Bruce Sterling's Long Now talk: what it means to perform futurism

Bruce Sterling's two-hour talk/Q&A at The Interval, a club for members of the Long Now foundation, may seem like a daunting load for a holiday week, but honestly, it's worth every minute.

Sterling delves into the true meaning of "futurism," as a performative, social act, embedded in a time and place and operating on one of several layers — the pace-layers defined by Stewart Brand, which are: "Fashion/art, Commerce, Infrastructure, Governance, Culture and Nature.

Sterling's performance style — droll, dry, with some Groucho Marx mixed in with a kind of tragic poetry — is perfectly suited to this material. Sterling is actually at his best when talking about why he does the things he does — even better than he is when he's actually doing it. It's in these meta-talks that you get some insight into the gaps and out-of-focus areas where Sterling is really digging in, trying to find some new territory — as opposed to when he's performing, and describing the territory he's already thoroughly mapped.

In theory, this is going to appear on the Interval's podcast and I think that might be the best way to experience it — it's great audio for thinking about while digesting your Christmas meals and tidying up the wrapping paper.

(via Beyond the Beyond)