Ark-Inc, presented at the Architectural Association
Exploring Design Possibilities through Superﬁction Jon Ardern, Superﬂux
The cheap energy bubble bursts;Within 10 to 25 years we will hit peak oil production. This means: the system that controls the veryfabric of our lives is about to go into turmoil as the cheap energy that we have come to rely onbecomes in increasingly expensive. with repercussions in every aspect of our lives, including: • A massive rise in the cost of produces and products as transportation costs rocket. • Increased global political instability as ﬁghting over the remaining resources becomes increasingly violent. • A massive rise in the cost energy as the cost of production, currently predominantly carbon based, rockets.
Past the tipping point;We are fast approaching, some have argued past, a tipping point in global Co2levels, where a chain of environmental processes cause an exponential increasein Co2 levels and its associated global heating, this means: • Increasingly unstable weather patterns leading to a massive globe decrease in agricultural capacity. • Rising sea levels further reducing human carrying capacity of the earth. • Changing in the oceanic conveyers making larger areas inhospitably cold and others dry and arid.
The end of life as we know it;The convergence of these and many other global issues will lead to aworld where: • global political structures break down as wars over resources increase. • global trade breaks down, the cost of transportation rockets and the means of production drastically fall. • massive global exoduses as large areas of land becomes unable to sustain human civilization.
"... for all its complexity, contemporary society is an artiﬁcialconstruct that can be moved oﬀ stage at a moments notice ..." JG BallardThe ‘Design’ Response:
The Premise:- These events will happen in one form or another, you can’t stop them, its out of your hands.- A disaster is not the event itself but the impact that the event has.- By adjusting to the forthcoming events now your lifestyle will not change as the world does.- ARK-INC. will help facilitate that adjustment now.
products & servicesInvoice Attention: Shem *** Date 16/06/06 INVOICE NUMBER: 67890 TERMS: 30 Days Description Quantity Unit Price Cost ARK-INC. Radio, 01 *** ***T +44 (0) 7779 340 115 FM, SW, Transmit and Data receive, model.Jon@ark-inc.infowww.ark-inc.info Your local FM station transmits on: _________ Note our Short Wave service is encrypted and can only be received by this device - keep your function keys safe as they are unique to this device. ARK-INC Publications: 06 *** *** FROM ABSTRACT TO INTRINSIC, calculating value shifts in the 21st century and beyond. CHOOSING LIFE ARK-INC, the 12 steps and beyond. THE SIGNS OF OUR TIME, understanding events
The short wave transmission from Ark Radio:h"p://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b3UP8MwJpQ
“...we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil ” George W. Bush, State of the Union Address 2006
THE TWELVE STEPS OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.6. Were entirely ready to have...Ark 12 steps:“We admitted that our life style had become unsustainable and ultimately destructive to ourselves and the earth upon which wedepend.We came to the realization that our collective actions had lead us to a global crisis that we were powerless over when standingalone.Having seen the shadows of this fate, we came to believe that we could ﬁnd another way. Freeing ourselves from the past, byﬁnding faith in our collective common purpose.We now endeavor to make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves and our lifestyle.In light of this, we admitted to ourselves and to the Ark collective the extent and nature of our wrongs.We made a sober decision to be entirely ready to remove, with the help available to us, all detrimental aspects of our lifestyle.Having made an inventory of the harm we have done, we now become willing, with the help of the Ark collective, to makeamends to such harm.We now make direct amends to such harm wherever possible, except when to do so would cause harm to ourselves or the Arkcollective.We continue to take a personal inventory, and when wrong, promptly admit it.Seeking through research and contemplation, to improve our conscious awareness of the earth, and the role of ourselves and theArk collective upon it.
Ark Inc presented at the Royal College of Art, London
Ark.Inc as a ‘Superﬁction’A Superﬁction is a visual or conceptual artwork which uses ﬁction andappropriation to mirror organisations, business structures, and/or the livesof invented individuals.- Peter Hill, 1989
The project was also presented as a performance at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
“The Phoenix Project is about how we are going to cope with the changes that are coming due to the depletion of the worlds energy reserves and climate change. Unfortunately these changes will not be gradual enough to allow easy transition so some of us are going to have to make the changes ourselves without waiting for the government to do it for us. The Utopia Experiment was established by Dr. Dylan Evans, a well- known psychologist and lecturer at the West Of England University to see how people could organise themselves into communal groups to cope with life in the future. He then quit the project, and some volunteers continued to build on it through the Phoenix Project.” http://www.phoenixproject.org.uk/As part of the ongoing work around Ark.Inc, Jon spent some time at the Utopia Experiment / Phoenix Project inthe slopes of Scotland.
Making bio-diesel at the Utopia Experiment / Phoneix Project
Wrote a paper with Benedict Singleton that was presented at the Changing the Change Conference, Turin.
How do you: Introduce critical thinking to a market driven world? Combining commercial designs practices with critical design aspirations, in an attempt to get under the radar?Using ‘traditional’ design methods such as personas to expand upon the superﬁction.
Example of responses to youtube videos and one page site:Already receiving loads of requests and letters from people who want to join the Ark Collective. Wondering how toincorporate these requests, whilst communicating the idea of Ark as superﬁction, and being ethical?
Some current questions:- How real & far do you take it?- What are the ethical implications?- What are the legal implications?
Distinctions: - “be realistic” = submit your ideals to the consensus of assumptions about how the world works. “this is how it is” - “be pragmatic” = understand the consensus reality and ﬁnd ways to apply your ideals to it. “this is how I’m tying to change it”Some of the things students working on similar themes need to consider
Challenge Assumptions- Challenge your assumptions- Challenge societies’ assumptions- Bash your head on them- Look around them and what’s there.- Turn them upside down.
Jon Ardern: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.ark-inc.info