Parallel Worlds

Parallel Worlds

By Ollie Palmer
World-building is a valuable tool in art and design. The ability to immerse an audience in a complete world is crucial to the framing of TV shows and movies; corporations, nations, political parties, theatrical productions, and futurists all engage in ‘world-building’. What can artists and designers learn from world-building to enhance and augment their own practice? This is the podcast which accompanies the course at parallel.olliepalmer.com
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Week 5 Bonus and update
This is a bonus episode, to update you with the plans for the rest of this podcast. Full transcript available here. 
04:11
June 8, 2020
Week 5 Episode 2: Exercises - your worst review
Today we're being mean on ourselves, writing the worst review possible for our own work.  Full show notes, transcription and exercises at parallel.olliepalmer.com/podcast
24:00
May 12, 2020
Week 5 Episode 1: Exercises - your best review
Today we're reflecting on our immediate surroundings, then writing the ideal review of your work.  Full show notes, transcription and exercises at parallel.olliepalmer.com/podcast
28:23
May 12, 2020
Week 4 Episode 5: Interview with Amy Butt, part 2
Today we talk to Amy Butt, architect, lecturer, design tutor in architecture, and independent researcher. But today we’re talking about Amy’s other passion – science fiction. This is part two of a two-part podcast! It will make more sense if you've already listened to part 1. 😀️ If you want to read up on any of the subjects touched upon here, we talk about: Novels / Short stories: Pamela Zoline (1988) The Heat Death of the Universe JG Ballard (1975) High Rise Moshin Hamid (2017) Exit West Doris Lessing (1974) Memoirs of a Survivor Kim Stanley Robinson (2017) New York 2140 (and briefly Three Californias Trilogy!) Octavia Butler (1993) Parable of the Sower Chen Qiufan (2013) The Waste Tide N. K. Jemisin (2013) The Fifth Season (book one of the Broken Earth trilogy) Essays / Theory: J. G. Ballard (1962) “Which way to inner space”, New Worlds, #118 Kodwo Eshun (2003) ‘Further Considerations on Afrofuturism’ The New Centennial Review, Volume 3, Number 2 - (quoted -  “Assemble counter memories that contest the historical archive”) Kodwo Eshun (1998) More Brilliant than the Sun (book on the music of Afrofuturism) Dan Hassler-Forest (2014) “The Politics of World-Building: Heteroglossia in Janelle Monáe's Afrofuturist WondaLand” Para-doxa Volume 26 Kathleen Spencer (1983) ‘"The Red Sun Is High, the Blue Low": Towards a Stylistic Description of Science Fiction’ Science Fiction Studies, Vol. 10, No. 1 Darko Suvin (1979) Metamorphoses of Science Fiction: On the Poetics and History of a Literary Genre Many thanks to Amy for taking the time to talk to us! Full show notes at parallel.olliepalmer.com/podcast
28:55
May 8, 2020
Week 4 Episode 4: Interview with Amy Butt, part 1
Today we talk to Amy Butt, architect, lecturer, design tutor in architecture, and independent researcher. But today we’re talking about Amy’s other passion – science fiction. This is part one of a two-part podcast! Please listen in again tomorrow for more of our conversation.   If you want to read up on any of the subjects touched upon here, we talk about:  Novels / Short stories: Pamela Zoline (1988) The Heat Death of the Universe JG Ballard (1975) High Rise Moshin Hamid (2017) Exit West Doris Lessing (1974) Memoirs of a Survivor Kim Stanley Robinson (2017) New York 2140 (and briefly Three Californias Trilogy!) Octavia Butler (1993) Parable of the Sower Chen Qiufan (2013) The Waste Tide N. K. Jemisin (2013) The Fifth Season (book one of the Broken Earth trilogy)  Essays / Theory:  J. G. Ballard (1962) “Which way to inner space”, New Worlds, #118  Kodwo Eshun (2003) ‘Further Considerations on Afrofuturism’ The New Centennial Review, Volume 3, Number 2 - (quoted -  “Assemble counter memories that contest the historical archive”)  Kodwo Eshun (1998) More Brilliant than the Sun (book on the music of Afrofuturism)  Dan Hassler-Forest (2014) “The Politics of World-Building: Heteroglossia in Janelle Monáe's Afrofuturist WondaLand” Para-doxa Volume 26  Kathleen Spencer (1983) ‘"The Red Sun Is High, the Blue Low": Towards a Stylistic Description of Science Fiction’ Science Fiction Studies, Vol. 10, No. 1  Darko Suvin (1979) Metamorphoses of Science Fiction: On the Poetics and History of a Literary Genre  Many thanks to Amy for taking the time to talk to us! Full show notes at parallel.olliepalmer.com/podcast
34:19
May 7, 2020
Week 4 Episode 3: Exercises: Synthesis
Today we're synthesising work from Week 2, Episode 5 with the list we made yesterday! Full transcript and exercises available at the Parallel Worlds website. Enjoy! 
