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SciFly NYC // 119 // Remote Speculations Week 2

Speculative Events, News & Resources | Sent 3/23

Hey SciFly Readers!

Another week of watching NYC shut down in stages. Not going to lie, have been dealing with bouts of anxiety all week, and although I've been trying my hardest to disconnect and chill through books, games, TV etc., I've found it hard to drag myself away from the latest statistics, policy changes, and news coming out.

On the bright side, I've gotten to spend some quality time with my partner this week and do a couple of fun #NYCLockdown activities including having them highlight my hair, making vegetarian Enchiladas, etc. Also, in other good news, the giant bruise on my arm (photo below) is finally healing! I got this while trying not to touch anything on the bus my last commuting to NYC on 3/10. You should know that I bruise REALLY easily and a lot, so don't panic, this is normal. If you think this is bad, you should have seen me when I played rugby...

Also, if I haven't mentioned it before, my partner is an AMAZING printmaker.

Inspired by the website, they created two super cool prints with lyrics from David Bowie and Queen, aka "Rebel Rhapsody".

We are mailing the prints to anyone that wants one, 100% FREE (although you are always welcome to send a small donation to help us cover shipping).

Check out my partner's Instagram to learn more and feel free to email me if you are interested in getting one!!!

Finally, I have been taking my daily solitary walks around Crown Heights and documenting some of the crazy changes I have been seeing. Here are a couple of my pictures and speculations.

Top - Franklin Avenue is completely empty on a Saturday night, sans the police cruising around to make sure people aren't lingering/places aren't open.

Middle Left - LinkNYC alerts gradually reflect the severity of the situation. Have taken a whole series of these b/c I'm fascinated by how technology is being used to communicate policy updates

Middle Right - Fulton Street in BK is littered with disposable gloves, especially outside the bank an grocery store.

Bottom Left - The local hat/scarf/random stuff stall is having some fun with their store display...

Bottom Right - All the restaurants/bars have gone virtual too! Guess they all need to use up their liquor stock because all of them are offering takeout booze. The liquor stores have also been pretty crowded. #AmericaCopes

Soooo... Week 1 of official #NYCShutdown is over. I'm 100% burnt out, so going to go crash, although as always, writing this newsletter has been a really helpful activity to focus my mind and collate all the random news/projects, and cool things I've encountered this week as the world moves even more online.

I hope you are all doing well, and not too stir-crazy yet!

Don't forget you can join me on the Speculative Futures Slack (where I pretty much live right now) if you want to chat!!!

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


(Me on my daily solo exercise routine. On Friday, it was so nice that I went biking - sans mask)

"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.

News, Resources, Events, Fun Things to Keep You Occupied

Speculative News, Articles, Resources (General)

Cool news and articles about emerging technology, speculative practice, and futures design. Will try to put nothing about COVID-19 here to give you a break, see below for news/resources on that topic.

New brain-reading technology could help the development of brainwave-controlled devices // Science News
A new method to accurately record brain activity at scale has been developed. The technique could lead to new medical devices to help amputees, people with paralysis or people with neurological conditions such as motor neuron disease.
Read More

Goodyear invented a new tire that never needs to be changed. Here's how its self-regenerating tread works. // Business Insider
Goodyear has unveiled a self-regenerating concept tire with artificial intelligence features that allow the tire treads to change according to the environment and climate.
Read More

10 Apps to Hang Out with Friends in VR
Stuck indoors? Well, you should know that your VR headset is way more than just a Beat Saber machine. You can actually chat, play, and watch movies with your friends, almost as if the world wasn’t thrust into a global pandemic—or whatever is keeping you from going outside.
Read More

Online Events

Running list of online events that I will update weekly. These won't all be taking place this week, rather I'll add things as I find them so you have some time to plan!

🔥Wonderville Livestream Events
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak in NYC, Wonderville is closed until further notice. As you may know, this is probably my favorite bar in all of NYC. I highly reccomend you check out their new remote content!!! Great way for people not in NYC to get a taste of just how awesome they are!

They have set up a Twitch channel to try to stream some of their DJ nights and live music events. Their events page is now 100% streaming.

They also have a Discord discussion if folks want to play some games online or talk to us about hosting something. Email if you want to join!

