re: Gulf futurism

Yet Gulf futurism offers no new imagery to displace the hegemonic ones in power—instead setting up the scaffolding to reproduce the injustices, structural degradation and racial erasures of the present. As ethnifuturisms go, it feels like there’s something missing, too. Where’s the longing, the displacement, the impossibility of return? Where’s the Afghan, the Filipino, the Indian, the Iranian, the Somali, the Pakistani, the Bangladeshi, the Iraqi, and all the other non-Khaleeji Arabs all bound up into one pathologised brown body? [Experimental jazz musician] Sun Ra had to go all the way to Saturn; the Gulf futurist doesn’t need to go anywhere because they’re welcomed, and even reified, right at home.

via Scott Smith’s “chat” with Rahel Aima


‘The Littlest Jackal’

Practically every entity that Starlitz found of interest was involved in the Bosnian scene. UN. USA. NATO. European Union. Russian intelligence, Russia mafia (interlocking directorates there). Germans. Turks. Greeks. Ndrangheta. Camorra. Israelis. Saudis. Iranians. Moslem Brotherhood. An enormous gaggle of mercs. There was even a happening Serbian folk-metal scene where Serb chicks went gigging for hooting audiences of war criminals. It was cool the way the Yugoslav scene kept re-complicating. It was his kind of scene…Now it’s different. This time Russia has a kind of craziness that is truly big enough and bad enough to take over the whole world. Massive; total, institutional corruption: Top to bottom: Nothing held back. A new kind of absolute corruption that will sell anything: the flesh of our women, the future of our children. Everything inside our museums and our churches. Anything goes for money: gold, oil, arms, dope, nukes. We’ll sell the soil and the forests and the Russian sky. We’ll sell our souls.

A strong novella, bringing back Bruce’s continuing character, Leggy Starlitz via RuLit

Made Up: Design’s Fictions at the Art Center College of Design

Louis Lucero II covers the event for the LA Times (here). In the interview Bruce Sterling had this to say:

The thing that interests me about design fiction, which is a young and not yet very well-defined idea, is that on the Internet you can bring all kinds of things to the process of design that make a prototype look a lot more convincing than it used to be

For more info visit MADe UP: MAKING UP EVENT which was billed thusly “Fiona Raby and Bruce Sterling, two of the world’s most influential voices at the intersection of fiction and design, will join MADE UP curator Tim Durfee to discuss tactical anachronisms, designing for ambiguous reality, and the re-emergence of speculative practice in the 21st century.

Via Bruce Sterling’s Flickr stream I encountered this image, presumably with text by Dunne & Raby.

Critical Design the Dunne and Raby way

Additionally, see this image wherein Julian Bleecker makes the argument that Props Make the Future.



The wonder of modern technology?

So I follow Bruce Sterling’s Flickr stream and have for a few years now. He is one of the few people whose photo-stream I follow that isn’t a close friend. I am definitely a fan of his writing. Both sci-fi books and essays etc online. Plus, he is a world traveler and visits cool art and cultural conferences, events, and gatherings. Anywho. Just recently he has been traveling in Brazil and while there visited the Instituto Cultural Imhotim.

One of the photos he uploaded was of a Rirkrit Tiravanija, project seen below.

And then I made a comment on it, and (here’s the exciting part) not only was I right in my guess, but he replied back. Eeeek! I mean I kind of just had a “conversation” with Bruce Sterling. See below, link here.

Anyways, silly and weird and definitely a result of all sorts of contemporary realities, both true and false.

Bruce Sterling on psychogeography

Over at Boing Boing Guestblogger Chris Arkenberg (co-founder of Augmented Reality Development Camp, strategic adviser to Hukilau, and a visiting researcher at Institute for the Future) got in touch with Sterling and asked some questions about cities.

“Q-How do you think the psychogeography of the city might be affecting identity and tribalism? Do you suspect the trend is more towards collaboration or fragmentation?

A-That word “psychogeography” probably means something, but guys who use it go out on Situationist drifts and look for urban ley-lines. I do a lot of similar activity, but I don’t like to dignify it too much.

More (here)

Bruce Sterling on “Futurity Now”

Bruce recently posted a transcript of his talk “Atemporality for the Creative Artist” that he recently gave at Transmediale 10, Berlin, Feb. 6, 02010. Topics covered included;

the potential of generative art;

Then there are other elements which are native to our period that didn’t really work before, such as generative art. I take generative art quite seriously. I’d like to see it move into areas like generative law, or may be generative philosophy. The thing I like about generative art is that it drains human intentionality out of the art project.

and how the current decade will end

A new generation will arise who does not need things explained to them in this way. They will not wonder at a slogan like ‘futurity now’, because they will have never known anything different.

They will not have to forget how things used to be. And at that point, we will be on a different playing field.

But we don’t get to choose the era of history that was given to us. We can only choose what we do within the parameters of what exists on the ground.

Now, no matter how confusing this may seem or how poorly phrased, there is a very good chance that you can physically outlive this era with your own body. It’s just ten years! ‘Futurity Now’ in some ways is like a slogan that means ‘Make me grow up’. That’s what you are demanding when you say ‘futurity now’. It’s like ‘make me get older’, ‘make me get wiser, now!’.”

Read more (here)