Reassemble: Weaving With Worlds

June - July (online & hybrid)

Workshop

A collective exploration of worldbuilding eco-futures

Amsterdam-based FIBER Festival launches the first Open Call for the new artistic lab Reassemble, inviting makers and thinkers working at the intersection of art, technology and ecology. The aim of the lab is to bring together a group of international makers and researchers to exchange knowledge and develop new prototypes for artistic works.

The first part of Reassemble Lab will take place (online) from Tuesday 14 June to 27 July. Under the title Weaving With Worlds, we collectively investigate the possibilities and potential of worldbuilding to give imagination to much needed transformations.

We do this through different ways of shaping worlds; from crafting stories through worldbuilding eco-fiction, discussing the many methods of worldbuilding, learning from the practice of various worldbuilders (active in art, performance and design), applying non-human ways of story development with machine learning and finally exploring some of the scanning and simulation technologies which are used to construct characters and environments.

The lab is above all an inspiring meeting place for sharing thoughts and experiments. The outcomes might take the form of a prototype, sketch or concept for an immersive installation, publication or a performance.

 

TO OPEN CALL

Motivation

Right now, at the beginning of the 21st century, we find ourselves on the threshold of some immense transformations: climate change, decolonisation and social inequality demand direct action to put our current society and planet on a viable path for all living beings. The current operating system of our society is devouring itself. Human and non-human bodies are paying the price. Together we can construct alternative paths to liveable and inclusive futures.

This transition requires, among other changes, a cultural transformation. One that could be shaped by new imaginations, artistic tools and connected skills. It calls for a reassembling of systems and an openness to a polyphony of perspectives. To support this, Reassemble Lab offers a nomadic experimentation space for a wide variety of artists, designers, performers and researchers to develop artistic works concerning these issues within a communal setting. Together we will learn, exchange and work on interdisciplinary skills and artistic projects. By linking artistic reflections and sensory experiences to critical thinking about desired futures, new paths to change might emerge.

With Reassemble we build a community, support knowledge sharing between different disciplines and contribute to the creation of new collaborations and friendships.

Topics & Methods

Within the lab we will address questions like:

  • What would a post-fossil or multi-species society look like?
  • What happens to our perception of nature, when we can simulate interactions with non-human entities?
  • What worlds do you dream of? How do we live there?
  • How can we develop future visions that are polyphonic and intersectional?

Next to the different techniques that will be introduced – from speculative writing, photogrammetry, CGI techniques and textual machine learning creation – we will learn from, and implement ecological, feminist, queer and BIPOC perspectives. How can visual and narrative representations influence our thinking about the world of tomorrow? How can empowerment create an equal space, where a diverse group of makers are able to share and learn from each other? How can cutting-edge techniques work in beneficial ways to the largest possible group of users?

Weaving With Worlds invites audiovisual worldbuilders (both in image and sound), speculative designers, fictional writers, ecologists, technologists, scholars, activists and others who are inspired to join. The lab will give everyone the opportunity to work with these disciplines as well.

Open Framework

Within the lab we offer a programme of lectures, workshops, group discussions and community meetings. In addition, we work closely with the participants who wish to contribute their own knowledge and skills to the lab. In this way, an open research structure is created, which gives everyone the opportunity to both learn and teach.

Participation & Open Call

Participants are selected on the basis of their submissions to our open call. This open call is active from Thursday, 20 May to Thursday 3 June (23:59). FIBER will make the selection in cooperation with our mentor team and external experts. Our selection process is guided by creating a diverse group of participants.

 

TO OPEN CALL

Programme

The first lab is structured in successive phases, starting with writing/developing a story structure to develop your world, moving on to designing characters or entities with machine learning and virtual simulation, and concluding with developing an environment/landscape.

All speakers/workshop leaders will be announced soon! Dutch participants: if COVID-19 permits, hybrid moments will be organised to physically meet in Amsterdam.