Check out Wonderville's Livestream!
Support Wonderville on WithFriends

Upcoming Remote Events from Wonderville

{LIVESTREAM} Eulerroom Equinox 2020 // Wed 3/18 - Mon 3/23 at 1:30AM EST // Donation
livecodenyc takes part in the global eulerroom event! Streaming bleeps and bloops straight from our keyboards to your living rooms. 

Learn More

{LIVESTREAM} The Donut Lounge | Vol 2 // Fri Mar 27, 8:00PM  - Sat Mar 28, 11:00PM EST // Donation
The Donut Lounge is the first of its kind; hip-hop-inspired lounge space, In reverence of the late J. DILLA’s “donuts” album. Experience our live “Kick-Back” atmosphere for instrumental music lovers and hip-hop fans. We provide music producers, beat-makers, and artists a space to share creative performances & give hip hop enthusiasts a chance to enjoy a donut, play a video game, or just sit back and relax.  Wonderville, 1186 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11221, is a video game arcade featuring some of the most cutting edge independent video games in the world. Donut Lounge is partnering with Wonderville to help share a unique experience with the instrumental community.  
Learn More

{REMOTE} Playtest Night // Wed Apr 1, 7:00PM - 9:30PM EST // Donation
Setup will start at 7 and we’ll start playing at 7:30. Feel free to drop in after the start time; we can usually still get you some table space!

Have a game you’re working on? Want to get some testing and feedback? Bring your prototype to Wonderville!  No game of your own but want to see what game designers in NYC are cooking up? The more testers the merrier!

Whether you started working on it last night or it’s one week from release if you have a project or prototype you’d like to test, bring it to Playtest Night! Games can be analog, digital or anything in between. Nothing is too janky or too rough to be tested.
Learn More

{LIVESTREAM} I/O Chip Music NYC // Sat Apr 4, 8:00PM - 10:00PM EST// Donation
New York's long-running electronic music showcase / dance party featuring a mix of new and international chip musicians and visual artists.
Learn More

{LIVESTREAM} Video Synthesis with Video Waaaves // Sun Apr 5, 4:00PM - 6:00PM EST // Donation
We will go through the fundamentals of video synthesis with feedback systems.  Mac Osx and Windows 10 only!
Andrei Jay is a mathematician and video artist who has spent years researching and developing instruments for real-time video synthesis.  Their Video_Waaaves software ( is a powerful and unique open-source tool for video synthesis capable of mixing live inputs with framebuffer delays and transforming them into complex generative reaction-diffusion and cellular automata patterns.  Capable of either subtle hallucinogenic effects or all-out insane alien landscapes, Video Waaaves is an excellent introduction to modern video synthesis techniques for artists from any background and any experience levels!  visit for more info on video feedback and video synthesis. 
Learn More

More Events

BK Museum's Weekly Art History Pop Quiz // Fridays
We are excited to launch Art History Pop Quiz, a new series that quizzes your knowledge of works in the Museum. Join us each Friday as our #ASKbkm team picks your brain with a new set of questions! 
Follow their Twitter to Play

Boma COVID-19 Virtual Summit // Boma Global // March 23 // Free
Beginning on Monday, March 23rd, Boma will be hosting a 24-hour virtual global summit — Boma COVID-19 — in partnership with the video-conferencing platform Zoom. As fears of the coronavirus pandemic continue to spread around the world, Boma’s global network will host an unprecedented online summit to illuminate the early lessons we can learn about this epidemic and explore specific plans of action to address it.
Learn More & Register Here

March Meetup - Live-steam with J E Johnson and Sven Ortel // Space Lab // Wed Mar 25, 6:00PM - 9:00PM EST // Free
Join SPACE LAB for a live-stream discussion with J E JOHNSON (Scenic Studio Supervisor at Texas Performing Arts at UT Austin) and SVEN ORTEL (Assistant Professor, School of Design and Creative Technologies at UT Austin) as they walk us through their recent collaborative Escape Room Project at UT Austin. This large-scale project was a collaboration between 75 College of Fine Arts students and Planet Texas 2050 who created an immersive escape room experience with activated sound, light, and visual systems. The project was designed to bring awareness to climate change conditions in Texas in an effort to make Texans more resilient for extreme weather.
Learn More & Register

