“The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed”. - William Gibson
Comparative Imaginary Design is a seminar and multimedia platform for investigation of the transhistorical, cross-cultural and civilisational links between worlds-making mythographies, utopias, dystopias and other forms of socio-political imaginary. The term “the Imaginary”which is used in the title of this seminar was introduced by philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis as a a basic conception of the world and man's place in it. The narrative, euhemerian, political, moral and other categories of similarities within the narratives of Sumerian Enûma Eliš, Hesiod’s Theogony, Old and New Testaments, Norse sagas, Celtic Lebor Gabála Érenn, More’s “Utopia”, Finnish Kalevala, national myths, ideologies and other works of the mythographers, self- and crowd-proclaimed prophets, authors, epic poets and ideologists are analysed using transdisciplinary methods of research. Narratology, lexicography, theology, literary criticism and political theory are among the disciplines that contribute to the foundations of the seminar. What are the components of the successful world-making and effective, contaminative scenographics that allow the structures of imaginary to proliferate and spill over, shaping the material anthropology? Joseph Campbell’s research work on the concept of hero’s journey and Károly Kerényi’s analysis of Dionysus transcultural and cross-geographical transformations are exemplary.
Deriving from the inspirations drawn from historical mythographies scenographic fictional worlds such as The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Star Trek, The Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Matrix and other works of the Wachowskis, among others, are also in the scope of the seminar focus. The phenomenal viralisation of the popular culture and media with the elements of ethical, moral and political constructs introduced within the fictional worlds echoes the impact of the historically achieved by mythography, religion and political ideology, therefore allowing us to trace the universality of world-making methods.
The seminar and lectures has taken place in Fire Station Artists’ Studios in (Dublin, IE) and Mimosa House (London, UK).