Episode 85: Speculative Art & Fiction with SB Divya and Jonathon Keats

This week’s conversation with scientist turned author SB Divya and philosophy student turned conceptual artist Jonathon Keats continues our series on climate futures by beginning with the notion of a thought experiment, and how that is manifested in both Divya’s fiction and Jonathon’s art projects. They discuss the tools each of them uses to invite their audiences to participate with them in optimistic speculation about the future, and how they try to overcome resistance to that journey through entertainment and playfulness. In questioning why we tend to look for definitive answers and discount our own subjective experiences, they lead us to home in on the commonalities between creativity or “the artistic mindset” and the scientific method, which are often presented as opposing each other. And recalling our previous episode with James Paul Gee, if we are able to let go of the assumption of human exceptionalism—for example considering time in terms of the cycle of a river, or the life of a tree—we are able to gain new perspectives on our humanity.

A Full transcript of this episode will be available soon!

Here are some of the references from this episode, for those who want to dig a little deeper:

SB Divya’s work:
Contingency Plans for the Apocalypse and Other Possible Situations

Jonathan Keats’ work:
Thought Experiments
Pornography for Plants
Strange Skies – Travel documentaries for plants
DIY Universe Kit
The Century Camera
The Millennium Camera
Fables: The Book of the Unknown
Work with the Earth Law Center
Flux Exchange

Black Mirror (Netflix)

Stanley Milgram

Caesium Standard (for the atomic clock)

What Is a Human? By James Paul Gee
Episode #80: James Paul Gee

Henry’s course: Science Fiction as Media Theory

Buckminster Fuller: Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth

Episode 84: Sarena Ulibarri and Ed Finn on Solarpunk
Episode 83: Indigenous Voices for Environmental Justice with Candis Callison & Julian Brave NoiseCat

Share your thoughts via Twitter with Henry, Colin and the How Do You Like It So Far? account! You can also email us at [email protected].

Koyaanisqatsi – reverse ( ISTAQSINAAYOK ) (from the original by Philip Glass)

“In Time” by Dylan Emmett and “Spaceship” by Lesion X.
In Time (Instrumental) by Dylan Emmet  https://soundcloud.com/dylanemmet
Spaceship by Lesion X https://soundcloud.com/lesionxbeats
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0
Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/in-time-instrumental
Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/lesion-x-spaceship
Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/AzYoVrMLa1Q

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