Sep 02 2012

Extreming The Future



So here we are in the year 2012 and the apocalypse is still happening. We saw the rise of Internet culture as the lines between the virtual and the physical were forever blurred. 2012 was the year that everything happened but it was also the year that nothing happened. We joined the masses in zombie flash mobs to compete for a shifting demographic: technoshamans turning into digital celebrities turning into social media coaches: insert something about storytelling: insert something about worldbuilding. Was it too late to stop the postmodern world from turning us all into Lolcats? Could we fight against the great mashup of nothing? Could the true geeks, freaks, thinkers, innovators, mutants, cyborgs, and future-gods unite for the final-harvest-of-whatever?

Of course my answer here is yes. 100% yes. I’m one of those super enthusiastic types who does not give up in the face of adversity. I decided to throw the second annual Extreme Futurist Festival  on December 21st, 2012. If there is going to be an apocalypse I want us to be the designers of it. If we are opening up the gates for a new subculture that defines itself as a new species I want us to explore transhumanism in a way that makes us look like more than playground occultists and sci-fi fanatics. We should be ready to lead the DIY evolution. We should be ready to define this paradigm shift and give meaning to the fnording around us. Why not call Eris and tell her the golden apple has broken the spell of digital catatonia?

In the spirit of events like Autonomous Mutant Fest and websites like Acceler8or we want to showcase the most cutting edge projects and performances our tribe of cyborgs/mutants/future-gods has to offer. This isn’t just about finding the others but engaging with the others in a way that will give the Mayans a run for their money. We want to do the apocalypse right and prove that authentic culture is more-alive-than-ever in 2012.  Let us become friendly with the fnord once again and show reality how we truly feel about its weak limitations. Let us unite in the extreme future and be remembered for years to come as the makers of culture, evolution, and chaos. Hail Eris!

Extreme Futurist Festival 2012 Trailer from H+ Worldwide on Vimeo.

We just met our goal of 20K and are in the process of booking speakers and performers. If you would like to participate in Extreme Futurist Fest 2012 please email us at

Aug 30 2012

Re/Search’s V. Vale Seeks Next Burroughs, Ballard, Lamantia… Ken Goldberg Interviews William Gibson



V. Vale, the great publisher of Re/Search, has sent out a very thoughtful essay wondering who is predicting the future as well as William S. Burroughs and J.G. Ballard did (particularly Ballard, I think) and calling everyone’s attention to an upcoming appearance by William Gibson in San Francisco.

EDITORIAL FROM V. VALE: “Mirror Mirror On the Wall, Who’s the Most Prophetic of Them All?”

It is difficult to survive and transcend the loss of one’s “father” [figures] — in my case there were three: William S. Burroughs, Philip Lamantia and J.G. Ballard. Philip was an authentic American Surrealist poet and first-generation “Beat” luminary — he read at that very first public reading of “Howl” at the Six Gallery at 3119 Fillmore Street/Filbert-Greenwich Sts, SF, Oct 7, 1955. Mr Lamantia was my first mentor. William S. Burroughs I didn’t meet until fall of 1978 when he came to San Francisco to read at the Keystone Korner in North Beach next to the Police Station. J.G. Ballard I corresponded with beginning in 1978 when I finally got an interview with him by proxy for my Search & Destroy #10 (incidentally, still available in a low-cost reprint from the original negatives). That same issue featured Burroughs on the cover; photo by Kamera Zie, who worked at City Lights, as I did.

When J.G. Ballard died April 19, 2009, I looked around and wondered who could replace him. He was a magnanimous, generous, spontaneous, unpretentious, publicity-avoiding ORIGINAL whose darkly imaginative literary output seemingly contradicted the ultra-polite, warmly humorous manner in which he treated people who visited him (including me). I was fortunate to be in his presence (and tape-record him) a number of times — in San Francisco, Berkeley, Palo Alto (?), and at Shepperton, outside London, near the Thames river where he took frequent après-lunch perambulations. By sheer luck I managed to tape-record both Burroughs and Ballard just months before they died…

Needless to say, nobody has yet “replaced” the above three deceased mentors. The nagging question is: Who are the people alive on the planet who are predicting the future as well as Burroughs and Ballard? The so-called CyberPunk writers (William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Richard Kadrey, Rudy Rucker; who else?) are alive and penning miles of sentences — are they still the “zeitgeist” of now? Is there a zeitgeist of now, besides “Things Fall Apart” and –? Maybe we all need to attend the Extreme Futurist Festival

We have long supported Survival Research Laboratories in their noisy machine performances divining a rusty, improvised-technological future in the perhaps money-less, state-less, more robotic- and drone-filled world landscape ahead of us. We’re reviewing the past 20 years, and an SRL associate comes to mind who has more or less selflessly curated dozens (maybe hundreds) of futuristic, bursting-with-ideas presentations by the crême-de-la-crême of cutting-edge thinkers, scientists and artists — most of them free; no admission charge — at U.C. Berkeley. That would be Ken Goldberg, who has been studying the future for several decades. Anyone heard of telerobotics? To quote, “Telerobotics is the field of robotics concerned with the remote distance control of robots using wireless connections, tethered connections, or internet connectivity via human input. Ken Goldberg, a pioneer of telerobotic art and his collaborative installation “Memento Mori” can be seen as the first telepresent, internet-based earthwork controlled by minute movements of the Hayward Fault in California and transmitted continuously as a seismic data stream to an embedded audio visual display.” [!]

To read this entire essay, go here.