Full Circle is a series of docu-animations that serves as an exemplary pilot to an experimental format of presenting facts, exploring the multifaceted realms of fictionality. While facts serve as the cogs of this narrative, the series yields context and familiarity as poetic devices, actively treading the line between truth and fiction. The format seeks to encourage further discourse into the way we understand research, creating a bridge between hard-shelled facts and humanistic tendencies.
This particular series explores the extent to which the Moon is entangled with life on Earth. It follows a narrative paved by a combination of facts and analytical speculation with experts, creating a narrative that is generated by research. In this narrative, science is accompanied by the rhythm of life, bringing the planetary scale of the Moon down to eye level. It is exemplary of the empathetic and imaginative realm that creative formats can bring to research, while still retaining its value of truth and effecting towards fact-based discourse.
Site-specificity (Tentative) or Time-specificity
Full Circle — a Docu-Animation series about the Moon in an experimental format
1. How can facts and research be explored through new formats such as Speculative Fiction and Documentary?
2. To what extent can we push the agenda of scientific exploration such that it retains its truth value (via exploration of the topic of the Moon, but also through other prospective themes)?
3. To what extent is the Moon entangled with the Earth and those that dwell on it? (Exemplary topic)
Specifically, Full Circle aims to:
- Expand the boundaries of research-based art such that facts may retain their truth value
- Reinterpret research on exemplary subject of the Moon and its entanglement with the earth to be presented through Speculative Fiction and Docu-animation formats
- Assess the extent to which these methods align with the agenda of science and other practical causes
- Discover new methods of integrating fictional or speculative worlds into real-world settings/spaces.
- There is an important place for Speculative Fiction and Documentary in the realms of education and social reform. Rather than conventional means of understanding facts, these formats are able to invoke an added sense of empathy and critical thinking.
- Hence, many genres such as Science Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Docu-films and Docu-animations are now studied in a practical context, and often used to perpetuate discourse for real-life problems.
- There is concern surrounding representation of facts in creative formats such that there can be implications that arise from the stylised representation of said facts.
- This is commonly concerning in fact-to-fiction interpretation of violence, criminals, gender issues and abuse, such that there is sensationalist or misconstrued framing of said issues.
- There is also concern surrounding the psycho-socio manifestations of more factual formats, such as documentary, concerning traumatic events such as war
- The practical outcome of project focuses on the representation of science in creative formats, a field built on facts and truths. While science fiction, speculative fiction and some experimental documentaries tread the grey area of fact and fiction, it is not commonly recognised to have substantial educational or truth value.
- Identify truth value of various research-based artworks
- Develop a new format of presenting fact and fiction that can hold up in truth and educational value
Anticipated Contributions and Benefits of project
- This new format of research-based art has the potential to push facts into effect, encouraging discourse and invoking a more empathetic connection with the audience
- Such effect is a motivation for action, social reform and the improved knowledge and consciousness of the audience
- Benefits of this particular exemplary topic of the Moon’s entanglement of the Earth:
Both scientifically and philosophically connect us to an out of reach body that is familiar to the audience. Meld themes of fact (Time/Gravity/Size/Distance), speculation (Gravity/Quantum Entanglement), and philosophy (Existentialism/Scale/Relationships/Cultures). A topic that exemplifies how such a format could apply to other realms of research.
- 25th July: Observe format of precedent work (Speculative Fiction, Science Fiction, Documentary and permutations of it)
- 30th July: Breakdown methodology and assess truth value of precedents, hence formulating some tentative ideals to maximise potential of both fact and fiction.
- 10th August: Plan content of series and organise narrative (questions to ask) based on primary research. Subsequently, experiment with graphic and animation styles, and sound design.
- End of September: Gather interviews with experts (Science Centre, A*STAR, Centre for Quantum Technology, etc.) based on planned narrative. (Start to create animation framework)
- 1st Week of October: Organise gathered information and assess whether planned narrative is appropriate for new information gathered. Otherwise, narrative can be restructured.
- 2nd Week of October: Finalise graphic and animation style, tone of sound design and documentary, the factual information should be the basis of every part in the creative process.
