Imaginary Life

Doing is dreaming
~ collaboration ~ cocreation ~ communication

Futureperfect festival at Grinda, Sweden 2013

What is Futureperfect?
Looking forward to attending the festival next week: 15-17 August 2013.
Unlike many conferences, Futureperfect is geared to connect people for continued work after the event. See more on their website.

Here are extracts from a message from its founder, John Manoochehri:

“In short, Futureperfect is a love letter to reality. Wait, no, it’s a marriage proposal to reality.
Futurepefect exists to connect people to ideas, to feelings, to each other, to projects, and to the world around them – in a way that enables change to happen. It’s about how, by bringing people together in a great way, great things happen.

Next week, 15-17 August, we hold our third summer event in a new venue, Grinda, in partnership with Grinda Wärdhus, Skärgårdsstiftelsen, and more… There’ll be 50 of the top speakers and actors in sustainable themes from across Sweden and Europe open for discussion and interaction – from architecture and cities, to design and creativity, to finance and enterprise, to water and nature, to culture and youth, and more. And there will be nature, great bands and djs, yoga, walks, kayaking, and not least world-class food – by Michelin-starred Gastrologik, the Brydling Sisters, and Grinda Wärdshus itself.

After Futureperfect 2013 summer event, Futureperfect is organising the Urban Futures Forum at BIG architects in Copenhagen, in collaboration with the Danish Ministry of Environment, for a group of 40 international architects, developers and financiers. And then we are planning to release an autumn and spring calendar of smaller events – and to develop a much larger festival for 2014 on Grinda.

Firstly, I really would like you to come to our summer event next week, and if that’s not possible, for you to consider joining – even from far away – in future years. I’d like you to look up the event at, and consider how you can be part of it, whether as a professional, generally curious person, or a partner. Consider whether your friends and colleagues might enjoy it.

I feel simultaneously almost pure motivation and gratitude when I consider the magic of the world we get to live in – whether it be the physics of stuff, the colours and fluffy creatures out there in the living world, music and film, human culture and technology in all its weird complexity, playing marble-flicking games on an iPad with my sister in Venice in an AirBnB apartment rented by my mum – coupled with an ocean of worry when I consider how poorly the society I live in is waking up to this potential.

You could become an organisational member, if you want your business and organisation to move forward in this sustainability stuff in way that is rich in specific content, but wrapped in a fun and high-quality community. Join as an individual if you feel other ways to engage with sustainability maybe aren’t providing a space for your own development and creativity. Write to me at for a personal description of why I think you should join! Membership sign up is here:

Thanks. I like this place we live in. I love it. I really want us to stick around, create and share the wealth, long enough and well enough, to find out what’s really going on. Let’s make the Futureperfect.



Imaginary Life is a collective dream and informal network of creative thinkers, doers and makers.

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A place on earth: Share this message to save Tipi Village in Oregon

We’ve had some contact with a small band of families, parents, kids and all, who have been living in a way that feel is in harmony with their surroundings. It’s an important & inspiring story. It is said that we are only 6 degrees of separation from any other person in the world. Please share this message with your network. There is a good chance some of you know someone who can has a spare 300K USD knocking around. This land is going to be taken away on behalf of the federal government. The community needs money to stop them.

Here’s their message to share:

“We live on a mountain. A group of folk living off-grid, in tipi dwellings, in the Cascade-Siskiyou wilderness. The land on which we live is being offered for sale. An outside organization is attempting to buy the land for conservation and remove our village with the belief that people and forests are not healthy companions. We know this to be untrue, so we have created The Land Liberation Project.The imminent goal is to purchase this land and place it into a land trust, ensuring no future development of the land as well as a stipulation that it is to never be sold again. We are seeking support in many venues, and the assistance of your donation, however large or small, will give us leverage in our quest for survival.
Tax deductibility of your contribution to the Tipi Village Land Liberation fund is secured through our association with the Way Foundation (EarthTeach), an Oregon public trust with federal 5013C not-for-profit status. For more information go to Land Liberation Project. If you are interested in purchasing a Tipi go to Rogue Dwellings.


