Archive

Tag Archives: speculative futures

[Sydney & the Cloud] Stoked to be the finale of Speculative Futures Sydney this year! I talk imagination, design, and systems on December 8th, Tuesday, 6:30-8PM AEST. Registration needed here.

About this event:
How can we use art and design for systems change? In this interdisciplinary talk, the artist examines how human imagination can be used to examine, reflect, and change various societal systems particularly within the context of sustainability and regeneration. Through the lens of original artworks executed in various places worldwide, we will analyse how creativity may be “useful” in alleviating systems disturbances and redefining our relationship with the natural world. It includes insights on how art that subverts consumer-driven forms can be harnessed to create empathy about inaccessible topics, as well as how artistic collaborations with researchers, advocacy groups, and local communities can create discourse and instigate conversations about asking different questions about the climate crisis.

Agenda:
6:25 pm Virtual doors open
6:30 pm Talk beings (30-40 mins)
7:15 pm Q&A (15mins)
7:30 pm event ends

About Catherine Sarah Young
Catherine Sarah Young is a Chinese-Filipina award-winning interdisciplinary artist, designer, and writer who creates works that investigate nature, our role in nature, and the tensions between nature and technology. Trained in molecular biology, contemporary art, and interaction design, she has various artistic bodies of work which investigates climate change and our environmental futures (The Apocalypse Project), science and society (Wild Science), and Future Rx (sustainability and regeneration). She has an international exhibition, awards, and fellowship profile and works with scientists, industry, and communities, most recently in Berlin, Vienna, Beijing, and the Amazon rainforest. She writes science fiction and has been practicing taekwondo for more than twenty years. She is currently a Scientia PhD scholar at UNSW Art and Design working on climate change and sustainability and an Obama Leader for Asia-Pacific.

Update: View the talk on YouTube here.

(USA)—I’m very honoured for one of my speculative short stories, Good Harvest, to win first place at the inaugural Bright21st solarpunk short story contest. My story speculates on our evolving relationship with death through those who have chosen to have their remains be turned into fruit-bearing trees.

Bright21st focuses on inspiring, optimistic futures:

Stories shape our culture. With an over saturation of gloomy dystopic narratives streaming throughout our screens, it is no wonder why so many of us feel paralyzed by the inevitability of war, poverty, climate disaster, or AI overlords.

While those stories can be an important tool for staying informed and presenting dark futures to consider based on current events, there are few stories engaging the public imagination with possibilities of inspiring new social norms, shared values, or systems for organizing society to uplift humanity. 

What would happen if the dominant narratives in society seeded our imaginations with inspiring futures and positive alternate realities? Would our culture change?  We think so. That’s why we created Bright21st.

I believe in the power of the arts—in all forms—to imagine better futures and to get us to be emotionally invested in designing these positive, inclusive, and sustainable futures. This was fun to write; I’m happy this story paid its rent in my brain. I’m also appreciative of how these speculative and non-dystopic communities are popping up all over. Future-oriented fiction is becoming increasingly important as we navigate all the challenges of today. Redesigning our world takes a lifetime and needs a lot of work—let’s put our reps in, one story and project at a time.

Thank you to the jury and congratulations to all the other winners. You can read the stories on the website (registration required), or just my story here.

Dismantling the Apocalypse: Speculative Futures in Pandemic Times

[Bangkok and Zoom] June 10, 2020: For the FuturesX series of Speculative Futures Bangkok, I was invited to do an online talk on my work in the context of these pandemic times:

𝗙𝘂𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗫 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀

How can we use speculative futures to think about systems and enterprise in the COVID-19 era? In this part-science, part-art, part-design talk, Catherine Sarah Young elaborates on her experimental practice that explores our environmental and collective futures, and how using a systems-led way of thinking and global perspectives can help shape the new world emerging from the pandemic.

My favorite thing about today aside from talking art, science, design, and taekwondo: finally being able to do my first acknowledgement of country as this is my first talk in Australia: I am on Gadigal Land of the Eora Nation, traditional custodians of this land. I pay my respects to elders past, present, and future.

Drawing from my martial arts experience, I also talk about how dismantling the apocalypse is a way of life and how we should train for this for the foreseeable future:

Dismantling the apocalypse is a way of life. Let’s train!

Thanks, Speculative Futures Bangkok!