Alan N. Shapiro, Visiting Professor in Transdisciplinary Design, Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen, Germany

Blog and project archive about transdisciplinary design, media theory and creative coding

Science Fiction in Venice: Future Venue of the Quantum Culture Conference

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In my Science-Fictional-Becoming-Real imagination, the Quantum Culture and Quantum Thinking conference in Venice will take place at the Liassidi Palace hotel.

Alice jumped into the rabbit-hole without considering even for a second how she would get out again. She fell very deeply and for a long time, wondering if the well had an ending at all. She thought that she might be approaching the centre of the world, or that she might evn “fall right through the Earth,” arriving at an antipodal country where people walk upside down.

Liassidi Palace living room space where the conference “aura lieu.”

A covering is a topological abstraction where the collection or union of subsets is posited as equivalent to the whole topological space. The covering must be made concrete as a weave, opening up to visibility the reality of non-Euclidean geometry.

Imagine the social dreaming matrix as developed by Gordon Lawrence happening here. Lawrence speaks about infinite and finite alongside consciousness and the unconscious.

This is not Room 101 of the Liassidi Palace. I was assigned to Room 101, just like the room assigned to Winston Smith in George Orwell’s novel 1984.

In his brief but seminal work He: Understanding Masculine Psychology (originally published in 1974), the noted Jungian psychologist Robert A. Johnson comments elusively yet profoundly about the symbolism of the number four. “One hears many dreams of modern people,” writes Johnson, “who, knowing nothing consciously of the number symbolism, dream of three turning into four. This suggests we are going through an evolution of consciousness. From the nice, orderly, all-masculine concept of ultimate reality, the Trinitarian view of God, we are moving towards a quaternitarian view that includes the feminine, as well as other elements that are pretty difficult to include if one insists on a system of perfection.”

This application is going to encapsulate the professional knowledge of a Designer, specifically in the area of Website Style Guides (Gestaltungsrichtlinie), Design Processes and Design Patterns, in a way that both standard StyleGuides-Processes-Patterns can be stored in a database, and customized Designs that are to be produced under specific circumstances can be quickly and productively created in a streamlined way. The goal of the first iteration of software development will be to create a prototype.

Arrive at the hotel by boat taxi. Sometimes it pays to take a taxi.

Breakfast buffet at the Liassidi Palace. (one hour after breakfast closed)

The view from my breakfast table.

The “Crazy Bar” next to the Liassidi Palace.

Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys: In the Loony Bin: cartoons from a wall-mounted television. Drugged psychiatric inmates staring vacantly at a TV. This is the pure form of watching TV. Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt): “There’s the TV. It’s all right there. We’re consumers! Toilet paper, new cars, computerized blenders, electrically operated sexual devices, screwdrivers with miniature built-in radar, stereo systems with brain-implanted headphones, voice-activated computers.”

“You know what ‘crazy’ is?,” Goines adds. “‘Crazy’ is ‘majority rules’.”

In Twelve Monkeys, the hypothesis is also presented that there is no time travel at all: the confusion between awake and sleeping states, the confusion of dreams and reality, the drug-induced hallucinations, the resemblance of the underground future world and the psychiatric hospital, between the scientists and the doctors. This is summed up in the mocking comments of the character who calls Cole “Bob”:

“Maybe I’m in the next cell, another volunteer like you. Or maybe I’m in the central office spying on you for all those science bozos. Or, hey — maybe I’m not even here. Maybe I’m just in your head. No way to confirm anything, right? Ha ha.”

I have just the right combination of sane and crazy. I believe in time travel. And in wormhole connections between physically separated locations in space. I posit the existence of a secret space and time wormhole corridor between Venice and Las Vegas.

Science fiction studies is the most advanced field of the humanities. Its role and scope should be greatly expanded, and its relation to the other fields of academic knowledge should be redefined. Our techno-culture is still too dominated by scientists and engineers, who operate with a naïve epistemology that believes in the separation of “science fact” and “science fiction.” But science fiction is the movement of the real. Science fiction becomes science fact. We need to pump up the power of an activist science fiction that exits the compartmentalized domain of SF novels and films and makes things happen. We need to gain a deep understanding of where the real arena of change is now, and then act science fictionally and futuristically in the present. Science fiction will become an active force hundreds of times greater than it has been so far.

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