For Media Theory and Perspectives I chose two options, one of which is Design Fictions and Other Worlds. For this essay we can take two approaches and I have decided to choose the first in which I need to imagine a future/ other worldly communication device and describe (in 1000 word equivalent) a scenario in which this device I have imagined will be used.
I started looking further into the different futuristic worlds we could create, the main ones being Dystopian and Utopian. Utopian is a type of ‘paradise’ world “it traces the genealogy of ideal, planned societies as envisaged from Plato to science fiction. The appeal and the resonances are obvious and rather powerful: religious roots in paradise, political roots in socialism, economic roots in communes, and so on.”- Gordin, M., Tilley, H. and Prakash, G. (2010). Utopia/dystopia. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, Part 1, Chapter 1, p.1. Dystopia is not the opposite of a Utopia, that would involve it being a deliberate or completely unplanned attempt at making a world terrifying and awful. Rather Dystopia “is a utopia that has gone wrong, or a utopia that functions only for a particular segment of society.” – (Gordin, Tilley and Prakash, 2010)
Michel Foucault uses the term heterotopia to describe places and spaces that function in non-hegemonic conditions. Heterotopia is considered to be the third space. It can be said that “heterotopia embodies the tension between place and non-place” – Dehaene, M. and Cauter, L. (2008). Heterotopia and the city. London: Routledge, p.5.
I was interested in looking into heterotopia further to try and develop an idea for a futuristic communication device. I was particularly interested in ‘Heterotopias of deviation’ which are institutions we place individuals whose behaviour is outside the norm such as asylums, prisons, cemeteries. I could design a device to communicate with the deceased or a device to communicate with a world which seems better than the place you are in but still somehow the same.