decrypt
The brainchild of artist Ben Gentilli's Robert Alice studio and software developers Alethea AI, Alice is a non-fungible token (NFT), a blockchain-based token that can be used to prove ownership of a digital or physical asset. In this case, the asset in question is a machine-learning bot that uses a generative language model based on the OpenAI GPT-3 engine. That means she's able to hold (somewhat stilted) conversations about life, the universe and everything...
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Korea launches 'metaverse' alliance // TheKoreaTimes
South Korea's ICT ministry said Tuesday the country has launched an industry alliance to bolster the development of "metaverse" technology and ecosystems. The metaverse refers to a shared virtual space, in which users interact with each other through digital avatars and experience a virtual reality (VR) world. The new alliance is composed of 17 companies, including major wireless carrier SK Telecom Co, as well as auto giant Hyundai Motor Co., and eight industry groups, such as the Korea Mobile Internet Business Association, according to the Ministry of Science and ICT. 
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Get to know Google's Starline project to make video calls with life-size 3D holograms // Entrepreneur
Technology is getting closer to realizing what once seemed like futuristic fantasies in the style of 'Star Wars', 'Back to the Future' and 'The Jetsons'. Google is already working on the Starline project , a system for making video calls that project 3D holograms of people in real size. Project Starline was unveiled this week, during the Google I / O event , where the 'Big Tech' presented its next news. The company assured that it is a step towards approaching the future of conversations, as it seeks to make the most realistic video calls in the history of humanity...
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Inside Helsinki’s big plans to have the best urban mobility by 2035 // TheNextWeb
Helsinki Business Hub is a business development agency dedicated to attracting foreign direct investment, particularly those companies who can contribute to the circular economy. In 2016 Finland became the first country to create a roadmap to a circular economy, and in 2020 Helsinki released its own Roadmap for a Circular and Sharing Economy. One of the key policy tools of Helsinki’s circular economy is ‘green mobility investment’, i.e. investments that encourage a modal shift towards active mobility and public transportation...
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Amazon Introduces Tiny ‘ZenBooths’ for Stressed-Out Warehouse Workers // VICE
In one of its most dystopian moves yet, Amazon is introducing tiny booths where its overworked warehouse employees can momentarily escape a job so grueling, many employees say they don't feel like they have enough time to even use the bathroom. The "ZenBooth'' or "Mindful Practice Room," as it's called, is part of the WorkingWell program Amazon announced on May 17. According to an Amazon press release, WorkingWell is a mix of "physical and mental activities, wellness exercises, and healthy eating support” meant to “help them recharge and reenergize."...
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The clever design details that make this new line of underwear so inclusive // FastCompany
The fashion industry has fallen short in creating clothes that fit all bodies and genders. Two years ago, longtime friends Mere Abrams and Anna Graham set out to change that. Last March, Abrams and Graham launched Urbody, a clothing line with seven staple undergarments for any wardrobe. Lots of clothing brands talk about fit. But Urbody thinks about fit specifically with the trans and nonbinary community in mind. According to Abrams and Graham, making inclusive styles required them to educate manufacturing partners on everything from inclusive terminology to fit, and ultimately to change the design process as they knew it...
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A Second Cambrian Explosion of Open Source Licenses //TechDirt
As the open source world has grown, so have concerns about the context in which openly licensed items are used. While these concerns have existed since the beginning of the open source movement, today’s larger and more diverse movement has brought new urgency to them. In light of this revived interest within the community, the time may be ripe to begin encouraging experimentation with open source licensing again...
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The typical three month foresight project // Hinesight Blog
In our teaching as well as in our project work, we talk about the “typical” 3-month project. We joke that there is no such thing as typical and it is relatively rare that a project takes exactly three months. But it is pretty close to average and it helps frame the conversation about project timing. The graphic shows how we divide projects into three major parts of work over time...
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AI is learning how to create itself // MIT Technology Review
An artificial intelligence researcher at Uber, Wang likes to leave the Paired Open-Ended Trailblazer, a piece of software he helped develop, running on his laptop overnight. POET is a kind of training dojo for virtual bots. So far, they aren’t learning to do much at all. These AI agents are not playing Go, spotting signs of cancer, or folding proteins—they’re trying to navigate a crude cartoon landscape of fences and ravines without falling over...
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‘Cryptographic Attestation of Personhood’ Could End CAPTCHAs Forever // VICE
Everyone hates CAPTCHAs. Those little puzzles we all have to navigate to prove to websites that we’re humans and not robots consume an incredible amount of our time and often feel like they don't work. Cloudflare has designed a system called a Cryptographic Attestation of Personhood. The short version is that users wanting to access a website or service would click a button to claim they’re human and, instead of clicking pictures or typing a word, would insert a physical USB key, like a YubiKey, into their computer and hit the button on it...
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AI Could Soon Write Code Based on Ordinary Language // WIRED
On Tuesday, Microsoft and OpenAI shared plans to bring GPT-3, one of the world’s most advanced models for generating text, to programming based on natural language descriptions. This is the first commercial application of GPT-3 undertaken since Microsoft invested $1 billion in OpenAI last year and gained exclusive licensing rights to GPT-3.“If you can describe what you want to do in natural language, GPT-3 will generate a list of the most relevant formulas for you to choose from,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a keynote address at the company’s Build developer conference. “The code writes itself.”...
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Data fairness: A new social contract for the 21st century economy // MIT Technology Review

