nightschool.jpg

Onkar Kular & Noam Toran: Night School on Anarres

 
 
 

NIGHT SCHOOL ON ANARRES: IMAGININGS OF AN ANARCHIST UTOPIA

Night school on Anarres is an educational experiment examining the Utopian proposals of twentieth-century anarchism. Drawing from Ursula K Le Guin’s seminal sci-fi novel The Dispossessed, and focusing on her construction of the fictional anarchist planet Anarres and its language Pravic, children and members of the public were transported to an alien school to participate in language and social studies classes. Part sci-fi set, part classroom, part roundhouse theatre, the Night School on Anarres installation is a site where utopic ambitions can be collectively imagined, performed and discussed. Through novel pedagogic approaches, the installation invites travellers young and old to wander around the space and attend classes to learn about the planet's language, customs and behaviors. In so doing, the project encourages visitors to reflect upon current socio-political models with the hope of collectively imagining alternatives.

Night School on Anarres was originally commissioned by Kings College London as part of Utopia 2016, a year-long program celebrating the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s Utopia. It ran from 1st July to 14th August 2016 at Inigo Rooms, Somerset House, East Wing Strand, London,and  was developed in collaboration with Dr. Simon Coffey and Dr. Martin Edwardes from the Linguistics Department of King’s College London.

 

Onkar Kular’s research investigates how contemporary design practice, its processes, methodologies and outputs, can be used as a medium to engage with social and cultural issues. Using a range of different media to include objects, films, events, performances and installations his research is disseminated internationally through exhibitions, workshops, lectures, film festivals and publications. His work is in the collection of the CNAP, France and he has also guest curated the exhibitions Crafting Narrative for the Crafts Council UK and The Citizens Archive of Pakistan for the British Council at the Royal Festival Hall. Onkar Kular was the 2014 Stanley Picker Design Fellow at Kingston University, and is currently a Professor in Design Interventions at HDK, Gothenburg University.

Noam Toran’s work involves the creation of intricate narratives developed as a means to reflect upon the interrelations of history, memory, cinema and literature. His research-based works examine how fictions influence the collective consciousness, be it as history, myth or memory forming. This is realised through an original way of deconstructing and reconfiguring cinematic and literary codes, conventions and structures, and weaving them with historical materials, thereby complicating and questioning the divide between artefact and artifice. His work is exhibited, screened and published internationally.

Nestor Pestana is a speculative designer, animator and illustrator, currently based in London. His work explores the social and cultural impacts associated to a human desire for detachment - being from political systems, ideologies or indulged by forces that surpass our human condition. In the construction of fictional narratives exploring the links between science, art, design and technology, Pestana develops film, animation, illustration and performance. Since completing an MA, with distinction, in Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art, he has exhibited at Somerset House, the Bio-art Seoul 2015, and the Swiss Pavilion's School of Tomorrow at the Venice Architecture Biennale. His work has been acquired by the Welcome Images Collection.