BioFutures - A physical narrative workshop RESCHEDULED!
posted by Erich Berger on 13 August 2020

The Biofutures workshop by Tina Auer and Tim Boykett of Time’s Up has been rescheduled due to the pandemic. Instead of September 2020, the workshop will take place from June 7-11, 2021.

We will reannounce the workshop during the spring 2021. Welcome to investigate possible futures with us... in the future!

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"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."

The future is inevitable, enormous and unfathomable. That's at least what we are trained to believe. While many aspects are indeed so, many more are not. The future is full of things that we know and understand, many more can be understood once we have them in our hands. The field of futures studies, long the bastion of experts, has been slowly freed from its ivory tower and expert exclusivity in a process of creating Everyday Futures. Not futures of governments, multinationals or world spanning NGOs, but futures for collectives, families, communities and small organisations.

This process of de-academisation and de-specialisation has been accompanied by a desire to communicate the developments of future scenarios as something that can not only be consumed as a written or diagrammatic description, but can be made personal, up front and explorable. Experiential Futures, a term coined by Stuart Candy, is an emerging field of artistic endeavor, where the future scenario is made into an immersive environment, a situation, an embodied experience, breaking issues in a possible future down to the everyday.

Time’s Up uses physical narratives, a form of installation art, to make future scenarios experiential and explorable. The form encourages, even demands, inquisitive behavior from its audience, a new way of knowing, supporting discussions between visitors. It utilises the multiplicity of perspectives to remind the audience that a future scenario is by no means a given, but a possibility, one of many possible futures. Experiential Futures and by extension embodiments of them, welcome and incite active futuring by everyone.

The BioFutures workshop invites a group of practitioners to work together, to investigate futures in relation to biology, ecology and life sciences. From this we build a storyworld, a possible future, within which we explore the impact of different scenarios upon the everyday. The group will then develop a collection of sketched future artefacts that might be found in this everyday, whether they be public transport tickets and timetables, newspaper supplements, prototypes of possible technologies, new lifeforms, or the letters of young children written in these possible futures.

Tina Auer and Tim Boykett are members of Time’s Up, a collective founded in 1996 in Linz, Austria. Time’s Up investigates the possibilities of interactive human scale situations. As a laboratory for the composition of experimental situations, Time's Up creates explorable, narrative spaces, especially in the context of constructing models of possible futures and building physical narratives that explore contemporary socio-political issues. Their goal is to collaboratively investigate the world and its possibilities for a near future with a broad public. They communicate and discuss these discoveries through workshops, futuring exercises, publications, teaching and symposia.

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BioFutures is part of Biofriction, a European collaboration project committed to supporting bioart and biohacking practices. The Biofriction project is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

Image: SeatoxDetox by Time's Up / Elisa Unger