WOMEN IN GAMES: A Celebration! // Playcrafting // Wed 3/25, 6:30pm - 8:30PM EST // Free
Join Playcrafting's 4th annual celebration of women in the game industry! In honor of Women's History Month, we're proud to present a special virtual event featuring an all-women lineup of developers showing off their games. They will talk about inclusivity for women in the games industry and the impact women have made in the gaming world thus far, and of course, will virtually demo their games for all attendees to see.
Learn More & Register

🔥Speculative Design + Social Dreaming // Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab // Thur 3/26, 2:30PM - 4:30PM EST
On Thursday, March 26th we’re inviting folks from around the world to join us for a special virtual gathering. The format is that of a salon meets design sprint meets game design jam.
This is the first in a series of virtual gatherings. We are living in an extreme present, one that threatens to command all our energies, extinguish the future and our imagination along with it. But times of volatility can be precisely the right time to take a deep breath, virtually hold hands and lift our heads up to look just beyond the horizon. What ugly things got us here that we were unwilling to look in the eye? What faulty structures are revealing themselves to us across different domains? What emergent behaviors have you observed that have given you hope and that you feel are worthwhile hanging onto once we return to more stable realities?
Instead of just hoping to return to our old normal, what would it mean to collectively muster our courage, creativity, and resilience to plant seeds now that would take us down different and more desirable paths once we emerge from this pandemic?
Special guests include a mixture of storytellers, futurists, game designers, systems thinkers, hackers and makers.

All are welcome! However please note that space is limited. If you’d like to join us please take a few minutes to fill out this form to help form design teams!
Learn More & Register

Privacy by Design // Brooklyn Product Design // Thu Mar 26, 6:00PM EST // Free
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be hosting an in-person meetup this month. Instead, we're going to try a new format by hosting our speaker talk online through Zoom!
Our speakers will be talking about their privacy-focused work and share what privacy means to them and how they incorporate privacy into their work.
Learn More & Register

Arduino: Sensors and Input/Output // NYC Resistor // Sat 3/28, 1:00PM - 4:00PM EST // $65
Want to get started with physical computing?
Learn to program an Arduino and interact with the physical world! In this class, we’ll cover an introduction to Arduino and learn how to manipulate outputs based on sensor inputs.
Learn More & Register

Digital Conference with Futurists Anton Musgrave and Gerd Leonhard // March 26, 1pm EST // Free but Limited Seats
We are living in an age of perpetual VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) – and given that we are also moving at an exponential pace, FORESIGHT is now mission-critical. Being ‘future-ready’ is everyone’s job now, and it requires more than good data, sharp analysis, and domain expertise. To ‘have a gut feel’ for what’s coming is probably more of an art than a science – imagination, and intuition are just as important as experience and knowledge: EQ AND IQ.
This session will focus on PRACTICAL WISDOM, i.e. panelists will share insights and foresight about the next decade and apply them to the here and now. They present for 15 minutes each and then take questions and have live discussions with the audience.
Learn more Here
Sign Up Here

🔥Lunch & Learn with RLab // Fri Mar 27, 1pm EST // Free
Join RLab for a virtual Lunch & Learn series, starting Friday, March 27 at 1 pm EST. Featuring guest speakers, demos, tutorials, and Q&As on a range of topics – from virtual production, collaboration and training tools, to resources for XR companies and startups navigating uncertain times. Sign up here to get the link for our first gathering on March 27, and tell us what you'd like to learn from these below. Don't forget to BYO lunch (or breakfast for our friends on the West Coast)!
Learn More & Register Here

Adobe Summit Online // Tue Mar 31, 11:30AM EST // Free
The digital experience conference has gone digital. Hear from Adobe leaders. Shantanu Narayen, Anil Chakravarthy, and other Adobe leaders will share our vision. Discover product innovations. Explore product demos and announcements across keynotes and 100+ breakout sessions. Enjoy it online and on-demand. Dive into the content and learn starting March 31. More content will be added continuously.
Learn More & Sign-up for Access Here

Cool Stuff to Learn/Watch/Read/Play/Know About

News, Articles & Interesting Projects

A.I. Storytelling: On Ross Goodwin’s 1 the Road by Connor Goodwin
A car wrote a book worth reading. 1 the Road, which won the IDFA DocLab Award for Storytelling, was created, not authored, by Ross Goodwin, a “gonzo data scientist” and former ghostwriter for Barack Obama, who, with the help of Google, rigged the Cadillac with a GPS unit, microphone, clock, and roof-top camera that fed information to the portable A.I. writing machine. As Goodwin drove from New York to New Orleans, the A.I. wrote “captions” to these images that were then printed on rolls of receipt paper 127-feet long, undoubtedly an homage to Jack Kerouac’s legendary first draft of On the Road, which he typed out on a single scroll 120-feet long.
Read More

