Future Workshop – Swarm text, ghost speech and hive-mind imaginations. Facilitated by Albin Werle. Every School Week

Swarm text, ghost speech and hive-mind imaginations

This workshop will happen every school week.

Games of collaborative knowledge production

Keywords:  collaboration, games, knowledge production, conversation, conceptual process, group dynamics

Number of participants: 3-50

Time: 3 occasions, 2 hours each

Material expenses: none

Travel expenses: none

The workshop consists of a series of game-like situations that revolve around collaborative knowledge production. The rules are simple and the playouts are often very fun. They are not games per definition because it is impossible to win or lose, but the word game still comes closest to describe what it is.  

The workshop takes place over three occasions where one or more games are played. First the rules are explained, then the games are played and lastly a discussion is held where the games are discussed, both from the perspective of the play session and the structures and possibilities of the games in them selves. 

Each occasion has a theme:

1st occasion: WRITING  

(minimum 3 participants)

Games: Speculative Fiction Co-Writing 

2nd occasion: SPEAKING 

(minimum 5 participants)

Games: Circle of Unanswered Questions, Speaking Square

3rd occasion: THINKING 

(minimum 3 participants)

Games: Telepathic Exercises, Processing

Below follows descriptions of the games in each occasion:

1st occasion: WRITING

S-F Co-Writing (ca 2 hours)

In Speculative Fiction Co-Writing the participants anonymously write speculative fiction together, in the same document and at the same time.

It is about oscillating between writing and reading, between producing and consuming content. We use a certain set of rules that decide what perspective, tempus, genre (etc) will be used. 

Each writing session takes about 30 min 

2nd occasion: SPEAKING

Circle of Unanswered Questions (ca 50 min)

In the Circle of Unanswered questions the participants lie down in a circle with their heads forming a smaller circle in the middle. Their faces are directed upward. 

One after another, in a clockwise order, the participants asks questions. In this game there are no answers but only questions. One can either ask any question that comes to mind, question the previous question or repeat the previous question. 

A timer decides when the game is over, in this workshop it will be 45 minutes. 

Speaking Square (ca 50 min)

Speaking Square is a rule-based conversation aimed to clarify the way we speak in groups, both in the sense that it makes the content of the conversation clearer and in the sense that it exposes who talks in a group. 

A room, called thoughtspace, is centered around a square, called speaking square, with four slots. Each slot can be inhabited by one participant. Any participant may enter a free slot at any time, or leave the speaking square and go back to thoughtspace. One may only speak when being inside the square, otherwise one must be silent. There can be no speech in the square if all four slots are taken, but as soon as at least one slot is free the conversation can continue. A main subject is decided before starting but the speakers can choose to address any issue.

A timer decides when the game is over, in this workshop it will be 45 minutes.

3rd occasion: THINKING

Exercises in Telepathy (ca 40 minutes)

Simple exercises that focus on group interaction without language. Some examples of exercises:

Without speaking the group has to organize itself according to different attributes such as eye color, length, age or any other arbitrarily decided attribute that everybody has. 

Without deciding the order the group has to count out loud until it reaches an arbitrarily decided number. If two participants speak at the same time, the group has to start over from 0. 

Processing (ca 15 minutes individually + ca 1 hour in group)

Processing is a game of which I can’t disclose the rules before the game is played. They have to be told to each person individually, right before they are played, otherwise it doesn’t work. 

The game is divided in two parts. In the first part I will have a one to one session with each participant in which I explain the rules and play the first part of the game. This can happen at any time during the semester before the second part. When the second part of the game happen, the rules will be explained on site. This game will be the end of the workshop. 

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