Welcome to a Rabbit Hole for TNET‘s March-April 2018 Game Event.

The following piece is FRActal MEtafiction (FRAME); a Futurist Arts & Culture paradigm which draws upon the concepts of Culture Mining and Gamification, and is inspired by artists such as William S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard, Joseph Cornell, Andy Warhol, and Marcel Duchamp, in addition to Postmodern theorists such as Jean Baudrillard.


# Culture Mining A Weird Future

The text below is based upon an excerpt from “The Atrocity Exhibition” by J.G. Ballard. If you think this is strange or oblique to the point of irrelevance to Futurism, then you really haven’t thought things through. Accelerating change means that the “common sense” verities of today will bear no more resemblance to the future than the text below resembles a scientific report. Things are going to get very strange indeed, and only the most flexible minds can thrive in that kind of environment.Furthermore, clues have been hidden in the text below which will lead the intrepid reader to cutting-edge Futurist initiatives and experimentation being conducted by The Foundation. Good luck!

[1 4541] Zone of Nothing
[from “The Atrocity Exhibition”, by J.G. Ballard]

She took off her Polaroid glasses. In the sunlight the oil spattered across the windscreen formed greasy rainbows. As she waited for him to return from the beach she wiped her wrists with a cologne pad from the suitcase in the rear seat. What was he doing? After his little affairs he seemed to enter a strange zone. A young man in red trunks came up the track, arching his toes in the hot sand.

If a Posthuman can control their own thoughts and emotions, how do they choose their highest goals?

[2 5263] A Transfer of Geometry
[from “The Atrocity Exhibition”, by J.G. Ballard]

Deliberately he leaned against the car as he walked by, staring at her and almost touching her elbow. She ignored him without embarrassment. When he had gone she looked down at the imprints of his feet in the white pumice. The fine sand poured into the hollows, a transfer of geometry as delicate as a series of whispers. Unsettled, she put away her novel and took the newspaper from the dashboard locker. She studied the photographs of an automobile accident—overturned cars, bodies on ambulance trollies, a bedraggled girl.

Five minutes later he climbed into the car. Thinking of the photographs, she put her hand on his lap, watching the last of the footprints vanish in the sand.

What is the quest for Immortality if not a striving toward the power to die in your own time, in your own way way, on your own terms?

[3 605] Gamification and Functionality
[from “The Atrocity Exhibition”, by J.G. Ballard]

Clues hidden in the text below point to online resources used in an Alternate Reality Game designed to support an explicitly Futurist agenda. If you like games, want to understand our unfolding technological future, or are just a curious person then you may wish to pay careful attention to the details…

Five Minutes 3 Seconds. Later, Travers remembered the camera crew which had visited the Institute, and the unusual documentary they had filmed among the cypress-screened lawns. He first noticed the unit as he loaded his suitcases into the car on the afternoon he resigned | Avoiding Catherine Austin’s embarrassed attempt to embrace him, he stepped on to the lawn below the drive. The patients sat like mannequins on the worn grass, while the film crew moved between them | guiding the camera about like a myopic robot.

‘Why did Nathan invite them here? For a so-called documentary on dementia praecox it’s going to be surprisingly elegant and perverse.’ Catherine Austin strode towards the unit, remonstrating with the director as he pointed a woman patient towards the camera || She took the girl’s loose hands. The director stared at her in a bored way, deliberately exposing the chewing gum between his lips. His eyes turned to inspect Travers. With an odd gesture of the wrist, he beckoned the camera unit forward.

The parameters and preservation of the Self will be a critical matter in the Trans-/Posthuman era. If you can increasingly control your own form, nature, and limits, then what will your basis be for deciding “enough is enough”, for drawing your own lines of identity? When you can change anything, what constants will you decide to hold sacred?

[4 8519] Operational Logic [Gates, Doors, & Keys]
[from “The Atrocity Exhibition”, by J.G. Ballard]

There are fragments and hints regarding a logical system used as a game mechanism hidden in the text below.

‘But isn’t Kennedy already dead?’ | Captain Webster studied the documents laid out on Dr Nathan’s demonstration table. These were:

(1) a spectroheliogram of the sun;
(2) tarmac and takeoff checks for the B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay;
(3) electroencephalogram of Albert Einstein;
(4) transverse section through a pre-Cambrian trilobite;
(5) photograph taken at noon, August 7th, 1945,
…. | of the sand-sea, Qattara Depression;
(6) Max Ernst’s ‘Garden Airplane Traps.’

He turned to Dr Nathan.
| ‘You say these constitute an assassination weapon?’

Could a Paleo-human transported to our time stand any reasonable chance of understanding our society at any meaningful level? If not, are we already in a Technological Singularity?


The simple idea behind this paradigm is that while the piece can be read in a linear manner, essentially like a kind of hyperlinked encyclopedia entry, its true value becomes apparent when you follow the links between multiple pieces in a nonlinear manner. Themes and insights then emerge, and are juxtaposed in ways that allow us to see new connections.Although this is a kind of artistic-philosophical writing, as a part of Futurist Arts & Culture it is focussed on themes and issues related to emerging technologies, accelerating change, Transhumanism, AI, VR, and radical disruption.

Thoughts to frame@zerostate.net or in comments below may be rewarded with ARG info. Conversations held elsewhere and linked back to that address or comments below will definitely win clues, hints, & info.


ARG1 Zone of Nothing

ARG2 Twenty Thousand Years

ARG3 Cataclysmic Renewal


ARG5 Houses of the Outer Court

Ready Player One: AR Gaming Meets Transhumanism