Last week, Future Tense took part in Emerge, a conference at Arizona State University that is dedicated to designing the kind of future we want to live in. (ASU is a partner with Slate and the New America Foundation in Future Tense.) As part of Emerge, participants in assorted workshops created videos, journals, plays, and more to imagine different parts of our future. Continue reading →
Green Pages is a quarterly trade journal for the film and television entertainment industry. Each issue provides some of the top creative and production talent in Hollywood with a large, expertly curated selection of scientific and technological concepts, principles, devices, designs and idioms suitable for bolstering the believability and tangibility of any storyline. Need a new device for your next computer “hacker” character? We’ll provide you with the last principles, practices — and dialog — to make that character and his tech believable and based on real, actual black hat hacker concepts. A post-apocalyptic world needs a backstory: Green Pages provide you with all the latest doom-and-gloom scenarios, and not just the usual climate change and routine global pandemic. Participants in this workshop will bring Green Pages to life, developing short narrative concepts, potential props, MacGuffins, production design and sample dialog — ready for publishing in the next issue of Green Pages.
Dr. Mary-Lou G
Holly Jean B
In modern mythology, the galaxy is teeming with alien beings. Whether they are wise and welcoming or hostile and dangerous, THEY are out there, waiting to be found… if they haven’t found us already. But are such stories true? The scientific search for life beyond our own world is advancing rapidly, and may put the lie to such tales. In this workshop, participants will explore the limits to life in the cosmos using interactive simulators, and consider the stories we will tell ourselves when science fiction confronts the science facts of tomorrow.
How do our lives reflect and shape the truths we live with? Epicenter stories insists that there is evidence of all the disciplines that we need to know – history, math, physics, music, dance, poetry – surrounding every individual in her life or in his life, wherever that life is lived. These stories live in the jailhouse as well as in the university as well as in the museums as well as in homeless shelters. In this workshop participants will create a group epic that serves as a foundation for multidisciplinary connections between literary art, science, math, and the dramatic, performing and visual arts. This collective epic will explore the future of truth and our relationships with knowledge—the words we carry with us throughout our lives.
We need a New Story. A big one. One that humans can agree on, that addresses no less than our place in the universe, and what constitutes right action in our rapidly accelerating future. Right now, religions of various stripes have the only significant claim to overarching Stories. Nonbelievers have pointed out the flaws in religious claims, but they have no counter Stories to offer. It is not enough to reject outmoded Stories; what we really need are better and even more compelling Stories. We urgently need a new Story about the origin of life and mind that explains why we exist, what our lives mean, why suffering happens, and where we’re headed as a species. It has to be grounded in observation and reason rather than superstition and dogma, and it has to be one that can be widely accepted as a guide to meaning and action. We’re going to take a big swipe at creating that Story in this workshop.
Truth is in the eyes of the beholder. Fact and accuracy can be debated, and manipulated by performance–the art of writing or telling in a convincing manner. Participants in this workshop will be challenged to untangle truth from distortions and lies in stories that they are told by a panel of “Truth Talkers.” They will learn about a variety of techniques that writers use for pursuing truth and accuracy, and organize into “truth teams” to apply what they have learned. They will then prepare a presentation for all of the Emerge participants about the future of truth–based upon their experiences in this workshop. BUT–Some of what they tell the audience in relation to what they have discovered during the workshop will, of course, not be true, thus presenting to all of Emerge an uncomfortable truth: that definitive truth has no future–only selective truths.