SciFly // 154 // Remote Speculations Week 55/56

Speculative Events, News & Resources | Sent 4/5

Hey SciFly Readers!

Up super late this week after receiving and assembling our brand new king-size IKEA bed 🙄 so going to make this super short & sweet, and leave you with a fun pop-culture video this week. If you haven't yet, make sure to check out this hilarious SNL video about NFTs. Guess the future is here, and it's getting distributed! :P
NFTs, SNL - Saturday 3/28/21 
On a more serious & educational note, I found a really great list of NFT Cannn from a16z with a ton more awesome resources. The NFT Canon is a go-to resource for artists and creators, developers, corporations, and institutions, communities, and other organizations seeking to understand or do more with non-fungible tokens.

NFT Canon 🎨

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, April 6th - Monday, April 12th

Tuesday, April 6

DT Cloud Salon - Tega Brain
For the Design & Technology Cloud Salon next Tuesday, we're honored to host Tega Brain an Australian-born artist and environmental engineer whose work examines issues of ecology, data systems and infrastructure. Tega will be in conversation with our own Livia Foldes!
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2021 Max Wasserman Forum on Contemporary Art: Another World // 4/6 - 4/10, various times // Free
The 2021 Max Wasserman Forum: Another World brings together artists, educators, and writers at the forefront of discourses on art in the digital realm to share their deep understandings and perspectives on digital media’s potential for more radical, imaginative, and limitless forms of cyber expressions. A series of two pre-recorded online panel discussions What are we Building?, and What are the Barriers?, will address questions such as: How digital ecosystems shape our behaviors, values, and relationships? 
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Jeff VanderMeer presents Hummingbird Salamander, with Lydia Millet // 7:30pm EDT // $0 - $32
Security consultant “Jane Smith” receives an envelope with a key to a storage unit that holds a taxidermied hummingbird and clues leading her to a taxidermied salamander. Silvina, the dead woman who left the note, is a reputed ecoterrorist and the daughter of an Argentine industrialist. By taking the hummingbird from the storage unit, Jane sets in motion a series of events that quickly spin beyond her control. Hummingbird Salamander is Jeff VanderMeer at his brilliant, cinematic best, wrapping profound questions about climate change, identity, and the world we live in into a tightly plotted thriller full of unexpected twists and elaborate conspiracy.
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Imaginaries of the Future 2021: Objeto Antiguo // 8:30pm EDT // Free
Kaqjay Moloj emerged in 2006 as a community initiative of professionals, students, farmers, youth, men and women in the Municipality of Patzicía, Guatemala. Its objective is to preserve the memory and history of the Kaqchikel and Maya communities. The Comunidad Kaqchikel de Investigación is a Maya Kaqchikel collective formed in 2016 as an extension of Kaqjay Moloj. Its members are social sciences students and professionals (history, anthropology and archaeology) interested in research about art and memory. Their objective is to establish a dialogue between local collective memory, ancient history of the Kaqchikel people and community practices, in order to contribute to the construction of the political autonomy of peoples. 
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Pratt Presents: William Deresiewicz in conversation with President Bronet // 6:30pm - 8pm EDT // Free
How are artists thriving and making a living art in the current digital economy? What is the true state of the arts today? William Deresiewicz, a leading critic of the arts and of contemporary culture, explores these and other pressing questions in his latest book, The Death of the Artist: How Creators are Struggling to Survive in the Age of Billionaires and Big Tech. Based on interviews with a range of artists, the book argues that we are in the midst of a profound transformation, one that is impacting our fundamental ideas about the nature of art and the role of the artist in society.
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How Tradition Informs Contemporary Making // 6am - 6:40am EDT // Free
This webinar will include speakers such as keynote speaker and award-winning fashion designer Natalie B. Coleman, along with Aisling Clancy Education Manager of DCCI. Aisling will highlight a selection of work by recent DCCI graduates who produced contemporary pieces for InForm. A two-year long collaborative project between the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History and DCCI. Speakers will reflect on how traditional making techniques can be an expression of culture & tradition and how it can influence contemporary craft & design practice.
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TOUCH LAB 1: The Future of Touch // 1pm - 2:30pm EDT // Free
Touch is a necessity for life, it is key to empathy, wellbeing and social cohesion. It makes us feel connected, safe and together. At a time where we are unable to physically meet, online technologies have extended our visual and sonic abilities beyond space and time. Now, Touch My Touch invites international participants, to explore whether touch can be experienced in new ways in the digital realm by using biometric facial monitoring technologies. Current technological research into touch often focuses on AI bio-metric control and surveillance technologies, raising questions around privacy, inclusiveness and shared agency online. Touch My Touch, in contrast, presents touching as a playful, explorative experience, encouraging people to engage with new forms of technology to stay connected.
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Speculative Futures: Creating Better Worlds in the Classroom // 1pm - 3pm EDT // Free
What could the future look like if our dreams for justice were actualized? What values do we want represented and reproduced in this speculative future? How do we work together to create this world? In this workshop facilitated by Prof. Marcelo D. Viana Neto (Assistant Prof. of Game Design, Humanities Department, Hostos Community College), participants will learn how speculative future thinking can free students and instructors from conceptual barriers and allow them to create novel, politically-interesting work in a participatory classroom environment. This workshop is open to all, students, staff, and faculty.
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How We Got There: Futurists in Public Policy // 4am - 6am EDT // Free
The future, as we probably all guess by now, holds many unknowns. Decision-makers, facing increasingly uncertain contemporary security and technology environments, are enlisting the help of futurists to make informed assessments and decisions. Futurists make use of fictional scenarios to make predictions about the results of introducing emerging technologies into these environments. They break set ways of thinking, expose blind spots and offer new perspectives on key issues, decision-makers can be better prepared for the challenges ahead. No one knows for certain what the future holds. But our panelists might have a pretty good idea. Join our panel of futurists as they share their career journeys and how they ended up doing futures work in public policy, what a day in the life of a futurist looks like and the innovative projects they’ve led. They will also provide a glimpse into what may happen in the years ahead for future thinking.
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Wednesday, April 7

