Screening: Fear and Wonder and The Sky Commodified

Screening: Fear and Wonder and The Sky Commodified

Join us for screenings of work from the Fall 2018 Fear and Wonder Workshop with Liam Young and the IAP 2019 Workshop The Sky Commodified with Maya Shopova. 

Fear and Wonder: The Shape of the Future

Our perception of the world is often shaped through visions of the future. These extraordinary imaginary worlds are the vehicles through which we exchange ideas and engage with our environment. It is impossible to underestimate the importance of media in the production of culture. In film, video games and literature we have always imagined alternative worlds as a means to understand our own world in new ways. Such Fictions play a significant role in the construction and understanding of space and in this way worldbuilding can be considered a critical act of architecture. The imaginary worlds of fiction embody the hopes and dreams, horrors and anxieties of the time in which they are made. These worlds are mirrors of ourselves, fraught with our own contradictions, spaces of utopia and dystopia, landscapes of Fear and Wonder. In 1982 Blade Runner presented the future world of LA. Modelmakers and visual effects artists crafted the cavernous streets of a vertical city, drenched in the rain of a scorched climate and glowing with Japanese. Like most classic sci fi we shouldn’t see this film as just some failed prediction of 2019 but rather it operates more powerfully as a visualisation of the political and economic climate of the 80’s. At the height of the personal electronics boom, while we were all dancing to the silent beats of a Sony Walkman, and watching pirated films on home video cassette recorders Japan was seen as the next global superpower. The aesthetics of futures of the time all played out this hybrid future, a cultural collapse of American and Asian aesthetics.  As the Hollywood machine has now rolled out Blade Runner 2049 this workshop asks what do the imaginary worlds of film and fiction have to say about us now? If we were to remake the Blade Runner cityscape what trends would we exaggerate, what problems would we solve or accelerate. If we were future archaeologists what could the imaginary worlds of fiction and entertainment tell us the contemporary city, what would they say about our values or our relationship to technology. If these fictional worlds are a primary window through which we see ourselves then what do we look like. If we airbrushed out the action hero, the damsel in distress, or the gameplay of games then what do these environments say about ourselves and the time in which they were created.

Instructors: Liam Young, Alexey Marfin


The Sky Commodified

This workshop will study the architecture of observatories, the technological lens through which we observe, and the impacts of this technology on the territory it occupies. We will travel to the world’s largest radio telescope array in the Atacama Desert, a region currently expanding from an economy predominantly centered on mining to one that is increasingly hosting global astronomy facilities. MIT Students will partner with Chilean filmmakers, astronomers and local sky-guides to study the astro-industry; the economic and political context as well as the infrastructure built around the various observatories. Through architectural proposals, students will speculate on the consequences of the new identity for the region and the rise of tourism it has caused. The medium of the workshop will be film, the methodology will be narrative, and the outcome will be a documentary-fiction.

Instructors: Maya Shopova, Teaching Fellow MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA; Romea Muryn, Adjunct Professor Chulalongkorn University (INDA) Bangkok, Thailand; Francisco Lobo, Film Director, Cinematographer (Anexo 82 production company), Portugal/Thailand

Filmmakers/Cinematographers: Francisco Lobo, Film Director, Cinematographer, Portugal/Thailand; Diego Cabezas, Cinematographer, Chile; Dubi Cano Reyes, Film Director, Chile; Anexo 82, Production Company, Portugal

1- The Sky Commodified
2- Gantry by Trevor Hilker, Emma Pfeiffer, David White
3- Roadside Desert Picnic by Brianna N. Love

Screening: Fear and Wonder and The Sky Commodified