Rcon 26 Solarpunk and Eco-Futurism Friday 6pm





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Published on Jul 13, 2015

Tapers Note: Focus is off in this video, sorry! I had auto focus on and it focused on the front row instead of the panelists

Readercon 26
July 9-12, 2015
Burlington Marriott, Burlington, Massachusetts.


82. 6:00 PM ENL Solarpunk and Eco-Futurism. Michael J. Daley, Michael J. Deluca, Jeff Hecht, Rob
Kilhefer, Romie Stott (leader). In August 2014, Miss Olivia Louise wrote a Tumblr post proposing the creation
of a new subgenre: solarpunk. Solarpunk, sometimes called eco-futurism, would be set in a semi-utopian future
visually influenced by Art Nouveau and Hayao Miyazaki, and built according to principles of new urbanism
and environmental sustainability—an “earthy” handmade version of futuretech, in opposition to the slick,
white, spacebound surfaces of 1980s futurism. Solarpunk blogs have since proliferated, as Tumblr users like
SunAndSilicon create and aggregate concept art and brainstorm solarpunk’s technological and societal shifts,
enthusiastically building a shared-world fandom with no single owner or defining central text. For some, building
solarpunk is an escapist fantasy. Meanwhile, in San Francisco there have been meatspace conventions to develop
some kind of manifesto, with the hope of eventually moving realworld society in a solarpunk direction. What, if
any, are the precursors to this kind of grassroots genre creation? Is it an inevitable outgrowth of fan-funded niche
publishing through crowdfunding? Is solarpunk’s locavore pro-tech optimism in the face of climate change a
distinctly Millenial backlash to Gen-X dystopias? And can the inevitable contradictions of a crowdsourced utopia
survive the rigors of critical reading?

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