Where Next for Ethical Tech? // 12pm- 1pm EDT // Free
In recent years an ethics movement has erupted within the tech sector—but it too faces a difficult future. Join Kin + Carta and AIGA Chicago for a talk on ethics in tech with Cennydd Bowles, Designer at NowNext and Author of Future Ethics, where he’ll explore the current state of the ethics movement in tech and where it might go next.
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Keith Piper - In Search of Four Horses // 2pm - 3:30pm EDT // Free
Keith is planning an ambitious ‘Multi Channel’ video installation entitled ‘In Search of the Four Horses’ and will be collaborating with young people from Luton through the Revoluton Arts Young People’s residency. In Search of the Four Horses will take the form of a four screen installation.  It will feature in Keith Piper’s major solo exhibition Jet Black Futures which will take place at The New Art Gallery Walsall from January to April 2022. Keith is interested in hearing about people’s predictions about the future. As a child, he was dragged to Church and remembers being terrified by stories about the ‘Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’. Historically, many people have tried to interpret this strange allegorical story in relationship to their own politics, world-view and predictions. This has left us with many stories, and each one of us can also speculate as to what our individual ‘Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ might be.
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DO YOU CRYPTO? - Curated by Lucia Longhi // 12:30pm - 1:30pm EDT // Free
In the first episode of "Do you Crypto?" we will start navigating the world of crypto art by unfolding the definition and functioning of an NFT, as well as the reason and the impact of its recent incursion in the art world. Together with Sonia Belfiore, who recently curated one of the very first crypto art exhibition in the platform Decentraland, we will explore the management of crypto artworks both on the technical and critical level, outlining an atlas of possible ramifications of this global phenomenon in the art system. 
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I Learn Humanities by Making Art with AI // 9pm - 10pm EDT // Free
Eunsu Kang is an artist, a researcher, and an educator who explores the intersection of art and machine learning as well as the possibility of creative AI. She started her artist career with video installations and single channel videos. After more than 100 art exhibitions around the world including Korea, Japan, China, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Germany, and the US, her works have transformed into interactive and interdisciplinary art projects, which currently focuses on the nascent area of AI art. All ten of her past solo shows, consisting of individual or collaborative projects, were invited or awarded.
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Thursday, April 8

Futures of the Arts - Micro Futures Literacy Lab // 10am - 1pm EDT // Free
Join us in exploring the futures of the arts and experiment with the diversity of futures using a new methodology: A Futures Literacy Lab. In this shorted introduction to methodology – the Micro Futures Literacy Lab – you will dive deep into probable, desirable and alternative futures of the arts in the year 2040. You will stretch your imagination and experience the magic of collective intelligence knowledge creation. Together we will witness the crucial role of our capacity to imagine different futures, to allow emergence and to appreciate novelty.
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Equity and New Technological Horizons // 8am - 1pm EDT // Free
Dr Robert Herian of The Open University Law School, in conjunction with the Equity and Trusts Research Network (ETRN) and the Law, Information, Future, Technology (LIFT) research group, invites you to join us online from 1pm on 8th April 2021 for an exciting and ground-breaking interdisciplinary virtual seminar exploring interpretations, intersections, and tensions between the law of equity and new technologies. Combining equitable doctrine and principles, speculative theories, critical fields of thought, and futurological perspectives from the likes of Niklas Luhmann, Gilles Deleuze, Franco Berardi, Ian Bogost, Adam Greenfield, and Bernard Stiegler, the seminar aims to offer radical insights into a techno-equitable future.
Learn More - a conversation with futurist Gerd Leonhard // 6pm - 6:30pm EDT // Free
Every second week we host conversations with people who are leaders in the digital technology and communications space. Some weeks we might be talking to them about new tech opportunities, or other weeks about developing as a leader in this fast changing environment. This week we are looking into the future of tech with Gerd Leonhard. Gerd is a Futurist and a Humanist, a leading global Keynote Speaker (on stage as well as virtually), the Author of 5 books including ‘Technology vs. Humanity’ and a Film-Maker. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts in London, and the CEO of The Futures Agency in Zürich / Switzerland. “Embrace technology but don’t become it” is his credo.
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Friday, April 9