30:00
May 6, 2020
Week 4 Episode 2: Exercises (a list of things)
This episode contains two exercises:  - A 5 minute free write / free-speak / free draw / free something, to record the here and now, or to let your mind wander - A 10 minute exercise to - make a list of ‘things’ which have an underlying concept, from any area of human culture. You could list films, TV shows, books, poems, soap operas, operas, songs, games – whatever they are, make sure you can summarise their key concepts in a sentence or two. Full show notes, exercise and a transcript available at the Parallel Worlds website.
19:39
May 5, 2020
Week 4 Episode 1: Listening to Six House Parties by Ross Sutherland
This episode we're mixing it up a little, and listening to a story from another podcast! This episode features Ross Sutherland’s story Six House Parties, which is part of his podcast Imaginary Advice. You can also listen to the original story on Soundcloud, but I really recommend you subscribe to Imaginary Advice with your favourite podcast app!   Many thanks to Ross for letting us use this segment. A full transcript of Ollie’s part of this episode is available at the Parallel Worlds website.
32:51
May 4, 2020
Week 3 Episode 6: Conversation with Sarah Lugthart
This week, I speak to Sarah Lugthart from the Master Institute of Visual Cultures about her work on the Immersive Storytelling minor, techniques from the world of immersive theatre and audio, and some general ideas about prototyping experiences. For notes including references to the works we discuss, and a (not-quite-perfect) transcript, visit the Parallel Worlds site at parallel.olliepalmer.com. 
38:23
April 16, 2020
Week 3 Episode 5: Exercises
Full transcript and exercises available at the Parallel Worlds website! Today's exercises: - Self-reflection free write (5 minutes) - Foley exercise. You are going to do the same exercise as yesterday – trying to recreate the sound you chose in multi-track audio – but today you’re going to use other objects to do it. You can’t use the original object, or anything like it. But you can choose anything else that you have to hand. Try to recreate the sound using the most opposite objects you can! For example, if your sound is wet, try to use the driest objects you have. If your sound is metallic, try using something soft like fabrics. Again, work through the elements one by one, layering the parts into a multi-track audio file.   Once you’re done, listen to the original sound, the sound you recorded yesterday, and the one you made today. What are the characteristics of each sound? How do they make you feel? Are you able to detach the making of the sound from the sound itself? Try sending the sounds to a friend and seeing what their reflection is. Can they identify the original sound without being told what it is? Could they recognise your imitations?
09:28
April 16, 2020
Week 3 Episode 4: Exercises
Full transcript and exercises available at the course website, parallel.olliepalmer.com Exercises:  - Self-reflection (5 minutes) - This exercise requires a computer, or a multitrack audio editing programme on a smartphone or tablet:   - Part one: Over the past few weeks you’ve been recording sounds from everyday life. Your task today is to find one or more of those sounds – ideally something more than a few seconds long – and listen to it very carefully. What are the identifiable parts of the sound? Try to draw a diagram of the sound, and think how you might be able to recreate that sound without using the original objects. For example, with the simple-seeming sound of filling and boiling a kettle, I have the noise of opening the lid, filling the kettle with water, closing the lid, clunking the kettle onto its stand, flicking the switch, the low frequency boil starting, the bubbling and swooshing of water, the switch clicking off. There are low frequencies, high frequencies, bits that are one off, bits that repeat. It might help to draw a diagram of the sounds (see the way that Michel Gondry broke down the song ‘Star Guitar’ in the making of the music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF0-wGbRqEs).   - Part two: Try to recreate the sound using only your mouth, and multi-track audio recording. You might need to work on this in layers, for example, making the click noises on one soundtrack, and the burbling noises on another, and so on. Top tip: if you listen to the sound using headphones, and record using another device, you can accurately mimic the timings of the original.   - Once you’re done, listen to both sounds. How good a job have you done?
