“It's so important to fight for the future, get into the game, get dirty, get experimental”
- Emergent Strategy, adrienne maree brown
Low-fi Sci-fi is a baby LARP, a situation that unfolds online, a roleplay with strangers and an absurd meditation. A pendulum swinging between curiosity, past knowing and chance ideas. A virtual invitation to act in the present and imagine the future, together.
A facilitated online workshop with 8 narrated storylines and 16 character archetypes whereby a group enters the shared space, invents their characters, break out into rooms and are immersed in a scenario where they speculatively co-write what happens next. It is designed especially for amateurs and the improv inquisitive.
By Zuleika Lebow
written in response to Low-fi Sci-fi
'and then, I predict a riot
a riot of selves from other universes crashing into each other and furtively saying sorry with their eyes downcast, in brown and beige hushed hallways that smell vaguely of mildew and stardust a being with a thousand faces and a thousand eyes that all look the same and sound the same and think the same seeing each other for the first time down a corridor of possibilities - Argus Panoptes*
there is no hierarchy here, how can you have a hierarchy of selves t t t t t t t touch me, the work of touching must be done, all needs are important because all needs are my own, our own and are prioritised, no self-abandonment here - to be included is to come back to oneself over and over and over and over and over and over
whom, then, is this I speaking this oracle predicting
we all in our multiplicities gather together to co-create this story,
the story of us and our infinite selves, we sit enraptured - round a proverbial campfire that never burns but nevertheless gives warmth, and we play the game of life, the game of stories and time - double-vision, double-speak
and then what happened
there are three rules in this circle:
say yes, and
make the others look good
what is the collective noun for a group of precogs I believe it is a rumour we hear whispers in each corridor, each temporal territory; all of our separate conversations take on different meanings as we meet new selves we have never encountered before, some of us are Minions, some of us are robots, others become Baronesses - how uninspired is the humanoid shape there is a reason the two and five times table is the easiest to learn, two eyes, two ears, five fingers, five toes - we ponder the mind-numbingly boring regularity of carbon-based life and marvel at the complexity of the entities who shunned corporeality
our interactions are strange and unusual, we are all making it up as we go along, writing where the story goes we are on a ghost train tour of different realities and we are not strapped in - no one knows the plot, having lost it along the way, and besides that would require sticking to a script, and who has the script for life
we forget who had it last
is it life, or theatre many of us don’t know the difference, is it that important if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then this imitation game we play with each other and the universe is on solid ground - we make choices, we want to sweeten the deal, we want to be heard and listened to and felt and seen and experienced and witnessed and
eventually we exhaust all synonyms, and then
we make a cake and send it as a saccharine sacred sign to warn the others in the spaces in between worlds that danger lurks at every turn, even in the theatre of life a spoonful of sugar helps that good good medicine go down - our medicine is play
we write a message on the cake the way others write on walls and leave missives in bottles, and wait for the infinite unsuspecting Alice’s to tumble down the rabbit hole and consume with us - if you eat of this cake it means you want to play, and once you eat of our food and drink of our drink, forever will you stay our mimicry of confection mirrors signs everywhere that people ignore, maybe this time they will listen, perhaps they will even read you cannot say you were not warned - we sent you prophets through the wormhole - your sci-fi is our autobiography - but we have learned through our trials and errors that the uncanny gets more attention than the profound
what does it mean to practice trust
together and apart we consider the characters we have created, the interplay between them, the actions, reactions and responses observe, these two have preconceived notions of each other without ever having met ridiculous yet we wrote them based upon the ancient principles of energies embodied, did we make archetypes of stereotypes or stereotypes of archetypes we make the Trope our new, living, god
and then, what next, yes and - the rollercoaster picks up speed, greige hallways tip and splutter as we whiz by plasterboard rooms full of multiple others we give over control and just enjoy the ride through the infinite corridor, foreplay for the future - we sweat with a n t i c i p a t i o n as much as an oracle who sees all and knows all and has all the answers all along can give up control or anticipate anything
we look at that Harridan of perplexing motivations Glenda the Good Witch and we begin to understand what it means to take responsibility for the spaces you didn’t hold, the answers you didn’t give, the times you were not generous, the times you said no, but instead of yes, and the timelines you ignored and fractured and splintered, the sidequests you sidelined in order to meet the final Boss
we meet Time and shake their hand and think:
and then, filled with a profound sense of disorientation, we return to Oz.
Would you like to play again?'
*Argus Panoptes/ Argus/ Argos was a hundred-eyed giant in Greek mythology. He was the son of Arestor, whose name "Panoptes" means "the all-seeing one". He was a servant of Hera; one of the tasks that was given to him was to slay the fearsome monster Echidna, wife of Typhon, which he successfully completed. However, his main task at Hera's request, was to guard Io, a Priestess of Hera who Zeus had “fallen in love” with. In his efforts to deceive his wife and protect Io from Hera’s wrath, Zeus transformed Io into a heifer. Hera, having seen through this ruse, begs Zeus to give her Io in her cow form as a present. She then sets Argus to guard Io in her grazing fields to thwart Zeus’ amorous attempt. In his efforts to approach Io, Zeus instructs his son Hermes to disguise himself as a shepherd and make Argus go to sleep by playing the panpipes. As soon as he fell asleep, Hermes killed him with a stone. In her devastation at the murder of her servant, Hera is said to have collected his eyes and put them in the plumage of her favourite bird, the peacock. Ever since, the peacock has been one of her emblems and a symbol of royalty and power.
Mythos - Stephen Fry
Low-fi Sci-fi was developed and written by Sophie + Kerri.
Storylines/scenarios voiced by Samra Mayanja. CGI elements by Andrew Walker (a.k.a The Suspicious Carrot). Low-fi Sci-fi Spotify playlist here.
Please be in touch if you would like to discuss running one or a series of sessions.
1. Red Room
2. Freedom Boredom
3. Sandcastles in the Street
4. Trust Lost
5. The Night Before Ground Zero
6. 1 UP
7. Please Don't Eat in this Room Thanks
8. The Machine is Almost Pure Magic