Exploring the material culture of games through metalwork and jewelry // 3pm - 4pm EDT // Free
How do we make the virtual into tangible objects? Multimedia object maker Lauren Eckert maintains an art practice that is centered on material craft and skill, but informed by the virtual. Lauren’s specialty is metalsmithing and jewelry-making and says “a material culture in video games that is not constrained by the tangible or real.” Her work spans the fields digital fabrication, video, audio, and robotics which are then poured back into the word of crafts. In this talk, we’ll look at how she takes inspiration from interstellar spaceships, medical imaging equipment, early smartphone designs, and video game controllers. We’ll talk about her alchemical process of working with her hands to transform metal (anodizing, etc.), and the interventions she’s hoping to make in the legacy of the craft. Lauren also will talk through her creative process and showcase some of her approaches to tools like Rhino and Zbrush. Finally, we talk through some of the finished work and the fabrication process with 3D printing as well as reactive metals.
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Data Art: Exploring Data As Artistic Material And Medium, Dr Younghui Kim // 5am - 6am EDT // Free
Many of us are living in data-saturated societies where our everyday actions, opinions, and environmental status are being digitally traced. These data certainly open up new opportunities to develop new products or inform the decision-making of new policies. In parallel, data provide a rich context for contemporary artists to explore personally, socially, and politically. Among the critical concerns of data such as under-representation, data bias, privacy issues, unequal access, and data transparency, I artistically explored under-represented data – left-out data as outliers – by acknowledging layers of data bias through my art practice. In this talk, I will present the findings from my research on data art by seeing data as an artistic material and medium.
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Anthropology in Transit 2021: Palimpsest in Practice // 4/9, 12:30pm - 4/11, 8:30pm EDT // Free
Palimpsest—a parchment multiply inscribed and imperfectly erased, imbued with traces and residues, laden with memory and solidarity. Over the course of this 3-day event, we invite participants to take the palimpsest as an analytic for how we engage narrative, time, and method to produce and reinvent our understanding of the world. How do we re-write narratives that are both obdurate and ghostly? How do we re-temporalize times that are already out of joint? How do we engage histories when people can’t remember, cling fast, or remember differently? What happens when canonical research methods meet an impasse, a pandemic, resistance, distortions of time and space? Which thinkers and practitioners do we recuperate, and to what futures? Palimpsestic questions disrupt the temporalities of building concepts and canons, of making theories about the human and more-than-human. Palimpsestic questions make commensurable ways of tracing the past and cultivating the future, of connecting fantastic and speculative worlds.
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Saturday, April 10

"Encounters" - Conversation with Artist Pairs and Curator // 2pm - 4pm EDT // Free
In a year defined by great turmoil and deep sorrow, when all forms of symbolic and actual distance, division, and isolation overwhelmed our daily lives and our world, how did we make space for meaningful creativity, connection, and collaboration? Exploring these questions and more, curator, Grace Aneiza Ali, will moderate a panel conversation with the artist pairs participating in "Encounters," an exhibition presented by the South Asian Womxn's Creative Collective (SAWCC) in partnership with the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL). This program will be online only and livestreamed on JCAL's Youtube channel.
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Ephemer(e)ality Capture – Glitching Photogrammetry. // 6pm - 9pm EDT // £10
Ephemer(e)ality Capture is a practice-based workshop in which participants hack, disturb and glitch the parameters of photogrammetry. Participants will use free or open-source 3D scanning apps and software (which they can access online) to scan objects or environments. Throughout the workshop, participant are invited to use reflective, invisible, specular, refractive, or ‘ephemeral’ materials to create images which actively confuse the visualising algorithm. This will engage users in a methodology for creating counter-aesthetics and disrupting digital tool’s restrictions through acts of ‘détournement’.
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Sunday, April 11

Tell Me About That World:Speculative Archives & Black Feminist Listening // 12pm - 1pm EDT // Free
This exhibit is built to facilitate for the audience, a path for thinking critically about the “ontological captures” of our imaginations—through racial capitalism, heteropatriarchy and settler colonization— and our capacities to imagine expansive and sustainable futures beyond “settler futurity”. This is a short syllabus/curriculum which is meant to exercise our imaginations through entering a curated, aural speculative archive of liberation. The content of the archive includes the hoped-for- futures of community care practitioners in NYC. It is through sitting with their words, and their worlds, that we might find resonance. It is through this communion that we might learn to experiment with listening practices that can hone our stamina for—and capacities to—deliberately imagine liberatory futures.
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Revisiting "Ten Years": On Hong Kong's Dystopia // 3pm - 4:30pm EDT // Free
The year is 2025, Hong Kong is visualized as a bleak dystopia, crumbling under a repressive, authoritarian rule. Anthologized to present a broad range of perspectives and stories, the five shorts in Ten Years communicate the desolate future of a place condemned to the principle of “One country, Two systems.” In broad summary, the film addresses fictitious scenes in which the cityscape is rife with talk of political assassinations, the precarious situation of migrant workers, the soon-to-be artifacts of Hong Kong culture, the dwindling presence of Cantonese language, and the censorship of local products and “subversive” literature. In the five years since the film’s release, where does fiction and reality overlap?
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Monday, April 12

