Play Scenario's of the Past, Present and Future

2016, Artist Workshop, Turner Contemporary, Margate (UK)

You are a game was a workshop held over three weeks at Turner Contemporary where people were invited to work together through worldbuilding and storytelling in order to reimagine and re-play scenarios of alternative realities outside of, or parallel to, living memory. How can we possibly imagine beliefs, actions, events or games that are outside our lived experiences? When a game is passed on over generations does anything change about the character of the play that occurs? Can an excavation of the past include a mining of the conditions of the present time and be deployed as scenarios for imagining the future?

Engaging people in a series of group discussion based workshops that involved roleplay techniques that explored our capacity as individuals to work together to pass on knowledge from memory and expand the politics of future storytelling.

Starting in research on the broader topic of play throughout all aspects of daily life and working through these musings via planned Scenario building. The goal of these workshops was to invite subjective speculation and the human play-character into the equation of examining the future and the past. The w

orkshops were partly based upon the speculative narrative structures of Herman Kahn's Scenario-building, the writing's of Dutch Anthropologist Johan Huizinga, pencil and paper role-playing systems (e.g. Dungeons and Dragons), the interactivity and phenomenological aspects of LARP (Live Action Role Play), John Conway's 'The Game of Life' and the self-regulatory procedures of Peter Suger's, political game without rules, 'Nomic'.

A scene from the tools deployed for the interactive roleplaying workshop inviting people to communally imagine the use of play and games in different realities through the use of written exercises, roleplaying and scenario building.

Presentation of the work that was made during the workshops, open to the public