Talk to Transformer
Built by Adam King (@AdamDanielKing) as an easier way to play with OpenAI's new machine learning model. In February, OpenAI unveiled a language model called GPT-2 that generates coherent paragraphs of text one word at a time.
Check It Out

Gaming, Shows, Books & Other Cool Stuff

Upload [Show] - Premiering May 1st on Prime
 Upload is set in a future where "humans are able to 'upload' themselves into their preferred choice of the afterlife. When Nathan meets his early death, he is greeted by Nora in his version of heaven. The series follows the two as Nathan grows accustomed to life away from his loved ones, and the alive Nora struggles to stay afloat working her job alongside Nathan in the afterlife.
Learn More & Mark Your Calendars!!!

Discursive Design: Critical, Speculative, and Alternative Things (Design Thinking, Design Theory) // Bruce & Stepnahie Tharp [Book]

I have meant to get started on this forever. Glad I have some downtime to dig in! This book explores how design can be used for good―prompting self-reflection, igniting the imagination, and affecting positive social change.
Learn More & Buy

D&D Online is Free [Game]
In light of COVID19, D&D Online is now FREE for the next couple of months. All dungeons and raids, including those in expansion packs, are open to everyone through April 30th!
Learn More & Play

Courageous Conversations Videos from BK Museum [Video]

A compilation of their favorite artist's talks, lectures, and conversations from the past ten years.
Read More

The Weekly Weekly Newsletter // Brooklyn Research
Some great content in this week's Weekly Weekly from Brookly Research!  I highly recommend you subscribe!

They also listed a wonderful set of podcasts from their archive in this week's edition.

#003 | Anne-Marie Lavigne
An interview with Ann-Marie Lavigne about her latest prints series: Decoherence, and her work exploring the intersection of traditional production techniques and technology.
Check It Out

#002 | Amelia-Wenger Bearskin & Sarah Rothberg

Have you ever had a feeling so strange, you couldn't find the words to describe it? VR artists Amelia Winger-Bearskin and Sarah Rothberg us VR to give you new metaphors for these yet, unnameable feelings in their piece 'Your Hands Are Feet'.
Check It Out

#001 | Mark Kleback

For our first podcast, we interview Mark Kleback of D.B.A. Arcade, on his journey from musician, to D.I.Y. Arcade specialist. Join us as we take a trip to Floating Point Studios in Greenpoint, Brooklyn to find Mark, and hear about his path as an artist and creator.
Check It Out

Speculative News, Articles, Resources (COVID-19 Related)

News, articles, and other writing on signals and trends regarding how the world around us is changing due to COVID-19 and speculations on how the future might be different as a result.

Skip this section if you don't want to hear any more about this right now or focus on something else.


We Live in Zoom Now
Zoom is where we work, go to school and party these days.
Read More

Dating apps are introducing video chats so you can date during social distancing

Seeing as people all around the world are being encouraged or forced to stay inside, dating has shifted into unprecedented territory. We should not stop dating under quarantine (if we don't want to), according to Match's chief dating expert Rachel DeAlto, but instead adapt. 
Read More

Four-Way and Now Nine-Way Valve Hacks for Ventilators // Next Big Future
Doctors have made four-way and now nine-way valve system to enable one ventilator to service 9 people. Elon Musk and others are working to help them get each with individual valve controls per patient to personalize care & avoid cross-flow risk.
Read More

Facial Recognition Companies See the Coronavirus as a Business Opportunity
Facial recognition companies are pitching the technology as a sanitary alternative to fingerprint scanners
Read More

How AR and VR can be used for virtual travel and tourism in a time of self-isolation and closed borders.
Reflections on ways Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) could be used beyond a 2D video live-stream to help enhance and further simulate the feeling of being in that park, or as though elements of the park had entered your physical surroundings. 
Read More

HTC holds virtual media event, sends coronavirus balloons into crowd for selfies
HTC’s just-concluded Virtual Vive Ecosystem Conference represented a step forward for the virtual events industry, serving as the first fully VR replacement for a major industry event previously held in the physical world. But instead of escaping from the global coronavirus pandemic, attendees found themselves getting even closer to the disease than expected, thanks to a bizarre early segment in the nearly four-hour event.
Read More