Over the past two decades, the data economy has permeated every aspect of our social and economic lives. Now, a growing community of voices is seeking a new social contract between the tech industry and citizens. Early optimism about the transformative power of the internet has given way, more recently, to a sense that the real profits have not matched the hoped-for potential. Where citizens, non-commercial actors, and governments are key contributors to the data ecosystem, critics believe they are not full partners in developing the data economy nor in sharing its profits, and that the proceeds disproportionately benefit the data controllers.
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Mixing human + animal DNA and the future of gene editing // Big Think [Video]
As the material that makes all living things what/who we are, DNA is the key to understanding and changing the world. British geneticist Bryan Sykes and Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project, explain how, through gene editing, scientists can better treat illnesses, eradicate diseases, and revolutionize personalized medicine. Harvard professor Glenn Cohen introduces another subcategory of gene experiments: mixing human and animal DNA. "The question is which are okay, which are not okay, why can we generate some principles," Cohen says of human-animal chimeras and arguments concerning improving human life versus morality.
Watch Now

Amazon devices will soon automatically share your Internet with neighbors // ArsTechnica
If you use Alexa, Echo, or any other Amazon device, you have only 10 days to opt out of an experiment that leaves your personal privacy and security hanging in the balance. On June 8, the merchant, Web host, and entertainment behemoth will automatically enroll the devices in Amazon Sidewalk. The new wireless mesh service will share a small slice of your Internet bandwidth with nearby neighbors who don’t have connectivity and help you to their bandwidth when you don’t have a connection.
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VR Locomotion Device ‘DecaMove’ Attracts $350K in Preorder Campaign // RoadtoVR
Megadodo Simulation Games, the Singapore-based startup behind the upcoming PC VR headset DecaGear, announced that its hip-based VR locomotion device DecaMove has generated over $350,000 in sales over the course of its month-long preorder campaign. The small puck-like device was designed to improve navigating in VR by tying the direction of locomotion to your hips, shifting it away from the typical methods of hand and head-relative movement. The device clips to your belt, sends data over to an included Bluetooth dongle, and essentially eliminates thumbstick-based locomotion.
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Fun Stuff 🚀

Cool projects, articles, games, books, and other nerdy speculative things that I've discovered recently.