Please get in touch with us if there are any questions: reassemble[a]fiber-space.nl

Dates are as follows:
● Session 1 (Tuesday 15/6) | Introduction to worldbuilding practices and writing | 19:30 - 22:00 CEST (online)
● Session 2 (Thursday 17/6) | How to implement strategies of change in worldbuilding environments? | 19:30 - 22:00 CEST (online)
● Session 3 (Monday 21/6) | Creating Dialogues With Non-Human Entities Using Neural Storytelling I | 19:30 - 22:00 CEST (online)
● Session 4 (Thursday 24/6) | Creating Dialogues With Non-Human Entities Using Neural Storytelling II | 19:30 - 22:00 CEST (online)
● Session 5 (Tuesday 13/7) | Creating Characters With Various Tools and Methods | 19:30 - 22:00 CEST (online)
● Session 6 (Tuesday 20/7) | Immersive Storytelling In Land- and Cityscape | 19:30 - 22:00 CEST (online)
● Session 7 (Tuesday 27/7) | Open Lab | 19:30 - 22:00 CEST (online)

  • Session #1: Introduction to worldbuilding practices and writing
    15/06/2021
    Session #2: How to implement strategies of change in worldbuilding environments?
    17/06/2021
    Session #3: Creating Dialogues With Non-Human Entities Using Neural Storytelling I
    21/06/2021
    Session #4: Creating Dialogues With Non-Human Entities Using Neural Storytelling II
    24/06/2021
    Session #5: Creating Characters With Various Tools and Methods
    13/07/2021
    Session #6: Immersive Storytelling In Land- and Cityscapes
    20/07/2021
    Session #7: Open Lab
    27/07/2021

Open Call

In the selection process for Weaving with Worlds we are committed to connecting skills and experiences between makers and thinkers. We invite audiovisual artists, designers/design researchers, performers, creative coders, writers, and anyone who wishes to collectively investigate the possibilities and potential of worldbuilding in giving imagination to much needed transformations. Our selection process is guided by  creating a diverse group of participants.

The selection process will be undertaken by a group of some of Resassemble’s organisers, mentors and advisors. The group will consist of Rhian Morris, Xandra van der Eijk, Jeisson Drenth and Jarl Schulp. One more person will be invited.

The participation fee is € 70. This gives you access to all parts of the lab, all lectures, workshops and mentor feedback. We are aware that in this pandemic reality it is not possible for everyone to pay this amount. If you would like to participate, but are unable to pay the fee, please contact us so we can search for a solution together.

  • Launch Open Call Weaving With Worlds: Thursday 20 May
  • Open Call Closes: Sunday 6 June (23:59)
  • Selection Participants: Tuesday 8 June (after this date you will receive an email with information)

 

APPLY HERE

Team, Mentors & Guests

We will be releasing the names of more mentors, workshop leaders and speakers in the coming few days. Watch this space!

  • Climaginaries
    Session #2: Climaginaries is a multidisciplinary group of scholars from Lund, Utrecht, Durham and Warwick Universities exploring innovative and creative ways of envisioning how a post-fossil world might look like, and the means through which it can transpire.
    Jeremy Kamal Hartley
    Session #6: Creative director and visual artist who engages storytelling as a way of exploring relationships between culture and ecology. Using African American culture as a premise we will look at past black relations to landscape to envision future worlds that reimagine it.
    KEIKEN
    Session #5: Keiken are a collaborative practice, building a collective shared space of virtual worlds. Keiken will give an insight into the technical process and conceptual development of their CGI avatar and character creation.
    Lili Carr
    Mentor: Architect with a background in the natural sciences. She will join the lab as a mentor to share her experience on working with ecological worlds created when nonhuman entities become tangled up with human infrastructure projects.
    Alice Bucknell
    Session #1: Artist and writer working primarily through video game engines. She will share her interconnections of architecture, ecology, magic, and non-human and machine intelligences.
    Liam Young
    Session #6: Speculative architect and director who operates in the spaces between design, fiction and futures. Liam will share snapshots from his films where an alternative future of technology, urbanisation and automation collide.
    Rochita Loenen-Ruiz
    Session #1: Filipinx writer, and recipient of the Milford SF Writers BAME bursary will lead a writing workshop exploring the power of collaborative world building.
    Jeisson Drenth
    Advisor & Selection Committee
    Vanessa Opoku
    Session #3/4: Artist exploring how we can make radical changes in the perception of our world, reality and all living beings in it. Vanessa will share her experiences working with Machine Learning.
    Mahdi Nasser
    Researcher
    Xandra van der Eijk
    Advisor & Selection Committee
    Mark IJzerman
    Session #3/4: Media artist and designer exploring the way we experience and relate to our ecology and atmosphere. Mark will co-lead two sessions on Neural Storytelling.
  • Tivon Rice
    Session #3/4: Artist and educator critically exploring representation and communication in the context of digital culture. Tivon will co-lead two sessions on Neural Storytelling.