- End of January: Execute practical outcome of project.
- Mid–February: Review by experts and common audience.
- End of March: Revision and compilation of final practical outcome.
Conspicuous fabrications: Speculative fiction as a tool for confronting the post-truth discourse
By Kraatila, Elise. Narrative Inquiry. 2019, Vol. 29 Issue 2, p418-433. 16p
An academic article by Social Sciences Professor in Tampere University. This article highlights the issues surrounding the ‘post-truth’ world that we live in, citing storytelling as a cause for compromise with empirical facts and our ‘shared social reality’. The gist of her argument aligns with the project aims of Full Circle, such that she believes challenges faced by speculative fiction, fantasy genres and said storytelling in the ‘post-truth’ world to be ‘meaningful communication’.
Speculative Fiction in Russia and the Alchemy of Renewal
By Vladimirskii, Vasilii. Russian Studies in Literature. 2016, Vol. 52 Issue 3/4, p274-281. 8p
A discourse by Vasilii Vladimirskii, who takes Russia as testament for the power of Science Fiction and the political conflicts it entails. This discourse was published in the journal Russian Studies in Literature, which publishes “criticism and scholarship on contemporary works and popular cultural topics as well as the classics.” The article makes note of the bureaucratic red tapes that prevent Science Fiction from flourishing in Russia, and the concerns by the Russian government that it may propagate ideas that compromise their political rhetoric.
Speculative Fiction and the Philosophy of Perception.
By Keeley, Brian L. Midwest Studies In Philosophy. Sep2015, Vol. 39 Issue 1, p169-181. 12p
An academic article by Philosophy Professor in Pitzer College, Brian L. Keeley, that provides an unconventional focus on perceptive senses. He discusses how Speculative Fiction is a translation of a “scientific image” into the “language of the manifest image” as described in American Philosopher Wilfrid Sellars’ Philosophy of Perception. The article also categorises Speculative Fiction under “humanities, fiction, and imaginative arts as a whole”. It is also understood from this article that Speculative Fiction is able bridge science and ‘commonsense self understanding’.
Accuracy and Ethics, Feelings and Failures: Youth Experimenting with Documentary Practices of Performing Reality
By Gallagher, Kathleen, Mealey, Scott, Jacobson, Kelsey, Theatre Research in Canada. Spring 2018, Vol. 39 Issue 1, p58-76. 19p.
This academic article is in line with the direction of my thesis, such that it seeks a realistic way to practice documentary. The article predominantly looks at documentary through the scope of performance and theatre, yet it identifies the same dilemma of unethical and undervalued strains of documentary among creative expression. It cites that the “uncynical praxis of failure” such that ‘provisional human truths’ are discovered through documentary practice can serve as ethical means of representing reality.
War Fantasies: Memory, Trauma and Ethics in Ari Folman’s Waltz with Bashir
By Yosef, Raz. Journal of Modern Jewish Studies. Nov2010, Vol. 9 Issue 3, p311-326. 16p.
This academic article was written by Raz Yosef, an Associate Professor of Cinema Studies at Tel Aviv University, Israel. He poses an argument about the intention of Waltz with Bashir (dir. Ari Folman, 2008) towards exploring a collective trauma and augmented memory, rather than documenting the events that happened during the First Lebanon War. The article covers a heavily discussed topic of the ethics behind representing perpetrators and victims of a war in a documentary, and the truth value behind a production of such nature.
(Working on it)
FANTASTIC PLANET — dir. Rene Laloux (1973)
WALTZ WITH BASHIR — dir. Ari Folman (2008)
APOLLO 13 — dir. Ron Howard (1995)
THE BLACK CLOUD — Fred Hoyle (1957)
Also in process of reading
2001: Space Oddity — Arthur C. Clark
Dune — Frank Herbert
Stories Vol. 2 — Ray Bradbury
The Little Prince — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Distance of the Moon — Italo Calnino
LONTAR The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction #9
The Order of Time — Carlo Rovelli
Reality Is Not What It Seems —The Journal to Quantum Gravity by Carlo Rovelli
Focus topic and formulate specific questions for interview with experts