Monthly Archives: October 2016

Another world is possible…

If I were to ask you “what are your Utopian demands?” What would be your response?

At first, i thought of equity which is giving people the necessary tools to help them to become equal. Not to be mistaken with equality where the same opportunities are given. I also suggested the acceptation of cultural influences, however, after today cts session and much thought, theirs more to it than simplified courses of action for “Utopian demands”.

Of course, we all know what a “Utopia” is, but lets break it down further and analyse how far the concept can be stretched.

From Thomas Moore’s (1516) perspective, a utopia cannot be formed from what we already consider to be the social norm.

According to Moore, the “perfect society” that we may wish for comes in the form of a imaginary  island that doesn’t contain any social hierarchies of any sort.

No money, no property, emphasis on merit, all Utopians have access to free education and participate in work..that sort of thing. The reason why i say it’s imaginary is because in realistic terms, that would be impossible to achieve in a time frame where social and cultural hierarchy are always being stressed….which is ALL the freaking time!

Rich or poor, good looking or ugly, these are the things that Moore says we should forget about if we are to live in a utopia. but lets be honest, money makes the world go round… and don’t say it don’t!

The time Moore lived in also plays a part in shaping the “Island Utopia” Concept. People in Medieval times had no chill with their Feudalism.

A social system which promoted noble families to hold most of the land and trade it off for military force from the royal families pissed off Moore somewhat, so this concept was created to criticism this way of Social economical practice. For Moore;

Eu-topia = A good place

Ou-topia = no place

Kinda sounds like The European Union, Eu was a “good place” for the uk to remain in….

But enough about Moore! And the EU!

This is just one angle of looking at Utopia.

Ernst Bolch expands on his concept of utopia in his book “the principle of hope” (1955). Bolch, describes the concept as a impulse which leads to a mindset known as ‘anticipatory consciousness’.

The consciousness is broken down into  “Not-yet” and “not-yet become”, two terms that function as ‘what if’ scenarios for an idea for a utopia. Think of it as a ‘wont believe it, till i see it’ way of thinking.

However, Bolch goes on to say that human activity, informed by imagination, is a major variable to creating that perfect world. Utopia is a concept, but before it becomes that, it is a expression of hope, which is a response to what society is like at the time.

With Bolch, there is Abstract utopias which is unrealistic concepts of utopias and concrete utopias which are ideas that can be developed.

There is one more general direction that we can look at utopia from. This is the depiction by Fredric Jamerson and Ruth Leavitas.

Jamerson describes utopia as either a form or a wish, during the process of a Utopian program.

The Utopian program consists of urban planning and practice of social norms, as well as a element of Utopian impulse.

Leavitas brings in the topic of desire. He expands on this by suggesting ‘the essence of utopia seems to be desire – the desire for a different, better way of living’ (2011, p.181).

This was located in the text:

Levitas: utopia as method for sociologists – ‘The Imaginary Reconstitution of Society
Ones desire to live differently could spark an impulse for a utopia or Utopian creation and it does all start from individual as well as collective desires.

The utopia all starts from an idea, but what is that idea? What social hierarchies formed the creation of the idea that sparks this all?

Its only my 2nd week, so lets not think too ahead for now.

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Posted by on October 17, 2016 in Uncategorized


Imagined worlds and design fictions

Hi all!

It’s been a while since my last post and that’s because I’m going to create a new blog… but not right now!

Imagined world’s and design fictions. Quite a mouthful if I do say so myself!

Initially, I thought it was all in the name. However, as I was introduced to the concept, the perception I had at the time was widened.

We looked at 3 sources to kick off the session.

The 1st being a film teaser  called “in the robot skies” by Liam Young, the 2nd second being a text from Ursula k le guin called world-making (1981) and the 3rd being a short film about an old-timer that doesn’t like the idea of being monitored by digital technology  (for the life of me, I can’t even remember the name of it!).

Let’s start with architect Liam Young’s  and fiction author Tim Maughan  latest project.

In the robot skies, is a soon to be released B.F.I. (British film institute) film where the filming itself is taken from the visual angle of pre-programmed drones. This is accompanied by electronic producer Forest swords, because one man alone can’t make a film on his own.

Believe it or not, Young’s approach to the narrative is a love story, despite the strong sense of science fiction. To emphasize the Sci-Fi, the film takes place in a near-future police state, where drones are said to be much more valuable and useful then they are now.

Not much else has been said about the film yet but hey, that’s what the film is for. No point watching it if you already know what’s gonna happen right?

For me, the teaser gives off an impression of a digital future and how we can and can’t connect to that future. Earth today is a digital planet and we all know it. I think that the question young wants to asks his viewers though the film is ;

Can a drone be seen as a cultural object? If so, can it have enough influence to create subcultures?

Guess we will find out when the film gets released.

What was on my mid at the time is would we as a people be able to have social acceptance for technologies?

Would we accept the idea of a digital technology being seen as a cultural influence?

The 4-minute film that we watched in the session (Which I forgot the name) shows us the outcome when we reject this idea.

Like I mentioned before, the film centers around an old man who doesn’t like his health being monitored by digital devices that pester him to be more healthy, so he tricks the devices by creating scenarios  which fool the devices into thinking he is actually doing work!

This film raises the question, is digital technology as really reliable as we think it is?

This film shows us that accepting technology as a cultural influence may bring more harm than help.

But enough about technological futures! This is one of many angles a illustrator can go down to creating a fiction that can engage their viewers.

For the time being, for my cts I will take a closer look at the most common archetype of a design fictions. A utopia/dystopia.

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Posted by on October 10, 2016 in Uncategorized