Inclusivity

Critical Tool Analysis

Parallel to the ‘making’, Weaving With Worlds critically reflects on the historical and sociopolitical contexts in which digital tools are created and the contemporary (digital) cultures they are part of. The ways in which technological developments shape a multitude of different futures can be liberating for some and dehumanizing for others.  They are forces of extraction, exclusion and division, while they simultaneously offer the possibility to give form and imagination to new, necessary realities.

Who develops the tools and platforms we use? What is the cultural impact and political/commercial origin of simulation technologies and machine learning? In what ways do the current forms of these technologies relate to ecological and social problems? Do they help with creating solutions? Do they add fuel to the fire? What possibilities are there for artistic practices to adapt their use, or even reassemble them to accommodate representation and inclusion? A network of researchers will investigate the lab methods, techniques and principles and disseminate them through our platform.

 

Diversity, Inclusion and Equity

In addition to understanding our entanglement with a multispecies reality, the lab will strive to bring together a rich prism of perspectives – including feminist, queer, non-binary, trans and voices of color – to share resources, time and space with many different imaginations of our near-future societies. We warmly welcome participants from ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds and people from LGBTQIA+ communities.

Despite some of the technical aspects of the lab, the focus will be on unlocking and accessing a wide variety of (non-coding) skills. This will be done through interdisciplinary collaboration and conceptual approaches to topics. Therefore, the lab will also be a valuable environment for newcomers to narrative and visualisation techniques.

 

Lectures

During the lab period between June and July, two public events will take place. Several speakers will share their knowledge and practice with the public. At the end of the lab period, we will disclose the results of the lab in the Open Lab Sessions. 

More news on these events will follow soon.

 

Partners

Reassemble is supported by the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (AFK) & Stimuleringsfonds Creative Industries.

About Reassemble

FIBER Festival’s Lab for Art Technology and Ecology

Do you strive to bring awareness to multi-layered and interdependent ecologies? Do you want to perceive reality through sensorial experiences and explore more-than-human futures? Are you curious to share knowledge between makers and thinkers and work with technology in interdisciplinary ways? If so, we invite you to gather and reassemble.

Reassemble is FIBER Festival’s new multi-year lab programme that will connect the festival editions. The lab strives to contribute to our understanding of great planetary challenges by supporting artistic makers and inquisitive thinkers in prototyping new (collaborative) works and ways of knowing. This takes place in partnership with research institutions and other cultural organisations. 

The lab offers multi-day programmes consisting of workshops, collaborative working sessions, field trips, discussions and public programmes. Various topics and developments are explored in thematic blocks – called ‘Parts’ – and a wide variety of tool(kits) and methods are exchanged. In 2021, the first two Parts will take place, leading up to a new FIBER Festival edition.

Reassemble believes in the civic agency of a new generation of audiovisual artists, designers, coders, performers and researchers who are materialising and speculating about mutual interactions between humans, and regenerative relationships between ourselves and our environment.

Reassemble is supported by Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst and Stimuleringsfonds. Design by Mary Universe (Mary Ponomareva).