Speculative Tourism

Created with Mushon Zer Aviv. In collaboration with Milana Gitzin Adiram.

Speculative Tourism is a collection of audio tours through the futures of cities. We now have a website! you can check it out here.

Speculative Tourism is an international project that operates at the crossroads of science fiction, historical tourism, Augmented Reality and local action. Our goal is freeing the political imagination, while shedding light on local identities and reacquainting ourselves with our lived environments; we use fiction and speculation to reveal different ways of taking responsibility for our habitats and our future. Speculative Tourism is also our response, as digital designers, to current trends in Augmented Reality technologies.
 

We create audio tours from the future. In each iteration, we conduct an extensive writing workshop with local talents and guide them through a series of exercises to imagine their own speculative futures for the local region, and to narrate them as personal tours in the actual local environment. We record those tours and place them in a geo-locative mobile app, that is made available to anyone who visits the tour locations.

Since 2017 we held many workshops in various events and institutions, and produced tours in 3 locations: Jerusalem (2017), New London (2018), and Arad (2018).

More details below:

Speculative Tourism: Jerusalem

Jerusalem lives and breathes the history of its rich and glorious past days. In fact it sometimes feels impossible to even think of Jerusalem in terms of the present, let alone the future. But the city’s future does not only concern the diverse communities of its residents. Jerusalem’s future is a critical facet of the whole region’s future, and possibly the world at large.

50 years after the war that reunited the city and further divided its inhabitants, we look 50 years into the future and embark on multiple guided tours through Jerusalem’s futures. A (ethnically, genderly, religiously, politically...) diverse group of authors guide audio tours through their own speculative future Jerusalems. Each tour features multiple locations in the future city. Our tour guides write and record audio guides for each of these locations. Each of the tours is made available to our tourists through a dedicated mobile app. To discover the future, the tourists will have to physically visit each future tourist spot. Only then will the future tour unravel, exposing its unique speculative narrative.

How would elderly Mark Zuckerberg and family say goodbye to Jerusalem before leaving to Mars? Is the redemption really as desirable as we pray it is? How would a "birthright trip" for Palestinian diaspora youth might look like? What if we divided the city to over and under-ground? And maybe the messiah is not really a man? Neither a woman?
 

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On May 7th, 2017 we held a tour+workshop for our first group of authors in the Hansen Center in Jerusalem. Some of our current authors are:
 
Yael Bartana (artist), Yuli Khromchenko (activist, Two States One Homeland), Racheli Ibenboim (Orthodox Jewish feminist activist), Emily Amrusy (journalist), Sarah Beninga (activist, artist), Sarah Blau (author, playwright, actress), Boaz Lavie (author) and more…
 
Here's a photo from our first speculative writing workshop:

We launched our pilot in Hansen House on June 11, 2017, as part of the Jerusalem Design Week events program. After an intro lecture, audiences went to the streets and followed the different tours, using their personal devices:

The tours are available online for mobile devices (see link at the top of this page).

Speculative Tourism: New London

Speculative Tourism: New London was conducted as part of Intersections: the 16th Biennial Symposium on Arts and Technology at Connecticut College’s Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology in February 2018. The tours, created by teams of students and local community members, were presented as an installation at the biennial exhibition in the Hygienic Art gallery and will be made available online sometime in the near future.

Speculative Tourism: Arad

Speculative Tourism: Arad was conducted as part of ZUMO's Mobile Museum in November 2018. The tours were created by local community members and are available online for mobile devices (see link at the top of this page).