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20 NOVEMBER 2016

Alex Gendler: how to recognize a dystopia

"The genre of dystopia – the 'not good place'– has captured the imaginations of artists and audiences alike for centuries. But why do we bother with all this pessimism? Alex Gendler explains how dystopias act as cautionary tales – not about some particular government or technology, but the very idea that humanity can be molded into an ideal shape."

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TAGS

Aldous Huxley • Alex Gendler • Animal Farm (1954)artificial intelligence • aryan • atomic energyBlade Runner (1982)brave new world • Brave New World (1932) • cautionary talecommunist systemconcentration campdemocracydepletion of natural resourcesDr Strangelove (1964) • drudgery • dystopia • dystopian fiction • dystopian literature • dystopian science fictioneugenicsfactory workerfascismfree willgas chambergenetic engineering • Gullivers Travels (1726) • H G Wells • humanitys future • impoverished masses • impoverishment • industrial ageindustrial revolution • industrial warfare • It Cant Happen Here (1935) • Jack London • Jonathan Swift • mass entertainment • mass media ageMetropolis (1927) • modern anxieties • nightmare world • Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)nuclear war • oligarchy • oppressionoverpopulationparadise • perfect world • political structures • povertyprogress narratives • resource depletion • science fiction • Sinclair Lewis • slumsocial rolessocial structures • space colony • space travelspeculative fiction • squalor • surveillance state • TED-Ed • The Handmaids Tale (1985) • The Iron Heel (1908) • The RepublicThe Time MachineThomas Moretotalitarianism • tyrannical oligarchy • tyranny of modernismutopia • V for Vendetta (2006) • Watchmen (2009) • We (1924) • Westworld (1973) • WW1WWII • Yevgeny Zamyatin

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
15 NOVEMBER 2005

Garden of Eden Underpining Modern Western Zoological and Botanic Gardens

"the zoological garden, like the botanical garden emerges from Assyrian hunting parks (c1350 BC) in fiction from the mythological topos of Paradise (pairidaeza) shared yet differently interpreted by both Islam and Christianity. Whilst there is evidence of collections of animals in Egyptian and Chinese gardens, it is the Garden of Eden, which underpins modern western zoological and botanic gardens. The first modern botanic garden is attributed to the Padua University (1543), although it can be traced to Aristotle's Lyceum. The inclusion of collections of animals in gardens for mere spectacle can be most illustriously ascribed to the Romans who developed aviaries and menageries but the seminal menagerie design was that of Le Vau for Louis 14th at Versailles in 1663."

(Richard Weller)

Fig.1. Jeremy @ picasaweb, 1 August 2008, 'Cassowary at Edinburgh Zoo', Scotland.

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TAGS

Assyrianaviary • botanic • cassowary • ChristiancollectionsEgypt • Garden of Eden • gardens • hunting parks • Islam • Lyceum • menagerieparadisePeoples Republic of ChinaPerthRomanspectaclezoozoologicalzoology
02 DECEMBER 2003

Televirtual Fruit Machine

This interactive installation, similar to video games, was presented simultaneously at IC' 93 in Tokyo and Multimediale 3 at Karlsruhe, linked up by the digital ISDN network, the player in Tokyo could join up directly with a player at Karlsruhe. In order to bring together the two halves of the same object, the two players had to co–ordinate their movements and interactions visually, within the virtual space of the game.

The work centres–on a virtual 'fruit–machine' that is controlled by users communicating via a ISDN network.The fruit–machine metaphor references the Paradise parable.

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