The Speculative Tourism group will work with local writers from various disciplines and backgrounds to develop a collection of interactive guided audio walking tours through their own speculative future visions of New London, Connecticut.
Each tour includes several locations in the future city. The tours are available for listening through a mobile app for standard tourism. To discover each of the future scenarios, visitors are required to physically arrive at each future tourist attraction. Only then will they hear that future and discover its unique speculative narrative. Walking through the streets of the city, they constitute a sort of multi-dimensional puzzle of the possible futures of the city.
Our interest lies in extending our political imagination. Contemporary political and social predictions usually fix their gaze no further than a couple of steps forward from the immediate present, and when they do dare to lift their eyes to the horizon, it comes with a break (especially in recent years) from the realities of our time and the contexts of our local lived environment. In Speculative Tourism we attempt to design an outlook that traces the path from the here and now to the here and possible.
After conducting our pilot workshop and launching our pilot collection of tours at the 2017 Jerusalem Design Week, focusing on the charged and critical futures of Jerusalem, we now seek to experiment and evolve the process and the explore wildly different territories, potentials and cultures.
The 3-day workshop (February 12 - 14, 2018) seeks to expand our political imagination through presence, fiction and voice. Based on their experience producing a diverse set of audio tours through the futures of Jerusalem, the Speculative Tourism group would like to invite local artists, authors, students, activists and residents of New London to develop a new set of tours through the futures of New London.
The framing of the tours as speculative seeks to offer a wide range of possible futures and in that way reflect on the choices we make in the present as crucial to the city we would want to see in the future. Since we can’t know any future scenario for sure, we intend to represent a wide perspective that would suggest parallel, different and even contrasting futures.
Some futures may fill us with hope and inspiration while others might disturb or even frighten us. We believe there is room to discuss the futures and act towards or against them with clarity. A competing set of ideologies, belief systems and visions for the future affect the city today. We have to know them, either as desired or undesired futures, to ensure a better future, according to our set of beliefs.
The workshop will act as a platform to explore the visions and uncertainties of the city’s future. It will employ practices from science fiction, scenario planning, game design and performance art. Participants can expect to learn new approaches for augmented reality through audio-spatial storytelling and some future gazing practices.
The first day of the workshop will be dedicated to speculative techniques. The second day will focus on location and presence. The last day of the workshop is dedicated to audio recordings.
Game designer, curator and artist
Shalev Moran is a game designer, curator and artist. Shalev’s interest lies in experimental narrative design and the possibilities offered by intersecting game design with other media crafts like installation, performance, music and cinema. He is the Games Curator for Print Screen festival. His works have been exhibited internationally, and he has presented in events such as Screenshake, A MAZE, GIC Poznan and Casual Connect. He teaches Game Narrative Design at Shenkar College.
Mushon Zer-Aviv is a designer, educator and media activist. He explores the boundaries and biases of techno-culture as they are redrawn through politics, art, networks and interfaces. His work has been exhibited in museums such as MoMA and SFMoMA; in festivals such as Ars Electronica and Transmediale; and awarded prizes and grants from PrixArs, Rhizome, Turbulence, and others. He is senior faculty at Shenkar College. He previously held adjunct positions at NYU, The New School and Bezalel Academy.
Milana Gitzin Adiram is a curator and contemporary art advisor for various institutions. She curated the Israeli pavilion exhibition at the 2012 Venice Biennale for Architecture. A jury member for The Israeli Curator Award and Young Artist Award. Milana is the former director and chief curator of MoBY – the Bat Yam Museums (2007-2012) and curator of The Heder Gallery (2003-2007). She is currently founding director and chief curator of ZUMU – a mobile contemporary art museum.