Academic Conference Poster Design, 2020
The London Science Fiction Research Community's theme for 2020 was 'Beyond Borders: Empires, Bodies, Science Fictions'. The year's reading list, reading group and events programme discussed borders in SF and how SF could help to reimagine and dismantle borders, whether bodily, national or planetary.
LSFRC director Katie Stone and I discussed ideas around the duality of cruel fictions (fictions that matter to our lives - fabricated lines which are nonetheless significant), the permeated quality of borders, and strangeness that exists without being visible.
I wanted the Call for Papers to not only serve as a practical call to action, but also visually reflect the thought and depth of ideas the LSFRC directors had engaged with, delivering the concept with more immediacy than a body of text.
Playing with three dimensional space allowed me to explore more abstract ideas whilst containing them structurally. The notion of creating a paper model and photographing it was influenced by my previous visit to the 2017 kinetic and optical art exhibition 'Seurat to Riley: The Art of Perception' at Compton Verney, as well as my recent reading of 'The Art of Papercraft' by Hiroshi Ogawa. White card would reflect light and thus emphasise surfaces, depth and angles. I wanted to create an object that was not concerned with establishing a border to exclude. Neither with the notion of eradicating a border entirely. Instead, of a border as something fluid, changeable and complex. Inverting the boxes and photographing them upside down enhanced the element of estrangement and added surreality to the image.
I extracted the following quotations and highlighted them on different layers of the object:
'A border, like race, is a cruel fiction
Maintained by constant policing, violence
Always threatening a new map.'
BRAZILIAN IS NOT A RACE
The arm twisted and turned with lightning
Imperativeness as if to reach the point
Of the borders of the day that touch
Each other on the rim of the precision-discipline.
Where is the place of the circles of
‘to dwell ‘in a beyond’ is [...] to be part of a revisionary time, a return to the present to describe our cultural contemporaneity; to reinscribe our human, historic commonality; to touch the future on its hither side.’
THE LONDON SCIENCE FICTION RESEARCH COMMUNITY is an organisation of SF scholars, based at Birkbeck University and Royal Holloway.
The Community presents special events with guest speakers several times a year, and also hosts a monthly reading group at 43 Gordon Square, London, on Monday evenings, open to all. Each year the reading group engages with texts organised around a central theme.
I was Head of Design at the LSFRC from 2017 - 2020.
Paper model test photography
Paper model detail