Motyf 2021 Workshop: Cyborg-Centered Design // 4/12, 4am - 4/16, 8am EDT // NZ$0 - NZ$161.08 
Rapid technological development makes future developments almost impossible to predict. Technology is getting smaller, cheaper and more integrated with the human body. What happens when humans physically merge with machines? Cyborg-Centered Design is based on the realization that the relationship between humans and technology is changing. Technology is starting to merge with human identity and individuality. Cyborgs are human beings that have been permanently enhanced by it. The course introduces students to the topic and investigates - always with a critical and speculative eye - the possible effects of this transformation.
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Hear the Future // 9:30pm - 11:30pm EDT // Free
3-D, immersive, or spatial audio, have you heard these terms used before and wondered what they meant? Have you wondered what spatial audio sounds like? How is it different or better? More importantly, how it impacts the user’s sense of immersion and overall user experience? AWE Nite LA is excited to bring together top industry talent to break it all down so you won’t have to wonder anymore. This panel of award winning audiophiles, sound engineers, product designers and ground breaking innovators will share the current and impending future landscape of spatial audio in the context of traditional digital media, enterprise XR, experiential installations.
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WEEK 2 - Tuesday, April 13th - Monday, April 19th


Tuesday, April 13

Re-Fest | Natural Dyeing with Invasive Plants Workshop // 3pm - 5:30pm EDT // $10 - $30
In this workshop facilitated by Emma Akmakdjian and Kaitlin Bryson, participants will be guided to research an introduced or ‘invasive’ plant species in their region then find and harvest that plant. We will come together to use these plants to naturally dye fiber and facilitate a discussion around the notions of ‘invasive’ and ‘endemic’.
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Wednesday, April 14

[MS]:RU – Bodies Chat: Troubling Speculative Possibilities For Crip/Trans/C // 7:30pm - 9pm EDT // Free
The Move Semantics Lab presents a series of weekly events in conjunction with the on site exhibition at EFA Project Space. Co-hosted by the curators, these virtual events provide a guided “tour” through [MS]:RU’s central themes, in conversation with featured artists and their projects. Additional artist-led workshops and programs along these themes will be offered weekly. All events have live captioning, see below for events with ASL.
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EURO—VISION Assembly: Recommendations for Post-Extractive Futures // 1pm - 3pm EDT // Free
As part of EURO—VISION, artists Audrey Samson and Francisco Gallardo will be joined online by Dr Nishat Awan, Dr Btihaj Ajana, Olivier Marboeuf, Jean Katambayi Mukendi and Maarten Vanden Eynde (On-Trade-Off) for a collective conversation around contemporary modes of extraction and expropriation that go beyond natural resources to encompass data, labour, cultures and governance. In dialogue with the invited artists and researchers we will seek to address the question: how can we start to imagine post-extractive futures? What knowledges, practices and tactics can we mobilise in order to do so?
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wwwunderkammer from XR to social VR - Carla Gannis // 1:30pm - 2:30pm EDT // £0 – £5
Carla Gannis’ wwwunderkammer appeals to the 16th – Century “Cabinets of Curiosity” to consider the uncanny complications of grounded reality and virtual reality, nature and artifice, science and science fiction in contemporary digital culture, while building virtual worlds, founded upon de-colonizing, post-human, and feminist archives.
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PhEMaterialism 3rd Wave: PhEminar Series 2021/2022 // 12pm - 2pm EDT // Free
This phEminar draws on data from a participatory arts-based intervention, titled the Fabricating Future Bodies Workshop, which embraced the generative affective qualities of speculative fiction and textiles to explore the digitally-networked body. The workshop formed part of the final phase of my doctoral study on young people’s digital sexual cultures. It provided sixteen young people (aged 11 – 13 years) from one fieldwork school with the opportunity to creatively re-animate research findings on the digitally-networked body. In a three-hour workshop, participants produced cut-up texts and life-size body fabrics that re-imagined what bodies might do, be and become in the future. These were shared with the wider school community for Safer Internet Day 2019. By engaging in a diffractive analysis of the cut-up poem ‘Test Subject 15066’ and the fabricated future girl figure crafted by three girls aged 12 – 13 years old, this pheminar will explore the competing and contradictory demands of contemporary digital girlhood.
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Thursday, April 15

