What is it?
Investing in Futures is a project which helps you imagine future worlds (wild, impractical, idyllic, and utopian) and what it would be like to live in them.
The project includes a deck of playing cards that can be used in world-building workshops (by yourself or facilitated by us), and artworks that we produce using the cards.
Some of the futures inspired by the Investing in Futures deck may be possible, and others may seem insane. (This world in reality is actually pretty insane and would be hard to invent.)
We hope that through the act of imagining global futures, we can practice adapting to our own changing global circumstances, and better understand the relationship between global systems and personal experiences.
Why this project?
Peter Frase writes in Four Futures that if his book “contributes in some small way to making the oppressive futures self-preventing, and egalitarian alternatives self-fulfilling, then it will have served its purpose.” We think that's true for this project as well. While speculative, it is motivated by very real concerns: issues of labor and automation, ecological justice, balance of power, and distribution of wealth. This deck of cards is an inviting and open-ended way to brainstorm these concerns.
How you can use the deck:
There are many ways to use the deck (in a group, as a game, a way to start debates or art projects) but here's how we've been using it in our workshops.
Step 1: Take a card from each category
The deck is divided into several categories that could describe a society. On the flip side of each category card is a subset of world-constraints that range from the absurd to the nearly-true. For instance: the climate is erratic, your work identity is secret, everyone is a medical expert, or our leaders are cats.
Step 2: Design the rules of your future world
Work out the bird's-eye view of your future world by organizing constraints, taking sides, making diagrams, and focusing both on wild details and grandiose big pictures. New inventions, engineering, the rule of law, and imagining what people do all day all come into play.
Step 3: Make things from your future world
Using simple materials you can find around the house, create artifacts from your future world. These could be songs, rituals, souvenirs, representative food dishes. It's this part of the process that, in our opinion, gets people to OWN that world, to really invest in it.
Who are we?
More&More Unlimited is an art collective (and Illogistics Company™) made up of members Marina Zurkow, Sarah Rothberg, Surya Mattu, and Marc DaCosta. Our backgrounds range from animation to data science, infrastructure, ecosystems, anthropology, interaction design, and virtual reality, but our interests converge around global systems.
Some of our past projects include: a pop-up store of fungus/plaster/3D-printed sculptures of globally traded commodities, a line of swimsuits called Tiny Containers (which visualize global trade relationships), postcards portraying nations as their commodities, and a radio which picks up info about boats passing by in the New York Harbor.
You can read more about us at www.moreandmore.world and on our bio page!
Risks and challenges
Our test prints came out beautifully, and our playtests have gone over extremely well, but we're still working out a few kinks: which constraints work best? does the activity become more poignant if you also assign each participant a specific role in the society? should there be a "wedge" halfway through --- a problem that your society has to solve? To what degree should your imagined world explicitly connect to the present?
So, we plan to hold several more playtests with our friends and immediate networks in coming weeks before we ship our cards.
As educators and facilitators of prior events and workshops, we're confident in our abilities to craft a compelling, fun, and thoughtful framework.
But also: one of the reasons that we are motivated to bring our project to the kickstarter community is to get feedback from a broad range of interested people!
If you + some friends are interested in this project and our overall goals, we highly encourage you to split a "workshop" reward level --- your feedback will most CERTAINLY be integrated into our final deck, and we LOVE the idea of working with people outside our immediate networks!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)