Summer school 2022 – Softer Summer Days

Together with the artist/design collective Softer we invited participants to Elsinore so spend time together to foster radically hopeful, soft and inclusive futures by delving into various topics and themes surrounding art, technology, nature and beyond. Together we shared thoughts, feelings and knowledge using both our bodies and minds as tools for reflection. The summer school was structured around the following themes:

Seeding futures
The first theme of Softer Summer Days was 𝒮𝑒𝑒𝒹𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝒻𝓊𝓉𝓊𝓇𝑒𝓈:
Reflecting on our ways of being and practising as a process of shaping more inclusive and soft futures.

We will be planting seeds for days of reflections on both a personal and collective level. What are the cores of our practice, what inspires us to create, learn or grow? If what we do at the small scale sets the patterns for the whole system, how can ways of practising be a rebellion in itself?

Feminist world-building
The second theme of Softer Summer Days was 𝐹𝑒𝓂𝒾𝓃𝒾𝓈𝓉 𝓌𝑜𝓇𝓁𝒹-𝒷𝓊𝒾𝓁𝒹𝒾𝓃𝑔:

Imagining and creating virtual worlds with narratives that reinforce care-taking, abundance and reciprocity. Using nature as a metaphor, we will explore world-building as a tool for materialising and shaping new narratives. We will talk about how the growth of technology and the decline of nature are inseparable phenomena and how we can work for more holistic connections with the world around us.

Politics of softness
The third theme of Softer Summer Days was 𝒫𝑜𝓁𝒾𝓉𝒾𝒸𝓈 𝑜𝒻 𝓈𝑜𝒻𝓉𝓃𝑒𝓈𝓈:
Exploring how softness as a feminist strategy for change can be used to disrupt existing patriarchal structures and systems within technology and beyond.

We will talk about how to ensure that we see ourselves and our values represented in the future of technology, how we can work for a broader representation within tech and digital design, and how to use activism and communities to shape the directions of the digital sphere, its tools and images, that influence so much of our lives.

 

Worldbuilding
During our days together we worked on a collaborative world-building project that we defined together. The project is an exercise of using landscapes and ecosystems as a metaphor for imagining a collective ideal future. We integrated various media from 3D objects, physical objects, images, videos, text, sound etc depending on the skills, ideas and visions of the participants.

Three guest teachers joined us; Line Finderup Jensen, Ada ada ada and Stina Strange Thure Tobiasen, giving amazing talks about their own artistic practice and providing practices and inspiration we could use for our collective project and individual practices moving forward.

Pictures from the joint workshops and co-creation processes can be seen below:

Softer Summer Days is supported by the European Union – Creative Europe