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© Norman M. Klein

The Future Can Only Be Told in Reverse: How do we invent new time-based story forms that capture the recent shocks to our civilization? How must the rhythm of time-based storytelling, and the media that it relies upon, change, to meet the shocks of our contemporary crisis?
This crisis has taken fifty years to manifest, but it will dominate our lives for the next fifty years, mostly likely. These new modes of time-based story will not be post-modern, post-human, nor post-digital, or pos pop or cyberpunk. They are emerging after these have worn down.

Over the course of three days, Norman M. Klein will conduct lectures that introduce the history of this disaster, brick by brick; and then with the students, imagine what kind of world building and narrative strategies can possibly capture something that gigantic.
Various terms of his work will be used to set up ways of archiving, ways of shaping these prototypes. Among the terms: emergent, urban industrial feudalism: contrapuntal media: scripted spaces: histories of forgetting, the charms of the lie; living in (ultra) violet.

In three days, and in a few weeks after, together with the students, Norman Kleid will invent a workbook for tackling these challenges. It will be archival, and also filled with architectonic notes; and with storyboards unlike what we usually see.

1st day: The Archaeologies of the present. This relies on a book that has been twelve years in the making, and thirty years before that. A review of the basic discourse around inequality, diversity, the precariat, the feudal condition.
2nd Day: Together with Norman M. Klein, the students will imagine forms that shatter the modernist and postmodernist strategies, leave them somewhere fresh—in their practice, in their sketching out projects that can follow. 3rd Day: They will shape a space, or rather sketch out a space—imagining it inside ZKM-- where this problem can be realized, where a prototype can evolve for the era to come; after the age of the nation states of the West fades. As a final deliverable, students will present a working archive together, imagining a single installation that can be understood as part of the cutting edge that is needed by 2020, in the midst of this crisis.

Norman M. Klein is cultural historian and novelist. His books include: The History of Forgetting: Los Angeles and the Erasure of Memory; Seven Minutes: The Life and Death of the American Animated Cartoon; Vatican to Vegas: The History of Special Effects; Freud in Coney Island; the award-winning database novel Bleeding Through: Layers of Los Angeles, 1920-85; The Imaginary 20th Century  (co-authored with Margo Bistis). His newest book has been published in 2019: Tales of the Floating Class: Essays and Fictions, 1982-2017. His next book, Archaeologies of the Present: The Dismantling of the American Psyche is due out in 2020.  Klein is a professor at California Institute of the Arts.

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