Design Futures Lab Fellows Lecture 2020 Fellows: Annika Bastacky Miko Yu Ya // 7:30pm - 9pm EDT // Free
The Future Fellowship is an annual, juried award given to support exceptional graduate thesis work focused on future-oriented ideas, prototypes, and research trajectories. Each year 2-3 awards are given. The Fellows receive support for the continuation of their research and design, summer studios at CCA, and mentorship from futurists and business strategists through a partnership with the Design Future Initiative. The Fellowship culminates in an exhibition of work and public lecture at CCA.
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Food Material with Aimee Bahng and Candice Lin // 7:30pm EDT // Free
In the ongoing series Food Material, artists and food practitioners share ingredients and material on their minds and in their lives, diving deep into their histories and meaning today. These conversations in the studio (and sometimes kitchen) often include friends and special guests, addressing how ingredients can take us from cooking-in-quarantine to questions of scarcity or accessibility, as well as the confluence of food and art-making.
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Community and Collaboration ~ Black, Brown + Latinx Design Spaces // 6pm - 7:30pm EDT // $0 - $10
Join AIGA NY for a moderated panel of contributors from the new book Black, Brown + Latinx Design Educators: Conversations on Design and Race. In this discussion, author Kelly Walters will share the collaborative process in making this book with Ramon Tejada, Kaleena Sales and Iyana Martin Diaz. ⁠They will discuss how building cross-cultural collaborations and community spaces support their career paths as designers and educators of color⁠. Hear how the impact of these deeply personal interviews offer an invaluable perspective for students and emerging designers of color.
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Blending the physical & the digital world // 12pm - 3pm EDT // £43.71
Nowadays, more and more creatives tend to follow the same design techniques, starting and finishing their work on their computer, ignoring all the inspiration from the physical world that could be creatively implemented to the digital one. In this workshop you will be invited to explore the possibilities of blending the physical and the digital world, exploring new areas of design and come up with unique design solutions.
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Curriculum and Pedagogy for Uncertain Futures Symposium 2021 // 4/15, 11am  - 4/16, 5:30pm EDT // Free
The goal of the Curriculum and Pedagogy for Uncertain Futures Symposium 2021 is to provide a unique forum for intergenerational research and discussion on the impact and effects of this potentially paradigm-shifting era for curriculum and pedagogy. Conceiving curriculum studies as an interdisciplinary space for generative and speculative thinking, we seek to meaningfully engage with the following questions: What are the possibilities for inviting speculation into curriculum studies? In the name of what are curriculum and pedagogy enacted in response to the conditions of our times (anti-Black racism; the COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing global environmental crises, and geopolitical instability)? How might curriculum scholars engage with Indigenous and Black feminist studies to contest humanism and coloniality in education? In the face of 21st century challenges, how are educators, curriculum theorists, and pedagogues rethinking curriculum & pedagogy?
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Friday, April 16

Lost & Found at the Movies: New Suns // 9pm EDT // Free
Fifteen years after her death, Octavia E. Butler’s visionary writing is seeing a resurgence of appreciation, including a number of planned film and television adaptations. Butler helped to pioneer the genre of Black speculative fiction to re-imagine the past, present, and future in new ways. We’ll consider Butler’s influence along with other storytellers that continue to expand the landscape of Black speculative fiction and historiography, Afrofuturism, Africanfuturism, and other science fiction and fantasy through film. From Sun Ra to Cyndi Mayweather to Black Panther, we’ll explore Afrofuturism on film with Ashley Clark, curatorial director at Criterion Collection. And with Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki, Pumzi) we’ll journey into the “Afrobubblegum” movement, futurism in African art, and Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed. And we’ll look at Octavia Butler’s special connection to local libraries in a piece with the Los Angeles Public Library’s Vi Ha, librarian and manager of the namesake Octavia Lab, a community space for innovation.
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Re-Fest | Opening Reception of Off World: Arctic Origins // 9pm - 10pm EDT // $0 - $50
Off-World: Arctic Origins is an exhibition that uses the site of the Arctic Wilderness to consider human and non-human roles in reaching and exploring the red planet Mars. The works present a multifaceted investigation of the Arctic as a physical and psychological site—one ripe for questioning our role in space travel and Martian exploration. The exhibition originally premiered during an analogue mission on Mars at the Hawai'i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS). This re-iteration into a virtual world mimics the space mission: an intimate grouping exists in isolation then returns to the public changed and expanded. A new pathway for the dissemination of creative work is revealed, one that tests intimacy, publicity, and recontextualization.
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Saturday, April 17

Re-Fest | From Maize to Bioplastics Workshop // 3pm - 5pm EDT // $10 - $30
Facilitated by Alvaro Azcarraga, the From Maize to Bioplastics Workshop will focus on our relationship to the land and our personal histories. Through a guided workshop looking into simple maize-based bioplastics, we will transform and create biodegradable plastic sheets that reimagine our dependency on petrochemicals, question industrial agriculture practices, as well as embed our own personal narratives within bioplastic sheets.
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Sunday, April 18

