Speculative Riot

I am actually rather intimidated by the incredible line-up of Thrilling Wonder Stories, an eight-hour festival of all things speculative taking place at London’s Architectural Association this Friday.

IMAGE: Thrilling Wonder Stories II at the Architectural Association (view larger here).

Although it is not specifically a food-oriented event, edible geographers will find many reasons to attend in person or watch online, including presentations by media artists Ant Farm, who investigated interspecies communication in their designs for a Dolphin Embassy; Winy Maas of urban think tank The Why Factory, whose oeuvre includes Foodprint Manhattan and City Pig; novelist Will Self, who regularly chronicles his dining adventures along the British high street for the New Statesman; and designers Dunne & Raby, whose explorations include Foragers, a world of DIY devices and synthetic biology that enables humans to extract nutritional value from a broader range of substances, tackling future food crises by expanding the definition of “food,” rather than by simply producing more of it.

IMAGE: Design firm BERG London will be among the panelists at Thrilling Wonder Stories. In this image of a kangaroo steak with pickled onions, BERG’s Jack Schulze speculates on the challenges of cultural adaptation to industrially produced artificial protein, and proposes borrowing the embedded traditions within origami to lend lab-grown meat an aura of authenticity, care, and craft. (Image used courtesy BERG London).

They will be joined by filmmakers, concept artists, game designers, and more, in a series of panels about the uses of fiction in understanding the present and imagining the future. BLDGBLOG’s Geoff Manaugh, who co-curates the Thrilling Wonder Stories series with Liam Young, and I will also be part of a panel discussion, telling quarantine stories of various flavours, from astronomical and agricultural to geological and geopolitical.

The event is free and open to the public; it takes place from noon to 8:00pm on Friday, November 26, at the Architectural Association in London (map). If you can’t be there in person,  you can watch live online or follow the @wonderstories Twitter feed.

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