World's fastest supercomputer finds potential drug compounds for COVID-19 // Future Timeline
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have used Summit, the world's fastest and most powerful supercomputer, to identify 77 small-molecule drug compounds that might warrant further study in the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
Read More

How older people can use tech to stay healthy and connected while avoiding coronavirus // recode
Seniors should stay home and isolated to stay safe. Video chats and food delivery apps can be lifesavers.
Read More

Will Shift to Remote Teaching Be Boon or Bane for Online Learning?
Because of COVID-19, most professors and students suddenly find themselves forced to use technology as they teach and learn. A panel of experts explores whether that will help or hurt attitudes about online education.
Read More

Libraries Closed for Covid? You Can Get Free E-Books Instead of Paying for Kindle
How public libraries lend digital books and movies in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
Read More

Audible to provide free audiobooks for children & teens during COVID-19 pandemic
Audible announced the launch of Audible Stories, a new service through which the company will be providing free audiobooks for small children and teens for the duration of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Read More

Harvard Medical School recommends yoga to deal with COVID-19 anxiety
A leading medical school in the US has recommended yoga, meditation and controlled breathing to address anxiety issues related to the novel coronavirus that has now spread fast across America.
Read More


NYC United Against Cornavirus - Resources
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a global pandemic virus currently prevalent throughout NYC. This document contains information and resources to help New Yorkers respond to the coronavirus.
Learn More

Coronavirus Resource Kit
A collectivized document that will be updated as more mutual aid projects and resources appear online. The compilation features resources from disabled, queer, elderly, Asian, and indigenous people. 
Learn More

COVID-19 Mutual Advocacy Resources
This editable document is meant to be a resource for people looking out for themselves and their communities through personal preparation, collective care, mutual aid, and advocacy.

You are welcome to add to and edit this document or copy these resources for sharing elsewhere, as long as it’s done with the intention of helping communities come together and support each other and with attention to vulnerable and marginalized people’s specific needs.
Learn More

Don’t Panic: The comprehensive Ars Technica guide to the coronavirus
More than 162,600 people have been infected with a new coronavirus that has spread widely from its origin in China over the past few months. Over 6,000 have already died. Our comprehensive guide for understanding and navigating this global public health threat is below. This is a rapidly developing epidemic, and we will update this guide every day at 3pm EDT to keep you as prepared and informed as possible.
Check It Out

COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resources
This list is specifically designed to serve freelance artists, and those interested in supporting the independent artist community. This includes, but is not limited to, actors, designers, producers, technicians, stage managers, musicians, composers, choreographers, visual artists, filmmakers, craft artists, teaching artists, dancers, writers & playwrights, photographers, etc.
Learn More


Join the Fight Against Coronavirus COVID-19 with Folding@Home

NVIDIA is rallying gamers around the world to donate unused GPU and CPU cycles to Coranavirus COVID-19 research with Stanford’s Folding@Home project. For 20+ years, the community processed over 15-million Work Units and sits at #5 in the world rankings.

After the first announcement by F@H Director, Dr. Greg Bowman, everyone at Folding@home's laboratories has been working tirelessly to get these projects up and running so that you, me and everyone with a PC can help fight against this pandemic.

Join and donate your unused GPU and CPU computing power to fight against Coronavirus (and several other illnesses, like Cancer, Parkinson's, etc).
Download Here
Learn More Here

What I'm Reading

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

The Burning Maze
by Rick Riordan

This MIT and Harvard-Built App Could Slow the Spread of Coronavirus
by Foster Kamer

F1 Is Cancelled, So Drivers Will Race Each Other In The Official Video Game
By Luke Plunkett

Thanks for Subscribing

Thank you for reading! We hope you have enjoyed this weekly dose of NYC's best speculative design, fiction, art, and technology events.

If you aren't yet a regular, please subscribe here!

You can also learn more about my work at


Want More Speculation?

Join the NYC Speculative Futures meetup, a group for those interested in Critical Design, Speculative Design, Design Fiction, Discursive Design, Futurism, Science Fiction or any other incarnation of the approach which involves using Design to speculate about alternate futures. We'll be hosting speakers, workshops, and more!
Join Us!
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