The World Won’t End: Writing Alternative Futures & Refusing Apoca // 4pm - 6pm EDT // Free
This writing workshop and dialogue serves as a communal attempt to think of futures otherwise that don’t revolve around land violence & land-based catastrophe. Together, we’ll discuss futures-in-the-present that children, elders, trans kin, and community members who have been targeted by the state have imagined in their day-to-day lives that we may have missed or glided over. The Move Semantics Lab presents a series of weekly events in conjunction with the on site exhibition at EFA Project Space. Co-hosted by the curators, these virtual events provide a guided “tour” through [MS]:RU’s central themes, in conversation with featured artists and their projects. Additional artist-led workshops and programs along these themes will be offered weekly. 
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MAXforum: The Imagination & The Scientist // 3pm EDT // Free
How are Artificial Intelligence (AI) engineers creating something they can’t conjure? Are they mapping dimensions that are beyond the limits of our imagination? Who is making AI and what role does imagination play in its creation? Join us on April 18 at 3pm EDT to explore these questions and more in a conversation featuring EMEA Head of Engineering at Facebook AI, Dr. Naila Murray, 2020 MAXmachina artist, Philipp Schmitt, and guided by leading neuroscientist, Carl Schoonover at MAXforum: The Imagination & The Scientist. Dr. Naila Murray - computer vision expert and Head of Engineering EMEA AI research at Facebook AI joins 2020 MAXmachina artist Philipp Schmidt in a conversation led by best selling to look inside the mind of those who are fashioning another kind of intelligence.
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Slime Mold BioArt // 11am - 2pm EDT // $25 - $50
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.” In this workshop, we’ll explore slime mold not only as an interesting biological phenomena, but also as an artistic medium and non-human creative collaborator. We’ll dig into the science behind why slime molds behave the ways that they do, and teach you how to grow slime mold for use in your artistic practice. (Note: slime mold is safe for at-home use.)
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Monday, April 19
Nothing to Report 👾

Upcoming Speculative Futures Meetups 

April Speculative Futures LA Meet Up // Speculative Futures Los Angeles // Wednesday, April 7, 9pm - 10:30pm EDT // Free
We're hosting our next SFLA social. This is an informal event to gather the community together to have a conversation about emerging trends, new ideas, and speculative projects. We love to hear from the community so feel free to bring something to share - a graphic, a slide or a story. Or just come to listen!
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Futures Jargon Mythbusting // Speculative Futures Stockholm // Wednesday, April 7, 12pm - 1pm EDT // Free
Futures jargon can often be mysterious, but it shouldn’t be! In this session, the Speculative Futures Stockholm team takes words like “Speculative Design”, “Design Futures”, and “Science Fiction”, and brings examples, descriptions, and anecdotes to the table to better understand what it means when we see these words being used about our favourite films, design or apps. We will reference popular culture and media, and pull incidents from the world around us, to demystify futures and foresight. Join us for a fun excursion through futures fact, fiction, and frameworks!
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The role of future fiction in strategic design // Speculative Futures Phoenix // Friday, April 9, 4pm - 5pm EDT // Free
In this session of Speculative Futures Phoenix, Dr. Mauricio Mejía will introduce us to the use of future fiction in strategic design. Mauricio´'s work leading the Transformation Lab at Arizona State University focuses on design for transformation, change, transition, and futures. The work of the lab is multiscale (products, services, organizations, and systems), integrating methodologies and epistemologies from different places. In this conversation, Mauricio and Sandjar will exchange perspectives on the role of future fiction for strategic design, as well as share their experiences on the ways to pursue transdisciplinary collaborations for strategic design.
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WORKSHOP : Let's Talk About Love - Redesigning The Future of Romance // Speculative Futures San Francisco // Wednesday, April 14, 8pm - 10pm EDT // Donation
The past year has made dating, hooking up and even keeping the spark alive in an existing relationship even more complicated. It has also opened opportunities for many to try different things. From platonic and long distance dating to polyamorous bubbles, 2020 has pushed us to redesign how we connect with others in every way, and has opened many doors to imagining how our dating lives can change even more in the future. On our next session, chapter leaders Wendy Di Wang and Greg Solis will lead a workshop-style session where we will co-design how dating and relationships shape up as we look forward. Participants will be provided with signals from analysis of diverse foundations, from scientific and technological to economic and political so they can have shared context. Then we will separate in groups to explore 1, 5 and 10 year horizons as we create a speculative date, hookup or romantic relationship for 2022, 2025 or 2030.
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Speculative News & Resources 📰

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

Madeline Ashby: Futurism, Foresight, and Science Fiction Part ‪2‬ // Near Future Laboratory
This is Part 2 of my conversation with Madeline Ashby who is an American-Canadian science fiction writer and futurist, best known for her 2016 novel Company Town. She is a graduate of OCAD University's Master of Design in Strategic Foresight & Innovation...
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Cities were radically reimagined during COVID-19. Can they stay that way? // Fastcompany

