This is an occasional newsletter where I share stories from where art and storytelling meets the world of complex systems, earth science and planetary transformation.
My practice involves creating models of complex systems and future scenarios, using my skills as a writer, theatre-maker and game designer. During lockdown in 2020, I wrote a series of essays breaking this practice down, discussing how I work with scientists and exploring what the arts can contribute to research and policy-making.
A series of six essays exploring how game design can grapple with complex problems in different fields. With examples from a series of recent projects, looking at fields including: climate finance, disaster risk management, geoengineering, large-scale event production, land management and Indigenous health research.
The Lifted Brow
Published in Australia’s quarterly attack journal. Justin Wolfers invited me to contribute an piece to ‘Levity’, the series he was curating/editing about the different ways people are finding joy and pleasure in these troubled times. I took a zoomed-out look at how the human experiment on this planet might be viewed by archaeologists a few hundreds of millions of years from now.
The Futures Centre
A curated selection of fascinating current trends and events that point to some possible futures for pop music over the next 30 years. Drawing on Jordan Prosser, Nick McCorriston and my research for our sci-fi police procedural CrimeForce: LoveTeam, which looks at boy bands in different alternative futures in the year 2050.
Originally written for this blog, Sydney arts journal Audrey republished this essay I wrote about seeing Griffin Theatre tackle the staging of Kill Climate Deniers. Includes my reflections on the craft of playwriting, what it means to write an ‘unstageable’ script, and barb barnett’s brilliant take on my sci-fi road-trip play Oceans All Boiled Into Sky. (On a related note, I wrote an article for Griffin Theatre’s website about my approach to playwriting, and the idea of a play as a mixtape.)
An essay on Medium following my visit to the European Geosciences Union’s General Assembly in Vienna in 2017 – and a reflection on where science is heading in an era of populism.
An essay looking at the Yes Men’s special edition of the New York Times, and other newspaper editions reporting from the future.
The Winston Churchill Trust
In 2012, I was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to undertake a research trip to study the intersection of science and the performing arts. Over January – March 2014 I travelled to 13 cities in North America, Europe and Asia, visiting arts and science institutions and meeting science-arts practitioners. Upon returning to Australia and undertaking several months of further study, I published this report, exploring the emerging cross-disciplinary fields of Systems Gaming and Experiential Futures.
I wrote a piece for American theatre journal HowlRound’s Theatre in the Age of Climate Change series, discussing the motivation behind Kill Climate Deniers’ hyperbolic title, and the consequences – good and bad – of that provocation.
A lighthearted short article for Australian news website Crikey classifying the various sub-species of climate denier, and pointing out some distinguishing characteristics to help curious observers tell them apart.