Thursday, December 01, 2016

Future documentary

Image via The History Blog.

I'm currently in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture and Designed Objects as Mitchell Visiting Professor, and I've been very excited to have the chance to put together a brand new course on my choice of topic for the Spring semester.

Future documentary has been an interest of mine for quite a while (some links below). Check out the draft outline –– thoughts welcome.


AIADO 954 001, Spring 2017
School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Investigating and making media from alternative futures

‘Future Documentary’ is a class about the worldbuilding required to imagine and immerse ourselves and others in possible universes. Intended to challenge and amplify the skills of designers, storytellers, performers and makers of all kinds, the course will explore and use the power of films, audio, and other media “from” alternative futures to summon compelling new realities in tangible form.

Intended themes and activities include:
● Critical viewing of future documentary and related genres, cf. science fiction, mockumentary, design fiction, future journalism, and Alternate Reality Games
● How futurists think; possible, probable and preferable futures
● Use of frameworks for generating future scenarios and worldbuilding
● Creation and actual deployment during semester of future documentary media
● Guerrilla interventions, ethics of media activism, and the art of the hoax

Indicative filmography (NB not all are documentary, not all deal with futures, and not all are films):
Black Mirror (02011-present) (UK) [TV series] Charlie Brooker
The Blair Witch Project (01999) (USA) Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sanchez
Bye Bye Belgium (02006) (Belgium) Isabelle Christiaens, Philippe Dutilleul
Children of Men (02007) (UK) Alfonso Cuarón
Cloverfield (02008) (USA) Matt Reeves
Český sen (Czech Dream) (02004) (Czech Republic) Vít Klusák, Filip Remunda
The Day Britain Stopped (02003) (UK) Gabriel Range
Death of a President (02006) (UK) Gabriel Range
District 9 (02009) (USA) Neill Blomkamp
Ever Since the World Ended (02001) (USA) Calum Grant, Joshua Atesh Litle
F for Fake (Verites et mensonges) (01975) (France) Orson Welles
Hyper-Reality (02016) (Colombia/UK) Keiichi Matsuda
If… (02004-02005) (UK) BBC
The Institute (02013) (USA) Spencer McCall
Menstruation Machine (02010) (Japan/UK) Hiromi Ozaki
The Office (02001-02002) (UK) [TV series] Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant
Oil Storm (02005) (UK/USA) James Erskine
Punishment Park (01971) (UK) Peter Watkins
● Radiolab: War of the Worlds (02008) (USA) [audio] Jad Abumrad
Series 7: The Contenders (02001) (USA) Daniel Minahan
Smallpox 2002: Silent Weapon (02002) (UK) Daniel Percival
The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest (01957) (UK) BBC
Tetra Vaal (02004) (South Africa) Neill Blomkamp
Wanderers (02014) (Sweden) Erik Wernquist
The War Game (01966) (UK) Peter Watkins
War of the Worlds (01938) (USA) [audio] Byron Haskin

> Death of a President
> Journalism from the Future
> Strategic Foresight Meets Tactical Media
> A film from the future
> In Praise of Children of Men
> Revisiting The Catalogue
> Amusing Anachronisms

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