11.15 | NYC | Ed Keller

Future Cities and Post Planetary Design.

If science fiction inspires science, what will cities look like in 1000 years? Join us for Ed Keller's discussion of design on a post-planetary scale. 



Where are you right now?
Upstate NY. Home office, studio. Hub in the circuit between NYC and other locales around the planet.

Where do you go when you need inspiration?
Six Memos for the Next Millennium, by Italo Calvino. 

Idleness. A gift or curse?
Both, obviously. It depends on context. 

To Bitcoin, or not to Bitcoin?
I’m not 100% equipped to make that decision, but in the crypto currency space, 
ethereum seems like a fascinating outpost. Their whitepaper is well worth reading. 

Liberal Democracy or Democratic Liberalism?
Juxtaposing those terms doesn’t make sense to me, especially given the range of interpretations they are subject to. The overall performance of government is so dependent on an educated population, but even given a well educated population, is subject to so many external variables- and increasingly, AGI systems and non-human agencies will perturb our ability to self govern. Preparing for that ‘pre-singularity’ landscape seems to be the most important move we could make. Also recognizing our place in a much vaster system [a cosmopolitics, if you will] so that our definitions of ‘human’, ‘governance’, etc., can all keep up with reality. 

Carpe Diem or nosce te ipsum (know thyself)?
Nosce te ipsum. 

Last app opened?
Positive Grid’s ‘BIAS’ guitar amp modelling software. iPad and now desktop. Amazing tool, sounds fantastic, and a history lesson on guitar amps, too-

Last book read? 
Echopraxia, by Peter Watts. One of the best hard scifi writers alive today. Dark and brilliant.
His books are required reading in my Post Planetary Design seminar at Parsons: 

Favourite Album?
Impossible question. There are dozens. How about one from my top 100, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, Byrne and Eno. One of the most amazingly produced records; brilliant use of found material; unrelenting love of the quality of sound, texture, rhythm… a deep sense of the surreal, the invented, the beautiful, the sublime, the horrific;  and politically resonant. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Many years ago my mother told me that, if one planned to live in the forest, far from the madding crowd, it’d be best to have a big project. 
She spoke from experience, and she was right.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever bestowed?
For years I have asked my students to see as many great films as possible, and to pay attention to detail and hidden patterns. In the films, and in the world at large.

If you could be anywhere, where would it be?
Right here, but with a bit more breathing space and time.

If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
“… did his best to balance skepticism and a deep sense of wonder."