It’s only just begun…

Some friends have mixed feelings about Instagram. And our particular fascination with the instant and shareable digital image. ’Why do people need to document everything they do?’ asks one friend. ”I just don’t get it- why all this ’sharing’?” “I don’t have time for this.”
We’re not one to evangelise. Some call Internet the ‘Innovation of loneliness’. It is fake. It can’t replace real relationships. It invades our privacy, jeopardises our integrity. (That’s another discussion we won’t go into here…) But people also said the same about the photographic image when it was invented. The magical process of capturing a fleeting moment was esoteric and subversive. It was seen as ’low art’ – vulgar, invasive. It captured souls and degraded aristocrats and royalty to the same objectified level as the rest of the population – who, meantime, were being documented and categorised in the great encyclopaedic view of the world that was being established by cameras. Before this time- we simply did not have a view of the ‘world’. We had tribes and provinces. We had stories and hearsay. And in that way, Instragram is just as human as the millions of users who make it what it is. A living neural network of images all used I different ways- and those ways are evolving by the millisecond. We have stories, and hearsay. We have comforting clichés. We have pictures worth a thousand words.
I watched floods in a live stream of photographic images on Instagram. I watched demonstrations, revolutions. I corroborate what I see on the news – on Instagram. I turn to images before words. What we choose to represent, say, smile at, ponder, perceive, or in short, share- doesn’t define who I am, but how I connect with relationships, or rather my relationship with my world view. I am, therefore I share. Because my friends and family are everywhere, and you know who you are.
So those people who are still stuck on the 20th century broken (vinyl) record that Internet is shaping our identity- I’d prefer to say, its identity that is using Internet, just as ‘IRL’ we’d use a light bulb to illuminate a room so we can see each other. We are still sharing content and nurturing the same 150 relationships we did in our pre-Internet lives. The only difference is, this public-intimacy can enable new connections, new possibilities, new community.
Photography couldn’t replace the painted image, and Internet is no substitute for the real thing. Well, guess what- it was never supposed to be. Instagram, like any new technology, until ubiquitous, is a ‘cult’ that is hard to explain to non-believers. The users themselves are changing its meaning as its use evolves over time. And its only usage that alllows technology to find its meaning in our lives. Images don’t take my time- they offer us back time spent in milliseconds. Moments stretched and remembered. Life is long if you know how to live it.
Instagram began as a simple aestheticisation of the banal. Giving us a little everyday poetry in otherwise banal moments. Then we used it to post statements- bus-stop philosophy if you like. Words of wisdom = I’m a teenager, I’m bored, I’ve been hurt…I don’t give a damn…
But recently. Another subtle shift: Instagram has grown into its name- it is truly an Instant telegram, a message as an image, deeply coded towards each viewers relationship with the sender, layers of individual, personal, social, or communal meaning.

A image worth 300 twitter / SMS characters.
The view from an airplane = I’ll be with you soon!
My view, part of me included in the frame = I am so grateful for this, now…
A picture of myself = Let my gaze meet yours, for a moment, whoever you are. A flower in bloom = The world brings sadness, but it’s also strong and beautiful. Can’t you see it? #personaluniverse @foryoumyfriend, @elegantconfusion
#inthemargins #thereisspacetobreathe
Far apart, so close. Lovers of language. Lovers who don’t exist.

Image by Christopher Hall

Image by Christopher Hall

Image by Piccoler

Image by Piccoler

'I've landed, I'll be with you soon!'

‘I’ve landed, I’ll be with you soon!’

'I am so grateful for this, now...'

