Category Archives: 12. who owns the future

a. Johann Lurf, ★

Johann Lurf, unfinished film
2017, 1 min

A film with no answers but as many questions as there are stars in the universe, Austrian structuralist Johann Lurf has chosen an audacious and ever-expanding subject for his feature film debut: the stars of cinema. Not the movie stars, but the stars in the night’s sky, pinpricks of light against the darkness excerpted from films beginning at cinema’s dawn and continuing to this present day in a project that is planned to be expanded yearly. These stellar instances, riven from context with sound intact—ambient hums, grand orchestral scores, pedantic explanations, dreamy speculation—are magical fields of darkness sprinkled with possibilities. Lurf’s jazzy editing, balancing tranquil concentration and jumpy jitters based on his methodology of retaining each clip’s length, image and sound, sends the audience on a journey across the tones of promise and threat that emanate from the cosmos. A subject difficult if not impossible to accurately photograph on film, we are therefore greeted again and again by the varied interpretations of the starry night by matte artists and special effects wizards, gazing now in stillness, now in careening motion across or into space at incandescent nebulae, distant twinkling dots, and the black void in-between. Surveying a history of cinema’s fixation with, and escape to, outer space, we find both what audiences in their own times saw up there, as well as mirrors of our own wonderment: Awe, terror, hope, arrogant confidence, melancholic yearning and blank, awesome silence. These are the rare moments when the movie audience, backs to the projector, in fact faces light projected at them: Our eyes are the screens for the cinema of the stars.
Daniel Kasman in October 2017

b. Svetlana Boym, Slow Thinking


Svetlana Boym, Think aloud
2016, 3 min 40 sec

Boym’s written work explored relationships between utopia and kitsch, memory and modernity, and homesickness and the sickness of home. Her research interests included 20th-century Russian literature, cultural studies, comparative literature and literary studies. In addition to teaching and writing, Boym also sat on the Editorial Collective of the interdisciplinary scholarly journal Public Culture. Boym was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Cabot Award for Research in Humanities, and an award from the American Council of Learned Societies. She won a Gilette Company Fellowship which provided her half a year study at the American Academy in Berlin.

c. Michio Kaku & Stephen Hawking, The Extraterrestrial Life Debate


Michio Kaku & Stephen Hawking, Larry King Live, CNN
2010, 7 min 21 sec

Stephen Hawking gives his insight on Extraterrestrial Life. A panel of specialists and believers, such as Michio Kaku, elaborate on Hawking’s intel and discuss the issue more thorough.

d. Carlo Rovelli, The Illusion of Time


Carlo Rovelli, YPO Edge  Cape town, South-Africa
2010, 36 min 36 sec

According to theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli, time is an illusion: our naive perception of its flow doesn’t correspond to physical reality. Indeed, as Rovelli argues in The Order of Time, much more is illusory, including Isaac Newton’s picture of a universally ticking clock. Even Albert Einstein’s relativistic space-time — an elastic manifold that contorts so that local times differ depending on one’s relative speed or proximity to a mass — is just an effective simplification.

e. Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

Denis Villeneuve, Sony Pictures Entertainment
2016, 2 min 31 sec 

Arrival is a 2016 American science fiction drama film directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Eric Heisserer. Based on the 1998 short story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang, it stars Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker. The film follows a linguist enlisted by the United States Army to discover how to communicate with extraterrestrial aliens who have arrived on Earth, before tensions lead to war.

f. Laurance Doyle, Interspecies Communication and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence


Laurance Doyle, Seti institute, USA
2020, 1 hour 13 min 29 sec 

Dr. Laurance Doyle is an astrophysicist and principal investigator at SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) with expertise in diverse subjects including extrasolar planets, signal processing and communications theory. He has worked on image analysis from the Voyager mission and Halley’s Comet, developed statistical methodologies to search for extrasolar planets, and is applying those tools to analyze complex patterns and search for meaning in animal communications.


g. Ronald Reagan Speech before the UN


New York, USA
1987, 21 sec

Reagan is the only US President in history to openly speak about extraterrestrials and UFOs in public as many times as he did while in office. One of these occasions was to the United Nations General Assembly.

In his speech on September 21, 1987 , US President Reagan said:

” In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all the members of humanity. Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond.

I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside of this world.

And yet I ask you, is not an alien force already among us? “

* summary & further research

Leslie Stevens: The Outer Limits


To Andreas Weber,  a theoretical biologist in Germany, the commons is not simply a matter of public policy or economics. It is an existential condition of life in all its forms, from cellular matter to human beings. “The idea of the commons provides a unifying principle that dissolves the supposed opposition between nature and society/culture,” he writes. “It cancels the separation of the ecological and the social.” According to Weber, the commons provides us with the means to reimagine the universe and our role in it. If we are to truly transform our economic and political systems, Weber argues, then we must also address some unquestioned, deeply embedded premises of those systems. In effect we must reassess the nature of reality itself. (David Bollier: Think like a Commoner, 2014: 147)



James Gleick: Time Travel: A History (2016)

Lisa Randall, Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe (2016)

Jaron Lanier: Who Owns The Future (2013)

Alan Lightman, Einstein’s dreams (1992)

T.J.Demos, Radical Futurisms: Ecologies of Collapse / Chronopolitics / Justice to Come (2016)

Mark Fisher, Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures (2014)

Alan Lightman, Einstein’s dreams (1992)

 Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception: Heaven and Hell (1954)

Jeff Noon, VURT (1993), Pollen (1995), Pixel Juice (1998)

Pat Cadigan, Mindplayers (1987), Synners (1991), Fools (1992), Tea from an Empty Cup (1995)

 Jittu Krishnamurti & David Bohm, The Ending of Time (1985)

Svetlana Boym, The Future of Nostalgia  (Basic Books, New York 2002)


Cinema of the World
Brain pickings
On Being


On the Commons

The Commoner

Peer to peer foundation

David Bollier Podcasts: