Science. Fiction. Present.
March 10 – 15

The seminar will be organized around two hemispheres. One hemisphere is based on a collective reading of the present tense, of a current world order, with an emphasis on the up-and-coming definers of the public: world wide web organizations such as Google or Facebook. We will examine, in particular their implicit outlook on a future where the very notion of the Nation State might become obsolete, and where the frontier is open for A.I. driven world governance, implicitly or explicitly. We will not overlook the now very explicit efforts to keep-up by the old regime super powers with their own intelligence communities, such as America’s National Security Agency.

The initial analysis will mainly be that of completing the puzzle of what kind of society these organizations are projecting, designing, hoping for, in the now-future. The argument of the coming politics in the age of Artificial Intelligence will be a central thesis towards which most ideas will be pitched.

Students who are interested are invited to sign up in February and to start collecting tech news and other diverse news that might inform or stimulate the conversation. We will be doing the same, daily as the seminar progresses.

The second hemisphere will be a steady flow of Science Fiction Hollywood movies that may enter into a powerful dialogue with the outlined focus on our already futuristic present tense. Futuristic Sci Fi movie metaphors will be our guides to understand the present tense, they will be matched to the imagination of the CEOs of Google who are conceiving the future with a new mega tool at hand: collectively produced Artificial Intelligence. For this second hemisphere, the suggestion is also for the students who sign-up to contribute in fine tuning the following list of broad themes and to start collecting Sci Fi movies that they think will pertain to the conversation.

Here is an initial list of Sci Fi metaphors to be discussed, and to orient our fishing-out of meaningful Hollywood movies from the big heap.

Global Epidemic

Time travel paradox

Space out of bounds

Encounter with the Other

Post ecological disaster apocalypse

Cyborg/genetically engineered society

Neo slavery

Man vs Machine

Multi-culti Universe

Hyper Control Society

Dead Undead

Dimensions, Parallel realities

Living Universe


This is the year when Google releases Google glass in the marketplace; at the same time as it buys up the mayor robotic industries of America; the makers of nano-chip contact lenses; the first quantum computer (in a time share with NASA) and presses on with plans to have the whole planet online and fully mapped, from street to deep jungle. So it is urgent to think with the needed range and scope, to catch-up with the picture we are entering together.