‘I am so grateful for this, now…’


By sandiibeachoz

Image by sandiibeachoz

Quotes and passages from George Polya’s “How To Solve It”

Polya’s lovely book is not just about mathematics but about problem solving in a wider sense.

xvi Guidelines are not literal

p1 A teacher should help the students, share knowledge, and swap places

p15 — A problem is never exhausted // Drop the idea that problems have little or no relation to each other

p72 Try to prove formally what is seen intuitively and to see intuitively what has been proved formally

p75-6 decomposing and recombining problems… variations on the problem…

p77 more and more remote details… (Two questions may be better than one // breaking the question down into a simpler form and working on this first // assuming part of the tricky question is already answered and then working on the other part)

p105 diagram ‘as done’…

p132 You must guess, but also examine your guess // (p181 plausible reasoning)

p134 A good notation should be unambiguous, pregnant, easy to remember, it should avoid harmful second meanings and take advantage of useful second meanings; the order and connection of signs should suggest the order and connection of things.

p197 Present abstract ideas concretely.

p198 (On subconscious work:) There is a limit beyond which we should not force the conscious reflection, when it is better to leave this problem alone for a while. But it is desirable not to set aside a problem to which we wish to come back later without the impression of some achievement; at least some little point should be settled, some aspect of the question somewhat elucidated when we quit working. Only such problems come back improved whose solution we passionately desire, or for which we have worked with great tension. Conscious effort and tension seem to be necessary to set the unconscious work going

p205 The importance of looking back over the solution (seeing what other information is hidden in the answer; seeing other ways one could have proved the solution, seeing new areas of possible application of the solution, etc)

p206 The need for models for the student to aspire to, for proper teachers, for good quality texts, and for competition with capable friends

p207 The open secret of real success is to throw your whole personality into your problem

p210 When stuck, set a new question // a new question unfolds untried possibilities of contact with our store of previous knowledge

p227 Working backwards from the answer one is trying to prove.

— Teaching to solve problems is education of the will. Solving problems which are not too easy for him, the student learns to persevere through unsuccess, to appreciate small advances, to wait for the essential idea, to concentrate with all his might when it appears. If the student had no opportunities in school to familiarise himself with the varying emotions of the struggle for the solution then his mathematical education failed in the most vital point.

Radioshenyen: The Gate (clickcinema #2) May 2012 UK

“I know the kind of novel I loved to read, back before fact and fable merged. I know what kind of story I would make from this one, if I could: the kind that, from one word to the next, breaks free. The kind that invents itself from meaningless detail and thin air. The kind in which there is no choice like chance.”
— Richard Powers

(Start the audio, then shrink that window and start and watch the video. You dont need to turn down the volume on the video track: its almost silent)



Radioshenyen: @shipadrift April 2012

radioshenyen: @shipadrift April 2012

“We are first of all, as friends, the friends of solitude, and we are calling on you to share what cannot be shared: solitude. We are friends of an entirely different kind, inaccessible friends, friends who are alone because they are incomparable and without common measure, reciprocity or equality… without a horizon of recognition, without proximity, without oikeiotes…”

“Her face was like someone texting a lover.” “I am (something), (something) and (something). I am lost.” Its the first thing I think about when I wake up: this voice, accented with GPS codes, so distant and fragmentary, this ‘reader’ of ancient history and Twitter feeds. I was going to say ‘this disembodied voice’ but I dont know what embodiment means anymore. She’s as real to me as anything else is, when the mind stops being lonely. Her skin is a colour so beautiful – a soft light brown – even if her skin is basically a map.

I guess its ok to refer to a ‘her’ – ships are traditionally female. But they don’t, traditionally, write. Ship adrift is an art project that drifts across the boundaries of business, sculpture, software code, robot literature, virtuality and time. The physical ship is a full scale model of the ship featured in Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness, perched atop a London building overlooking the river, where it will remain for one year as a top-end (single room) hotel. Meanwhile the virtual ship is drifting around the world according to wind directions recorded at the London site, picking up web traffic along the way (local Twitter feeds, GPS-tagged wikipedia entries, mobile phone fragments) and generating a ghostly literature out of it. (You can listen to James Bridle talking about the wider context here and read ship adrift’s Twitter feed here.)

