Dear Guerilla Science, 

and friends, advisors, collaborators and other good folk...

 
 

We're a group of scientists, artists, technologists and performers that think there are new and better ways of doing things in the 21st century.

We help people understand what's on the frontiers of science and technology, and what it means for human progress. 

Our mission is to foster intelligent, optimistic thinking about the future, and to empower people to contribute to it.

We love science, we love art, and we would like to apply for this residency!

 

We're science communicators from Melbourne, Australia, and we want to share optimistic, evidence-based stories with the rest of the world.   

Incredible things are happening on our planet. Diseases are being eradicated, war is decreasing, clean energy is exploding, millions are being lifted out of poverty and billions are gaining access to the greatest information resource humanity has ever known. We can unravel quantum mechanics, use artificial intelligence to break down language barriers, cut and paste our own DNA and we’re taking bold new steps into space.

But we’re not hearing a lot about it

We believe that science and technology are bringing about a world that is more peaceful, transparent and abundant. We use cutting-edge research, music, art and interactive experiences to share that story. We pull together, sift through and select mind-blowing stories and communicate them in a way that’s entertaining, smart and accessible.

We've been doing this for three years. We've presented to everyone from NASA, to Fair Trade, the FBI and Greenpeace. We've appeared at festivals like Rainbow Serpent, WOMAD and Splendour in the Grass. And our work has appeared on the BBC, ABC, the Independent UK and Quartz.

We're a pretty diverse bunch. Our backgrounds range from politics, biology and economics to design, poetry, art and music (you can see our bios over here). We're also cabaret performers, yogis, sailors, mountain bikers, Burners and extremely enthusiastic but very bad dancers. 

Here's a little video of what we do  :)

 
 

 

people have said some rather lovely things about us...

The best presentation on the state of the world that I’ve seen in years.
— Molly Harris Olson | CEO, Fair Trade Australia
Future Crunch’s performance at our World of Words Stage was a hugely successful, with feedback from our audience being overwhelmingly positive about the issues covered in the presentation and the very professional, entertaining and informative way it was delivered. We highly recommend them for inclusion in a festival or event that’s looking to explain big world issues, with accurate information, while keeping it highly entertaining to boot.
— Suzanne Porter | Chief Executive, WOMAD
Hundreds of speakers have taken the stage at our events across the globe and I have been privileged to see some incredible talks over the years. Future Crunch are part of a rarified group that stand out from the rest. They use vivid imagery, humour, music, statistics and soundscapes to convey powerful and important messages that challenge you to think again about the world. This magic combination of ingredients makes them compelling storytellers and guides to an age of fundamental change.
— Peter Tullin | Co-Founder, REMIX Summits
 
 
"Music, cabaret, theatre and art are pervasive at music festivals – so why not science? We are seeking applicants interested in developing new forms of interactive installations and live events that mix science with art, music and play. We believe that games, hands-on workshops, participatory art, and immersive performances are great ways to connect with people."

 

YES! 

Yes yes yes yes.

This is exactly what we're doing here in Australia.

There's this idea in our modern day culture that rationality (science) and creativity (art) are at odds with each other. And yet the sciences are a deeply creative field. In coding and mathematics for example, there are many different creative ways to arrive at the same answer. In physics a lot of the best science is done through the same kind of highly conceptual, creative thinking used by artists. Scientists themselves describe science not as a set of facts or vocabulary to memorise or a lab report with the right answer, but as an ongoing exploration of questions we don’t have answers to.

That’s the challenge, the adventure in it

The symbiosis of science and art goes both ways

Great artists are often incredibly scientific in their approach. The work of someone like Android Jones, Yayoi Kusama or Ryoji Ikeda requires a technical proficiency that is easily the equal of a materials scientist or a cancer researcher, involving thousands of hours of hypothesis, experimentation and iteration. The same is true for the world’s best contemporary dancers, fashion designers or graffiti artists. Top scientific institutes understand this. It’s why NASA has a dedicated art studio, and why CERN’s Large Hadron Collider has an ongoing arts residency. Far from being the opposite of each other, science and art are very close cousins.

 

A year ago, we decided we needed more art in our science. We started collaborating with Will Tait, the lead singer of a pirate gypsy punk folk band called 8 Foot Felix.

Here's what happened the first time he joined us.

That was version 1.0.

We're already doing better.


Now we have an idea for a new kind of show


A seamless blend of science, live music, poetry and visuals that tells an evidence-based, optimistic story about the world that most people don't get to hear.

We want to connect people with science in new ways, and create a dynamic, interactive, life-affirming experience that  will entertain, challenge and amaze. A mind-blowing journey through multiple scientific breakthroughs, disruptive technologies and social advancements that are creating a new narrative for mankind. 

We want to show people how our cognitive biases distort our view of the world, making us feel unnecessarily pessimistic, and prevent us from achieving our true potential. We want to use gold-plated science, inspiring poetry, audience participation and high quality art to give people a renewed sense of hope, purpose, and commitment.

We want to stay in people's minds long after the last bit of staging has been packed down and the last bit of moop has disappeared from the site.

 

A cancer researcher, a musical philosopher-poet and a political economist on stage, together. We've tried it a few times and the results have been magical.

We want to bring that magic to the Eclipse, and we'd love your help

 
  • Want to know how we think? We've written a lot about it. 
  • You can find all our contact details over here.
  • We don't wear lab coats. Ever.
  • We'd need help with getting our musical equipment over to the US. But once that's done the budget is pretty lean, no special stuff required. 
  • We've got the whole visas thing covered.
  • We're passionate about festivals. Rainbow Serpent, Boom Festival, Eclipse 2012, Burning Man, Afrika Burn, Burning Seed, Origin, Symbiosis. We've been to all of them. 
  • We're part of a crew called Kamp Kraken here in Australia. We run a pop up pirate tavern called the Slippery Tentacle at our regional Burn. It's an interactive, performance based space and it's pretty fun. 

Congratulations on this awesome program. Regardless of whether our application is successful or not we love what you're doing and are happy to help in any way we can. You're speaking our language! 

Gus, Tane and Will

 
Dear Future Crunch,

Thank you.

Thank you for helping someone, who spent a year and a half eyeball-deep in the muck that is our 24 hour news media, to take a deep breath and foster an optimistic view of the world. A view of the world that, I would argue, is truer than the doom and gloom to which my fellow countrymen seem to willingly expose themselves.

For a time, I thought the world had seen its better days and that we were all hurtling towards our shitty, nasty, long, protracted end. Creativity dried up. Happiness seemed untrustworthy. The bluest of skies seemed mocking. Now there has been a reversal. I’m free of that imprisonment. And I have you to thank for that. Keep up the good work. At the very least, this American is listening.
— Michael Benton