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Workshop: Reality glitches - speculative storytelling

Presented by Lava Lab

In this hands-on workshop you will create the story of two imaginative futures in the form of a short film. In teams you will speculate about a Utopian and Dystopian vision for a near future. The result of this workshop will be short science fiction movies, with the same given sequence of images, but different stories.

The workshop will be based around the following themes:

Reality glitches

Young girls shave and tattoo their eyebrows because it looks better on an Instagram photo. A war happens in trailers in Las Vegas using drones that fly in the Middle East. Our digital identities become our new realities. If this technology is part of our nature, is our digital identity a new reality, can artificial intelligence become a sixth sense?

Social media is growing explosively as a tool for our information. It changes the way we approach journalism. News messages are not spreaded anymore by editors, but by all of us using social media like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook.

The editors of today are algorithms that are trained by our own online behaviour to decide which messages (fake or real) are accessible to us. Social media is the driver of modern propaganda; media is used for manipulation, reality becomes something that could be manipulated.


By developing a digital language we create new ways of language and culture. Companies add job openings for emoji translators. Emoji’s are part of our digital language and communications and are seen as part of our language. This opens new cultural similarities but also differences.

For instance the emoji of the waving hand means to say ‘goodbye’ in a Western culture, but in China it means “I never want to see you again’. Google’s Neural Machine develops it’s own language, a language humans can’t speak that is developed by the machine. With other words: a new language culture used by machines to communicate with each other.


We are cyborgs that are continuously connected, sharing locations, measure and share daily movements and we are continuously sharing what and who we like and what we are doing in our digital social environment.

We are in an intimate relationship with our smartphones. It becomes a part of our nature and is the access to our digital identities. Also the other way around are we interfering with nature using technology. We upgrade our bodies with senses and sensors. Technology became our second nature.

Meet the team:

What if we use utopias as a verb?

For IAM Weekend 17 we will go deeper into the meaning of utopias, with imagination and skepticism, understanding how they can evolve beyond contemporary dreams and help us navigate the uncertainty of our times.

The main stage will feature 30+ speakers distributed in 5 sessions (single-track conference format) plus 10+ workshops led by our learning partners developing the key insights from the talks. Our serendipitous agenda will also include several side-events including parties, dinners, screenings, special projects and installations.

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