A new InterPlanetary interview series from the Santa Fe Institute takes a page from the Strugatsky brothers' classic Soviet sci-fi novel, Roadside Picnic, to discuss a variety of transformative alien artifacts.
Thirteen years ago, an alien civilization visited our planet, and left behind myriad, mysterious materials in their crash sites. These areas, Zones, behave very strangely, but the interplanetary items they contain could change the trajectory of our technological advancement. What appears as a hoop might actually be a perpetual-motion machine. What appears as a slime might alter space-time.
Spend too much time in the Zone and your genes might mutate, your bones might dissolve, your body might be ground into meat. If you’re lucky enough to make it out alive, you’ll likely be imprisoned. But a successful trip in and out of the Zone could alter human history. Do you dare? And for what?
Hosted by Caitlin McShea.
#004 with David Stout
This week David Stout – visual artist, composer, electronic instrumentalist and performance director. His interdisciplinary approach includes studies across the traditional arts disciplines and an embrace of new and emerging technologies – joins us for the last Alien Crash Site episode of 2020 to talk about his ideal alien object, and to discuss some interesting shared details across alien encounter stories, since he’s been reading up on those lately.
#003 with Frank Lantz
This week Frank Lantz – game designer, director of NYU’s Game Center, founder of Area/Code Games and the soon to be launched Hello Planet – joins us to talk about the role of art for progress (or contra-progress!), the possibility space of limitation, metarationality, and a mysterious Zone-find of his own, which he actually possesses…
#002 with Kate Greene
This week Kate Greene – scientist, science-writer, poet, essayist and crew member of the original HI SEAS Mission, a NASA funded Mars Simulation – joins us to talk about life on Mars, and what she’d hope to uncover from a Zone on Earth.
#001 with Ashton Eaton
This week we speak with world-record holding, back-to-back Olympic Gold Medalist for decathlon, engineer and friend, Ashton Eaton about his hopes for the Zone. Information on texts referenced can be found below:
#000 with David Krakauer
SFI President, David Krakauer, considers the producers of an object, the receivers of said object, and the qualities of the object itself in this first episode of Alien Crash Site...a sci-fi technology pod that pushes people out of their comfort Zones, and into Alien Crash Site Zones, in pursuit of a truly transformative object.