Surreal digital collage in two layers. One is a screen shot from a video call with 3 participants in their rooms, their faces have been 'cut out' revealing a colourful natural landscape. These green hills with a purple fire scape are also 'cut into' different parts of the frame.

Low-fi Sci-fi

“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.

A pen line drawing of a male with a scooter and energy drink by their side. He wears loose clothes, has feathers for hair under a small hat and there are sketchy character notes surrounding. For example: 'I treat people better than myself' and 'I am stuck in my time zone'.

And Then

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,

Digital collage of a world scene where usual scale is ignored. The central image is a carpark with a grid whose focus point narrows into a tunnel that looks like the moon's surface. The carpark is surrounded by wet dirt close ups and there is a bunny toy submerged in the muck. A metal flower lamp emerges from this ground and there are buckets strewn across the carpark. To the left a wave crashes into the scene and to the right there is a pink and black chequered scribble.

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: 

  • be generous 

  • 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 

A red border floats on top of a black screen. It is filled with a strange digital collage where two torso's in suits have TV's for heads and there are mushrooms floating above this which look like ears. There is a window frame visible and through this a close up of a rainbow coloured mushroom that looks like a nipple. Below the collage captions are visible that read ' to push through barriers'.
Screen shot of a video call where two women (left: mixed race in a white jumper and beanie - right: white in a soft pink jumper with glasses) look opposite ways above their heads. The character on the left has the backdrop of a interior space, on the right a superimposed background of greens and vibrant colours. There is parts of rollercoaster track collaged ontop of their image.

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: 

 

thereisnoplacelikehomethereisnoplacelikehomethereisnoplacelikehomethereis… 

 

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. 

 

Source: https://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/Creatures/Argus_Panoptes/argus_panoptes.html

Mythos - Stephen Fry

Digital collage of an orbiting 'world'. A train type track around the permimetre sits on top of a squashed yellow pink and green cake. There are grey boot marks around the track and on the inside a black and white orb and space station.
Screen grab of two characters. Left: white man with facial hair and a gaming headset. On the left a white women with glasses and coloured fabric mimicking hair on her head. The character on the right gestures whilst the other person listens. There is a black and pink chequered flag visible on the right.
Low-fi Sci-fi_Supporting Materials_Tetley_edited.jpg

 

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.

Storyline titles:

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