April 14, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra
Sometimes, reality can be a bit much to take. The world piles up around us and we lose a little perspective; we look with less awe on the universe around us and search for something else – something better. Fiction is an escape from that. It’s a little vacation from reality that should, if it does its job, leave us refreshed and with a renewed perspective on the universe we live in. Today’s project is a work of fiction – or rather, fictions – that is definitely doing a good job of making us look twice at the world around us.
A Guidebook of Alternative Nows is a collection of over 30 visionaries who toy with perception. In the legacy of great fiction, they construct fantasies that tip-toe along the line of incredibility and force us to do a double-take. Groups like The Yes Men, The Critical Art Ensemble, and the Howling Mob Society have come together in collaboration to reflect on all the tall tales they’ve told and the truths behind each lie.
With particular fervor since the financial crisis erupted in 2008, however, creative movers and shakers, with stars in their eyes and dirt under their fingernails, have been dreaming up projects and ideas in the areas of ecology, economy, community, urban design, and food. These propositions range from witty to earnest, from utopian to pragmatic. Bursting with street-smart optimism, what they share is belief in the possibility of creating versions of now not yet fully manifest.
This book is more than a chronicle of past pranks – it’s inspiration for capers to come. Attention-grabbing, thought-provoking capers that all serve to shake bystanders and witnesses into alertness – pulling on imaginations and maybe, just maybe, bringing daydream of a better world to waking life. Fiction, to me, is more than story-telling, because a good story is sewn together with fibers of reality – it resonates through what we imagine might be possible. This project is full of possibilities and I hope you’ll join me in seeing them and more to come by backing this project before May 3.