“If utopia is to come, it must exist already.”
—Ursula K. Le Guin
Culture I/O is a platform for utopian ideas founded by filmmaker Stefan Kubicki and a small group of collaborators during the global pandemic of 2020.
Conceived of as a “utopian skunkworks”, it’s driven by a conviction that the current decade will be a uniquely turbulent and transformative one—and that small groups of determined people, with access to the right levers, will have a say in whether that transformation is for better or worse.
As a utopian undertaking, Culture I/O takes a cue from Murray Bookchin’s lecture at the Toward Tomorrow Fair in 1978:
The simple fact now is that I’m not only not an environmentalist, I’ve got some hot news—I’m not a futurist. I’m not a futurist at all. I’m a utopian. I want to see this word revived. I want to see us use it. I want to see us think utopian. Not think futurism.
With utopia as both destination and point of departure, Culture I/O mines traces of our utopian past, maps the towering obstacles ahead (along with the dystopian shadows they cast), and explores the pieces of it already around us, working to bridge the gap between what is and what could be.
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Culture I/O transmits from Los Angeles—the last city. California’s many flirtations with utopia (and its mostly opposite results) are a story we’ll keep returning to.
This is just the beginning, friends. ☼