Playaround 2018 workshop on Post-Science-Fiction

  • At: C-LAB, Taipei, Taiwan
  • By: Tuomo Tammenpää
  • For: Dimension Plus & A.N.D.
  • In: October 2018

How to send messages to the future? What messages should or should not be sent? Is someone trying to send us messages from the past but we are not listening? Some attempts have been made to send warning messages of our nuclear waste 100.000 years to the future but the task seem to be impossible. In this workshop, we take more playful approach and try to map various scenarios for knowledge transfer over different timespans, from 10 seconds to thousands of years – distilled bits of our culture, maybe poems, maybe self-executable code, maybe recipies of our food, maybe rules of our games.

Michael Madsens documentary “Into Eternity”(2010) addresses the challenges of marking a nuclear waste repository hidden 500 meters under Finnish bedrock as dangerous for next 100.000 years. Same “nuclear semiotics” challenge was originally addressed on 10.000 year timescale with Human Interference Task Force on Yucca Mountain repository project in 1980’s. How do you send a simple message of: “Danger – keep away’ that far ahead in the future when the recipients likely represent completely different cultures, languages with unkown sets of symbols? This challenge has inspired artists, semioticians and physicists to come up with several solutions from inpassable landscape art to the incredible raycat solution.

Timecapsules was a workshop commision by Dimension Plus Taipei for Playaround2018 workshop in Taipei, October 2018 at C-LAB

Playaround 2018

Year 2018 marks the tenth anniversary of Playaround Workshop (PA). Launched in 2008 in the spirit of Floss Art for freedom, openness and sharing, PA has held various technology art and experimentational cross-field creative workshops in Taiwan. The workshops covered many themes and were conducted by lecturers, teaching assistants and saw huge turnout of participants, inspiring many aspiring young creators. Ten years later today, the alumni PA have made it in their respective fields. In keeping with PA’s core values, the ten year anniversary this year will also share more creative knowledge and experience and explore the possibility of pioneering experimental PA.

The theme of the 2018 PA is post science fiction. People now live in a world where the lines are blurred between science fiction and fantasies, science and construction,and art and consumption. Some things that used to be science fiction has the reality, while others are still wishful dreams. There is the fear and joy of what robotic and AI development could bring; Bitcoin’s instant-millionaire mindset; blockchain’s decentralization; big data as a double-edged sword in forgoing privacy and convenience; VR and AR being more attractive than the reality; genetic editing playing games with the forces of nature; mass customisation being more popular with the consumers; and technology art and new creative media art being squeezed into tiny hidden cameras. With all that going on in the post science fiction world, what else is left in our thinking, creating, retaliating, and preserving the past? Are humans really incapable of conquering the unknown from where they stand?

The 2018 Playaround Workshop consists of a series of events, including six inspiring short talks, eight workshops and Do-It-With-Others activities, a “Technology Art Experiment Innovation and Guidance Program” team sharing event, an experimental sound performance and a party to celebrate the tenth anniversary.