Open Calls/Submissions/Opportunities & Cool Projects

Open Calls, Submissions & Other Opportunities

Circa & Dazed's Class of 2021 // Deadline 6/23
As part of Circa and Dazed’s Class of 2021, 30 artists will get free studio access, have their work displayed on the iconic London screen, and one finalist will be selected by a special guest judge to win £30k. As we tiptoe (see: stumble) into life post-rona, the creative industries are facing a period of reckoning. Will the arts continue to operate within the musty hierarchies of yesteryear, or will fresh paths be forged, taking heed of all the valuable lessons from the past 12 months? With this in mind, digital arts platform Circa and Dazed are launching Class of 2021. This brand new initiative invites budding video artists from all over the world to submit a two-and-a-half minute short film in response to the theme ‘Communion’, as set by interdisciplinary artist Angel Rose, and judged by a surprise special guest...
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Museum Futures Conference Call for Projects // Deadline 6/12
As museums navigate uncertain times, some seek to look back in the hope that the new normal will recover the lost publics, most of whom can only be reached online intermittently and in between lockdowns and restricted access procedures. Others have slowly but surely embarked on systemic change. At this point in time, we might ask whether museums can morph into genuinely democratic, inclusive, and polyphonic spaces for critical conversations about pasts and futures. We could also question whether museums can ever be fully integrated within communities, acting as co-catalysts for radical changes in ways of seeing and living. Indeed, will a human-centered museum, in harmonious existence with the natural environment, ever see the light of day? 
Learn More & Apply

Cool Projects

Find culturally diverse stock photos that represent the true world we live in. Creating an inclusive culture takes both commitment and action. A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions for everyone. Also, discover mutual interests or shared experiences with TONL Narratives : Our entries provide the need for more earnest portrayals of everyday life. Here, find stories accompanied by narrative text, where the individuals of the photos provide context into who they are and what they represent.
Check It Out

Welcome Speculative Future Dubai!
Speculative Futures Dubai launched with a question, a screening, and a conversation.:star::movie_camera:
What did the Future look like to you in the past year, screening of Glimpses of a Future, now on Netflix...
Check Out their Instagram Community

Gaming, Shows, Books & Other Random Cool Stuff

Maybe Future Generations Will Be Just Fine // WIRED
Cass R. Sunstein is one of America’s foremost legal scholars; he is also a big fan of science fiction authors such as Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. Sunstein thinks that science fiction can be a useful tool to inoculate people against status quo bias—our tendency to resist anything new and unfamiliar. Sunstein’s new book Averting Catastrophe lays out an approach for evaluating unpredictable threats such as asteroids, AI, climate change, and pandemics. One of the books’s more science-fictional ideas is that people might not need to worry so much about the well-being of future generations, an idea that Sunstein attributes to Nobel prize-winning economist Thomas Schelling...
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RetroTechTacular: The Drama of Metal Forming // Hackaday
It may seem overwrought, but The Drama of Metal Forming actually is pretty dramatic. This film is another classic of mid-century corporate communications that was typically shown in schools, which the sponsor — in this case, Shell Oil — seeks to make a point about the inevitable march of progress, and succeeds mainly in showing children and young adults what lay in store for them as they entered a working world that needed strong backs more than anything...
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Andy Weir’s Project Hail Mary and the soft, squishy science of language // ArsTechnica
Andy Weir's latest, Project Hail Mary, is another tale of solving problems with science, as a lone human named Ryland Grace and a lone alien named Rocky must save our stellar neighborhood from a star-eating parasite called "Astrophage." PHM is a buddy movie in space in a way that The Martian didn't get to be, and the interaction between Grace and Rocky is the biggest reason to read the book. But the relative ease with which Grace and Rocky understand each other got me thinking about the real-world issues that might arise when two beings from vastly different evolutionary backgrounds try to communicate...
Read more

9 Books You Need to Read This Summer // WIRED
From sci-fi to queer magic, these tomes have what you need when you're headed to the beach—or anywhere else...
Check It Out 

What I'm Reading

Here is a quick snapshot of my favorite books, shows, games podcasts, and articles this week.

Magic's Pawn
Mercedes Lackey

Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture
Ytasha Womack

ION Lands

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