Over the last few months there has been a lot of “slow traveling” in our plates – transiencies as we call them (a term deriving from a former pan-European project we have been involved in: The Resilients). Residencies in motion, move and stop, stay a little while, gather impressions, information, opinions, anecdotes, voices and leave again, just to repeat the procedure of collecting more references on another place. (some blog-entries can be found here)
“Data” collected during these transiencies includes, among so much other, inquiries on how possible futures are forecasted by marine biologists, ocean experts and carbon dioxide specialists as well as a range of experiences and challenges of currently active fair-transport and feral trade initiatives and activists.
In addition to the transiencies, fair transport experts were consulted and invited to our laboratories, non-fiction books and papers were read, documentaries watched, radio-features listened to, statistics, analyses and diagrams decrypted – all along the lines of a current state-of-the-art on trade, water and transport.
Months of gathering and processing loads of primarily dark and disturbing data, details and prognoses of our futures. Though positively enriched by initiatives fighting against a current states of extractive and exploitive methods dominating the politics and economies around the world. Energetic and ambitious alternative thinking and acting exists!
Even though our research will and has to continue, we kicked off a first, multi-day futuring exercise. One, which, despite or rather because off all the shocking, dark and disturbing data, details and stories we collected, we concentrated on how a definition and interpretation of luxury could look like in possible futures.
After consulting our always first and foremost looked up handbook, the “futurists fieldguide” – edited and published by our long-standing partner in “futuring questions” FoAM – we chose a method that we have never tried before for a futuring exercise: CLA – causal layered analysis. Containing some features which allow a rather subjective and narrative approach to possible futures – it focusses on in-depth analysis of current issues before identifying alternative futures.
Quote from FoAMs’ Futurist Fieldguide outlining the CLA – method:
The analysis happens on four levels: litany, social or systemic causes,discourse/worldview and myth/metaphor. Litany identifies current issues, assumptions, facts and data. At the next layer the social or systemic causes underlying the ‘litany’ are analysed. At the discourse layer, dominant worldviews and mindsets are examined, which give rise to the issues. The deepest layer looks at the foundational myths, metaphors and archetypes that influence the unconscious and/or emotional undertone beneath the issues.
After understanding the layered causes of an issue, the method suggests looking at alternatives – either within each layer or beginning with a new myth/metaphor and working up through the layers to create an alternative scenario. From this alternate scenario, new possibilities can be distilled and translated into solutions, policies, and other types of actions that one can begin implementing in the present.
After several sessions concentrating on how luxury is seen, defined, talked about and practiced – including developed worldviews which allow these definitions and finding archetypes, legends and myths the worldviews are grounded 1n, we started to shift several parameters to see how alternative futures might look like. A first framework, a skeleton of some possible futures has been worked out – for further details there are more sessions to come – preferred futures need time to be imagined!
The transiencies as well as the futuring exercises described are part of Changing Weathers, a pan-European project undertaken together with Zavod Projekt Atol (as coordinator) (SI), Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory (SI), Bioart Society Finnland (FI); Hilde Merete Methi, (NO); Stichting Sonic Acts (NL) and RIXC Center for New Media Culture (LV) – leading into a physical narrative which will be exhibited in the context of Changing Weathers.