Through a year of pandemic shutdowns and protests, Americans have rediscovered their public spaces. Homebound city dwellers sought havens in parks, plazas, and reclaimed streets. Many of these places also became stages for protests against police violence and systemic racism in the U.S. Mayors around the world have used this time to reimagine the use of public space. Will cities revert to familiar car-centric patterns, or build on the past year to create more outdoor spaces that are accessible and welcoming for all residents? 
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Are foresight practitioners optimists? // IFTF Blog
We asked four of IFTF’s senior staff members to respond to the following prompt: A foresight practitioner is someone who applies foresight to achieve a specific outcome. Therefore, all foresight practitioners are optimists by default because they believe that they can change the future.  Here’s how they responded...
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Famed Physicist: Soon-to-launch Telescope Likely to Discover Alien Life // Futurism
String theorist and science populariser Michio Kaku believes that the James Webb Space Telescope will find life on other planets — but he doesn’t think it’s a good idea to reach out to any potential aliens. The professor of theoretical physics at City College, New York spoke to The Guardian about his trepidations in an interview about his upcoming book “The God Equation.” He says he believes that we are on track to discover alien life within a century.
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Technology and After Capitalism // Hinesight Blog
Proponents of technology as the key driver of the future have a lot of ammunition. A cursory scan of potential technology breakthroughs can leave one’s head spinning. Alas, translating tech breakthrough into socially acceptable and commercially viable products or services is a tricky business. Many promising ideas never make across the technology chasm from early adopters to the mainstream (Moore 1991) or it takes much longer than initially thought (Hines 2020a). I also keep in mind the arguments of the Limits to Growth authors, who have repeatedly addressed and rejected the suggestion that technology will be the magic bullet that solves the growth challenge. Technology can help for sure, but “technology market responses are themselves delayed and imperfect. They take time, they demand capital, they require materials and energy flow… Even with the most effective technologies and the greatest economic resilience…if those are the only changes, the model tends to generate scenarios of collapse”...
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Robotic 3D printing system builds large, lightweight structures in free-space // The Fabricator
Branch Technology is a prefabrication construction and technology company that specializes in 3D-printing large-scale facades, walls, pavilions, sculptures, and other architectural components and polymer structures. Among the goals of the Chattanooga, Tenn., company is to provide architects unprecedented design freedom through the use of its Cellular Fabrication (C-Fab) technology. The patented process combines industrial robots, powerful algorithms, and the company’s Freeform extrusion process that allows huge structures to be 3D-printed without supports...
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Ultrasound Imaging Technique Allows Scientists To Read Minds // Interesting Engineering
A new type of brain-machine interface (BMI) that's minimally invasive can read out the brain's intentions using ultrasound technology. A collaborative team of researchers at Caltech developed the system that can read brain activity corresponding to the planning of movement. The team's study was published in the journal Neuron on Monday 22 March. Neuroscientists working on BMIs in order to map out the brain's activity to corresponding movements will be having a field day thanks to this new study...
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Plans for the First Sustainable City on Mars Unveiled // EuroNews
With plans for the first 'Martian sustainable city' ready to go, it's now just a question of time before humans live on Mars. The new design overall contains five cities - the capital is called Nüwa. The vertical city has homes, offices and green spaces, all built into the side of a cliff to protect inhabitants from atmospheric pressure and radiation. The oxygen is largely produced by plants, food is 90 per cent plant-based and the energy comes from solar panels...
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OpenAI’s GPT-3 Algorithm Is Now Producing Billions of Words a Day // SingularityHub
When OpenAI released its huge natural-language algorithm GPT-3 last summer, jaws dropped. Coders and developers with special access to an early API rapidly discovered new (and unexpected) things GPT-3 could do with naught but a prompt. It wrote passable poetry, produced decent code, calculated simple sums, and with some edits, penned news articles. All this, it turns out, was just the beginning. In a recent blog post update, OpenAI said that tens of thousands of developers are now making apps on the GPT-3 platform...
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Is Atari The Next Great NFT Company? // Yahoo
Atari SA (OTC: PONGF), the classic video game company that's the owner of brands such as Pong, Asteroids and Centipede, could be shaping up to have the next big non-fungible token (NFTs) offerings with several items planned in the cryptocurrency space. Metaverse Launch: Bondly Finance was announced as a partner with Atari on a collection of NFTs that will be combined into a new gaming platform. Bondly has helped launch NFTs for several well-known collaborators, including Logan Paul. “Overall, NFTs and digital collectibles will be the core component of the Atari Metaverse experience,” the company said...
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You Probably Don’t Remember the Internet // The Atlantic
For many of us, for better or for worse, the internet is home. Our communities are here, because many of them could not exist any other way. Superfans, shitposters, amateur experts, wiki nerds, grizzled forum moderators, obsessive sneaker enthusiasts, and hobbyists who spend a substantial amount of their time photographing vintage Furbies in human clothes, for example—the cultural and creative output of these communities is enormous and ever growing. At the same time, the internet is constantly disappearing. It’s a world of broken links and missing files—often because the people in charge cast things off on a whim...
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Study: Turns Out People Are Sexist to Female Robots Too // Futurism
Researchers have discovered evidence that users are biased towards female AI, believing them to be “more human” than male AI. In a study published in Psychology & Marketing, researchers found that consumers tend to perceive female robots as having more positive human traits such as warmth and emotion than male robots, according to The Academic Times. The researchers behind the study tested characteristics such as warmth, experience, and competence in five separate studies with more than 3,000 participants. At the end they discovered evidence that “people prefer female bots because they are perceived as more human than male bots,” according to the study abstract...
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Fun Stuff 🚀

