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Open Wetlab

Terra Fiction Lab

28-9-18 10:00 - 29-9-18 17:00
Waag, Nieuwmarkt 4, 1012 CR Amsterdam

Prototyping speculative stories and scenarios about a new 21st-century ecology

How will future environments function and what will they look like? What new links can be envisioned between human, technology and ecology on earth or in outer space? The Terra Fiction Lab (organised by FIBER in collaboration with Het Nieuwe Instituut) will focus on the creation of short stories and narrative design concepts that can function as standalone artistic products or the start for new installations or performances.

In two days, participants will create narratives (short stories, prototypes or short videos) that give access to a world where new relationships between landscape, space, technology and humans are envisioned. The aim is to imagine existence in a postcapitalist world with an economic system that is not based on exploitation and extractivist practices: a 21st-century society that will be less human-centered with organisms, landscapes, machines emancipated alongside humans, on earth or elsewhere. Worlds where ecologies are regenerated by new alliances between humans and plants. How does such a world look? What kind of stories and imageries can help us envision such a world?

In this lab, FIBER employs the practice of Worldbuilding, a narrative technique that comes from Science Fiction writing and Transmedia storytelling. Examples of famous worldbuilders are Alex McDowell, Kim Stanley Robinson (The Mars Trilogy), J.R.R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings) and Ursula Le Guin.

In interdisciplinary teams of maximal 5 people, the participants will work on building such a narrative world. Lead by three lab leaders (a sci-fi writer, a designer and an artist-developer) the participants will get access to a variety of tools and outcomes that can be used as ingredients to build their worlds. The outcome of the lab consists of short stories and/or images and clips.

More info
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Organised by FIBER in collaboration with The New Institute. Location & support by Waag. 

Lab guides: Pippa Goldschmidt, Tivon Rice with assistance from Klaas Kuitenbrouwer and Sjef van Gaalen.

Target audience: writers, visual artists, designers, (game) developers, creative coders, social scientists, biologists.

Outline

Day 1: 10:00 - 17:00

  1. Introduction lab leaders and participants
  2. Introduction goals, programme and processes
  3. Short recap of earlier labs by Klaas Kuitenbrouwer
  4. Masterclass sci-fi short story writer Pippa Goldschmidt on Worldbuilding
  5. Lunch & creating an index of the participants interests
  6. Share ideas to form groups around similar/shared interests & topics
  7. Worksession: research, sketch, write and assembly of elements for worldbuilding
  8. Presentation and feedback of concept

Day 2: 10:00 - 17:00

  1. Welcome to day 2
  2. Presentation Tivon Rice - Machine learning and assisted narrative design
  3. Worksession: write and visualise
  4. Feedback intermezzo: share work-in-progress + feedback
  5. Worksession: write and visualise
  6. Open Lab: end presentations – beers and short presentations of work-in-progress

Preparation & background

Participants will be asked to prepare by thinking of which topic(s), plot, character (human/non-human), technology they like to use in the construction of their narrative space/world.

Inspiration