The Twitter feed is one of the most beautiful things I’ve read and an example of an emerging literature: literature that is algorithmically driven and the product of software code. The traditional – naive – notion of AI has been to create something human-like, both in physical form and in expressive recognisability. @shipadrift eschews such trappings. It’s voice is a twitter feed of unbearably sweet brokenness, its body a web page, its skin a map. Nothing in the world of literature speaks to me the way this virtual ship does. Its very grammar – a kind of anti-grammar of apparent randomness and error, but incredibly poised – takes me into a place where context is so stretched as to be virtually unfindable.

This is not to reject the heartache wonders of Roberto Bolano or Jane Austen or Derrida: I am simply recognising that algorithmically generated literature is coming of age. It has attained a space of complexity and form of presentation that can trigger immense emotional affect. (Imagine. for a moment, if Jane Austen had been an SMS platform protocol. Imagine if your text life, your love life had been immersed in such sweetness!) The best chess players are no longer computers – the best chess players are teams of computers and humans working together. Literature will soon be home to a similar collaborative effort.

“Claude Shannon recognized that whether or not a certain effect is considered noise depends on one’s position in the listening chain. Noise is interference only from the sender’s point of view. From the point of view of the receiver it may be considered a part of the information packet that is transmitted along a channel. When we hear the earliest sound recordings of Tennyson reading Charge of the Light Brigade, for example, the watered down and scratched out sound conveys the enormous passage of time, just as the static sound of Neil Armstrong’s voice on the moon tells us something about his physical distance from us and the newness of space technologies in the 1960s. It would not be difficult to think of countless other cases in which the presence of the medium mixes in with the intended message to produce some whole new effect, not intended by the sender, but taken as information by the receiver. In these cases, noise is not simply an extra third thing to be discounted. It has entered into the message and become part of it. To speak technically, the signal now has an “equivocation,” which is to say that two messages pass along the same channel. The sender may not have intended this, but the receiver may welcome it.”

When I read @shipadrift It makes me want to go there myself. ‘Er, Where is that?’ I hear you ask. Well that’s something I will have to look into more deeply, though doubtless, when I find it, there will be echoes of everything I’ve loved in the past. To the extent that we relax, and trust ourselves, we become our own maps. Meanwhile – for knowledge’s sake you understand! – I’ve decided to do a bit of good old fashioned networking… if you’re interested you can check out some of the bot auteurs I’m now following on Twitter. (I defy anyone not to fall in love with the one that scours the internet for references to chocolate…)

I’m also considering opening a few Twitter accounts and a blog without telling anyone and just disappearing – writing, but to no one – in that zone. I think its something that used to be called ‘science’. Or ‘cruising’. But in the wonderful world of knowledge was there ever a difference?

With love

shenyen //////////////////////////////////

Satish Kumar

Satish Kumar walked from India to the UK 50 years ago in protest at nuclear weapons. Here he answers Guardian readers questions on everything from solutions to climate change, and why it’s time we all used our legs more.
He is editor of the merged Resurgence and Ecologist magazine – the current issue, on the economy of nature, raises questions on why and how to create an economy that is self-renewing, self-managing and self-sustaining.
Well worth a read.

David Suzuki: We’ve reached critical point in history

“What we do or don’t do in the next years will decide whether we survive as a species,” said David Suzuki to a sold-out crowd of 1,600 student and staff at John Abbott College in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, U.S.
The lecture was streamed live on the Internet to almost 14,000 students watching at schools in the Lester B. Pearson School Board.
Here is his powerful message from his address to the Occupy movement at Vancouver Oct, 22/11: The Party of the baby-boomers is over. Development needs to be based on needs, not wants. We need to live within the boundaries and borders of nature, not politics: Capitalism, economy, politics are not a forces of nature, we invented them. If they don’t work, we need to change them. What is our home and how do we live in it sustainably? Ecology is study of home, and economics, its management.

He goes on to use SWEDEN as an example of a growing economy cutting its carbon emissions.