11:28
April 16, 2020
Week 3 Episode 3: Exercises
Full show notes and transcript at parallel.olliepalmer.com Exercises: - Self-reflection freewrite (5 minutes) - List as many mystical objects as you can, ranging from the completely mundane to the outlandishly fantastical. We surround ourselves with objects that have special significance to us or others, which may seem irrational to an outsider. Today we’ll be creating a list of real-world and fictional objects which have special significance:   - Free write about objects that have special significance to you. Do you keep a picture in your wallet? Do you carry something someone gave you? Do you use the same thing every day? What objects around you have significance? (5 minutes)   - Make a list of objects with fictional significance or powers. You could work in several ways here: you could take objects you can see, and make up powers that they have (e.g. the pencil sharpener on my desk is forged of dragon-steel; this smartphone can actually steal souls) or make up objects and their powers (e.g. if worn, these shoes make the wearer as strong as an ox; glasses which make you ‘see the truth’), etc. If you find yourself going into detail on one object, go for it – but if you’d rather make a list, that’s also good! (5 minutes)
20:57
April 15, 2020
Week 3 Episode 2: Exercises
Full transcript and exercises available at the Parallel Worlds website! Today's exercises: - Self-reflection (5 minutes) - Artist origin stories - brainstorm. Bob Dylan was famous for telling everyone he met a different story about his background when he first arrived in New York City in the early 1960s. These built a mystique around a young man who was really the middle-class son of an electrical appliance store owner. Today we’re going to write origin stories! In 5 minutes, write as many intriguing fictitious origin stories as you can (e.g. she was raised by wolves in the Appalachian mountains, he became an artist after breaking out of prison for an unknown crime). If you get stuck, perhaps try creating silly names then working out a back-story – for example, “Old Cranky” got his name because he worked in a coalmine for twenty years hand-cranking the lift to take miners up and down. (10 minutes)
22:03
April 14, 2020
Week 3 Episode 1: Exercises
Full show notes at the Parallel Worlds website at https://parallel.olliepalmer.com/pages/podcast/w03e01-exercises.html Today's exercises:   - Self-reflection freewrite (5 minutes)   - One of the best things about small children is that they’re gullible. As a grown-up, you can tell them anything. I used to lie to my smaller siblings: “Don’t leave any toys out in the garden, they’ll be stolen by cats. Cats are always stealing things.” and “You always have a friend in the moon; if there’s a full moon, you can talk to it.” Take a few minutes to write a list of the most silly, outlandish lies you could tell small children as you can. The more absurd the better. Maybe you could start from lies that you were told when you were a child; maybe you could start by trying to explain something like gravity or the wind in a non-logical way; maybe you could just create an irrational fear of a type of animal. But take 5 minutes to come up with a list of lies to tell to small children. Think of them as baby conspiracy theories. (5 minutes)   - Choose one of these baby conspiracy theories and expand it to become a script that’s 30-40 seconds long, introducing the main ideas, their origins, and working in any necessary back-story to make your claim believable. Record this script into an audio device.
14:47
April 13, 2020
Week 3 Bonus episode: recording, feedback
This is a bonus episode! 🤠️For full show notes, including a *transcript* and 📚️more things to read, look at, and listen to, go to parallel.olliepalmer.com. For all sort of bonus fun stuff, see the resources page of the website.
20:06
April 13, 2020
Week 2 Episode 5: Exercises
More exercises! A full transcript and all episode notes, including the exercises and resources, are available at parallel.olliepalmer.com
18:49
April 3, 2020
Week 2 Episode 4: Exercises
More exercises! A full transcript and all episode notes, including the exercises and resources, are available at parallel.olliepalmer.com
07:45
April 2, 2020
Week 2 Episode 3: Exercises
More exercises! A full transcript and all episode notes, including the exercises and resources, are available at parallel.olliepalmer.com
12:27
April 1, 2020
Week 2 Episode 2: Exercises
More exercises! A full transcript and all episode notes, including the exercises and resources, are available at parallel.olliepalmer.com
14:06
March 31, 2020
Week 2 Episode 1: Exercises
This week we're progressing from writing exercises to audio exercises. A full transcript of this episode is available on the course website at parallel.olliepalmer.com. 
15:56
March 30, 2020
Week 1 Episode 6: Counterfactuals
This episode is about counterfactuals! Full show notes and transcript available at parallel.olliepalmer.com
28:08
March 26, 2020
Week 1 Episode 5: Freewriting
This is the fifth of the freewriting exercises this week. Well done for making it this far! The subjects to write about today are:  Your current situation  A change you would have made  Enjoy! :)  Let me know what you thought of the exercise, or any outcomes, via the 'messages' link below.
13:42
March 26, 2020
Week 1 Episode 4: Freewriting
This is the third of the freewriting exercises. Well done for making it this far! The subjects to write about today are: - Your current situation - "What could have been" Enjoy! Let me know what you thought of the exercise, or any outcomes, via the 'messages' link here.
14:08
March 26, 2020
Week 1 Episode 3: Freewriting
This is the third of the freewriting exercises. Well done for making it this far! The subjects to write about today are: Your current situation What could have been Enjoy! Let me know what you thought of the exercise, or any outcomes, via the 'messages' link here.
12:12
March 25, 2020
Week 1 Episode 2: Freewriting
This is the second of the freewriting exercises. The subjects to write about today are: Your current situation What could have been Enjoy! Let me know what you thought of the exercise, or any outcomes, via the 'messages' link here.
12:10
March 24, 2020
Week 1 Episode 1: Freewriting
This is the first of the freewriting exercises, introducing the concept of freewriting and two exercises to follow. The subjects to write about today are: Stuck Free Enjoy! Let me know what you thought of the exercise, or any outcomes, via the 'messages' link here.
14:38
March 23, 2020
Introduction
This is the introduction to Parallel Worlds. The podcast is supplemented by our website at parallel.olliepalmer.com, where you'll find transcripts of every episode, as well as exercises and further reading.  I refer to Tim Clare's podcast Death of 1000 Cuts in this podcast – you can find it here. It's a great introduction to writing and editing your work, I highly recommend it if you're even slightly inclined towards writing. 😀️ Welcome to the course, and enjoy! 🌍️🌍️🌍️🌍️🌍️
05:32
March 23, 2020