A: Description of the original text and its socio-cultural and historical contexts.
The final project is inspired by two SF works:
1) Adrian Hon’s book: A New History of the Future in 100 Objects (2020). In this book, a curator living in 2082 introduces the invention stories and underlying science of 100 objects designed from 2020 to 2079 that involve numerous aspects of daily life, including transportation, medicine, entertainment, tourism, etc. By describing these objects, Hon presents his imagination of the future, predictions of society changes, and understandings of humanities.
2) “Tales of the Citadel,” the seventh episode of the third season of the Adult Swim series Rick and Morty (2017). This episode shows how the Citadel, or The Citadel of Ricks, was destroyed. In the world of Rick and Morty, The Citadel is set as a megacity along the Central Finite Curve, which is a defined portion of the multiverse; hence numerous Ricks and Mortys from different universes can live together. Moreover, since each universe has unique environments and storylines, Ricks and Mortys in the Citadel can have various appearances and personalities.
B: Justification for the alternate version that explains the new socio-cultural/historical contexts.
The final project will be a website for the audience to have an interactive experience as an alien visitor at the fictional Central Multiverse Archives Museum for Humans (CMAMH), which combines the Citadel’s setting that creatures and items from multiple universes can appear there together, and Hon’s book’s idea of viewing future objects as a future person reviewing the history. The first part of this project will be introducing some potential forms of human society by creating correspondent multiple universes, like universes of “all humans will immigrate to Mars,” “all humans will be replaced by AIs,” and “all humans will live in the virtual reality.” Backgrounds and detailed settings of these universes will be given. The second part will be displaying daily objects in each universe, where the visitor can freely choose to view objects in any given universe. Those displayed objects will be categorized as housing, food, education, transportation, and others closely related to daily human life. By viewing objects from different universes under the same category, the visitor can compare and reflect on the consequences of choices of varying development directions of the future human society. At the end of the visit to the CMAMH, visitors can vote to select the most desirable universe and suggest their versions of the future world. Meanwhile, visitors can further participate by creating new records of objects for all universes. In this way, CMAMH will be a dynamic and interactive community full of innovative ideas.
C: Engagement with relevant theoretical perspectives as they apply to the original work and to the new version.
When discussing the future of human society, most authors present their ideas from the perspective of imaging the future as a present person; while in A New History of the Future in 100 Objects, Hon tries to describe the future as a future person explaining the history in a flashback, which renders the presentation more vivid, persuasive, and immersive. Also, unlike telling dramatic stories, the method of showing daily objects is easy to be relatable and engaging for audiences. However, Hon’s imagination is on a linear timeline, which means his 100 objects show only one possibility of the future human life. Considering the critical decisions that we face and will face can lead to different directions and paths, it is highly likely that the future society will have various forms as consequences of our choices, rather than just a single version. In order to avoid that linear timeline presentation, the multiverse concept is perfect for showing different versions of the future life; in one of the most popular multiverse theories, as the one mentioned in Rick and Morty, it is believed that when different choices are made, there will be correspondent branching timelines, which will create multiple realities. Therefore, building up future multiple universes is a direct and compelling way to present alternate forms of human society. Furthermore, interactive activities like taking a survey of choices and consequent future society forms, choosing the most desirable universe, and contributing to recording additional objects can make users reflect on the present society and think about future humanities in an immersive way.
D: A work plan for the project.
According to parts of the final project, the current work plan is:
Choose the suitable software and be familiar with them.
For building the website, the software may be Avada.
For multimedia elements, Photoshop, iMovie, and other software will be used.
|2||1-2 Days||Write timelines of the multiverse, details of the characters, the setting of the CMAMH, backgrounds for the multiple universes, and categories of objects.||———————————-
Current two characters:
a. The viewer (the website user) is an alien scholar who wants to examine and understand the history and development of human beings
b. The senior researcher working in the CMAMH, who will be the tour guide
The Setting of the CMAMH:
The Central Multiverse Archives Museum for Humans (CMAMH) is a (maybe virtual or physical) place for recording and displaying daily objects of human society from multiple universes.
a. Living on Mars
b. AI Replacement
c. Virtual Reality
d. Cyberpunk Dystopia
g. Health Care
|3||3-4 Days||Prepare multimedia elements.||———————————-
Multimedia elements include:
a. Images for constructing the CMAMH
b. Videos for guiding the viewer
c. Digital arts for visualizing objects (It could be tiring! I am not a trained painter!)
|4||2-3 Days||Use the prepared elements to build the website.||———————————-
Step 3 and Step 4 can be simultaneous. During the building process, there may be modifications to the original designs of settings and objects.
|5||1-2 Days||Create and add more interactive functions to the website.||———————————-
a. Before starting the visit, visitors can take a survey to know their choices and predictions will lead to which form of future society
a. After the visit, visitors can vote in selecting the optimal universe
b. Visitors can suggest new alternate universes
c. Visitors can contribute new records of objects in any given universe or their own suggested universe
Complete the building, test, and modify.
There may be a test run to get feedback for modifying.
A further plan:
If this project goes well, I plan to continue maintaining and improving the website, inviting more people to visit the CMAMH and become contributors, providing Chinese and other language translations.
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