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:
Jonathan Keats’ work:
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
Black Mirror (Netflix)
Caesium Standard (for the atomic clock)
Henry’s course: Science Fiction as Media Theory
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