Exercise 1

Describe 5 different future scenarios in which life as we know it is drastically altered. A paragraph for each future is fine. Put each future on its own page. Explore both possible and impossible futures. Utopias, dystopias, parallel, absurd, scientifically precise, irrational, mystical, critical, subtle, epic, etc. Futures don’t have to make sense. Use different writing methods/frames/styles, but do use words for this exercise.

Exercise 2

Translate one of your future scenarios into another (non linguistic or differently linguistic) medium. ‘Faking’ is acceptable, probably even necessary. The goal is to explore the speculative possibilities of a medium you are comfortable working within.

There are many possible approaches to this project. Your project could be inclusive and attempt to draw a picture or give an overview of the scenario or it could come from within the scenario–a piece through which to peer into your speculative world. You could make a product that would exist in one of your futures . You could also create a cultural brochure for a new planet or an anixperient by Be2Koi, the famed extromatic entertainer from the banishment colonies. Consider both mythology (a body of stories used to explain nature, history, and customs, etc) and technology (methods, processes, and devices used to extend abilities) and the overlap between these terms.

Plan on about 15 minutes of constructive critique for your project. If the project requires extended time, factor that in. (example: send a short story to the class beforehand so we can spend the time discussing rather than doing a first reading)

Exercise 3

Research and join a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that you will play with/in for the next 3 weeks. You can choose from the list of games below, or propose a game/virtual community/networked social situation not on the list. Be prepared to discuss the reasons for choosing your game, character selection, and any tactics or methods you are planning to employ.

Exercise 4

Create documentation of/about/around your virtual life in a time-based medium—no more than 5 minutes long. The content, style, and complexity is entirely up to you. Film, machinima, audio, comic, play, reading, game are all acceptable outputs.

Exercise 5

Using the Granoff Center as your site, make a piece that reimagines, confronts, plays with, amplifies, accelerates, or reframes a current mythology. Let’s broadly define mythology as “a way in which customs, histories, or natures are explained”. If stuck, think about the way Delany rewrites myths (define myth as “mythology in story/narrative form”) to point to strange, arbitrary, and repetitive (innate?) aspects of human culture. As always, your intervention does not need to be literal or direct (it can be!) but think about the those systems, protocols, engagements that we take for granted, and see if you can twist them a bit.

final projects