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

Open Calls/Submissions & Cool Projects

Open Calls & Submissions

Call for Papers: Portals to Black Futures in Education // Deadline for Proposals April 10th
In this proposed issue of the Journal of Future Studies, contributors engage the question, “What are the futures of Black education?” through a series of forecasts and essays from the perspectives of philosophers, artists, designers, futurists, and education researchers. In many ways the intersection of the spread of COVID-19 and the trilogy of murders (Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor) spurring a new anti-racism movement are exposing histories and futures that multiply – marginalized people were already living with and that many white cis-gender people were surprised to learn. Therefore, the fissures have exposed how the lack of access to high quality teaching and learning have rendered many Black children dispossessed of desirable futures.
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Attending [To] Futures, Call for Abstracts // Deadline TODAY 4/5
A conference for design practitioners, researchers, educators, students, scholars, and activists, who engage in a political reprogramming of design! Acknowledging the ways in which design (as practices, forms of knowledge, and sets of objects) is accountable for social and environmental injustice, ATTENDING [TO] FUTURES is a platform for critical perspectives that scrutinize unchallenged disciplinary norms and designerly ways of knowing, being, doing, and imagining in design education, research, and practice...
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CUP Fellowship for Change in Design // Deadline 4/12
The Fellowship is a paid, year-long, full-time, training program designed to promote and support individuals in gaining the skills, contacts, and experience to help them excel in their design careers. The Fellow works at CUP full-time, collaborating on our community-engaged design projects as part of the CUP team, working as an in-house designer, and participating in mentoring opportunities. The Fellowship is an initiative to support the development of a pipeline of talented individuals from historically underrepresented communities into the design fields, and to dismantle the systemic biases that stand in the way of their advancement as leaders in these fields.
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Cool Projects
The Geocities Gallery // Restorativland
A restored visual gallery of the archived Geocities sites, sorted by neighborhood. Sites with a sound icon may have embedded midi/wav files. Click somewhere on the site to start playing. CONTENT NOTE: Some sites may contain objectionable content.
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The Ghost in Every Machine // Viraj Joshi
Say hi to Eliza - a ghost that manifests in every machine. A new one every Saturday on Instagram!
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List of Aesthetics // Aesthetics Wiki
Really cool list shared by Albéric Maillet on SF Slack!
A master list of named aesthetics, sorted from A - Z. The list is by no means complete, so if you cannot find a particular aesthetic on this list, feel free to write a short article and add it here...
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The Post-Antro Project
Until now, the base for civilization development has mainly been the one-sided relationship between man and nature. However, the ecological crisis forces us both to look for new perspectives and adopt innovative solutions. Is a future where people and non-human neighbours live in harmony side by side possible? How would it be to live in such a city? And is this a future worth pursuing? The POST-ANTRO project is a series of workshops where we undertake a debate on the topic and look for new urban solutions in the spirit of post-anthropocentrism. We use tools and techniques of future thinking methodology to help the process. 
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Gaming, Shows, Books & Other Random Cool Stuff

Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals // Alexis Pauline Gumbs
Undrowned is a book-length meditation for the entire human species, based on the subversive and transformative lessons of marine mammals. Alexis Pauline Gumbs has spent hundreds of hours watching our aquatic cousins. She has found them to be queer, fierce, protective of each other, complex, shaped by conflict, and struggling to survive the extractive and militarized conditions humans have imposed on the ocean. Employing a brilliant mix of poetic sensibility, naturalist observation, and Black feminist insights, she translates their submerged wisdom to reveal what they might teach us. The result is a powerful work of creative nonfiction that produces not a specific agenda but an unfolding space for wonder and questioning...
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Sci-Fi Short Film Spotlight: The 6th World - A Navajo Astronaut Struggles To Save Her Mission To Mars // The 7th Matrix
Here at The 7th Matrix, we are huge proponents of speculative fiction told from the perspectives of marginalized voices. Narratives from diverse storytellers often possess a richness, depth, and complexity that make stories extremely compelling and dynamic. The sci-fi short The 6th World is a prime example. Written and co-produced by Nanobah Becker, The 6th World is part of FUTURESTATES, an initiative of the Independent Television Service (ITVS) that produces narrative short films depicting futures shaped by current social issues.
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Monster Hunter Food Recreated in Real LIfe Looks Delicious // Kotaku
Sure, the hunting monsters is cool and all. But I think the best part of the Monster Hunter games is all the good food. Like the big “Chef’s Choice Platter” from Monster Hunter World, which was recently recreated by the YouTube channel Binging With Babish. It should be noted that I’ve never played a Monster Hunter game. So my only real experience with the series is screenshots of the food on Twitter, this video, and the one time I played the Monster Hunter World beta/demo for 10 mins and never went back. But I still like the meals!
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What I'm Reading

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

Twitch's 'Hot Tub Meta' Has Sparked Off Yet Another Debate About Women's Attire
Nathan Grayson

The State of Fake News: 10 Key Takeaways, Problems, and Solutions
Sebastiaan van der Lans

Pocket Cheat Sheet for Electronics
Chris Lott

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