Last semester (Fall 2018) I was a visiting lecturer at MIT. Together with Liam Young, we ran the ‘Fear and Wonder: The Shape of the Future’ course, as part of the ‘Experiments in Pedagogy’ series at the MIT School of Architecture and Planning. ‘Fear and Wonder’ questioned what the imaginary worlds of film and fiction have to say about our own world – creating experimental short films about our contemporary realities.
 
Excited to be able to share one of the films created by our students: ‘Content’ tells the story of a post-labor society in urban and rural China, centered around a culture of streaming apps like Kuaishou.

Fiction & Entertainment WIRED Alexey Marfin Liam Young

 
Our 2017/18 graduates showreel has been featured in WIRED magazine, written up by the fantastic Bruce Sterling!
 
Showtime: SCI Arc’s Masters of Fiction and Entertainment Showreel 2017/2018
(wired.com)

Kowloon Forest Osage Gallery Premiere

Launching the 2017/18 graduates showreel from our Fiction and Entertainment Masters program at SCI-Arc!
 
Work featured in the showreel by Kordae Jatafa Henry, Lara Kobeissi, Viviane Komati, Fariba Shafiee, Te-Hsing Lu, Mohammad Solei, Rohini Jadhav, Paul Pu, Caroline Post, Ryan Yifan Wang, Michel Erler, Leah Anne Judith Lipschitz, Andre AC, Allen Zhang, Claire He. Taught by Alexey Marfin and Liam Young.
 
Applications for the 2019/20 program close on January 15. Scholarships available.

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Join us this weekend at SCI-Arc for ‘VR Film Sets’ – an exhibition of VR environments re-imagining movies from the pre-digital age.

Poster Alexey Hong Kong CityU

 
English | 中文
 

I will be giving a talk at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, on Friday 23 November at 4pm, about how cinema shapes our perception of our own world.
 
Alexey Marfin: The Neon-Lit Streets of Cinema
 
What does ‘the future’ look like? You could be forgiven for thinking of a dense neon-lit cityscape, a cross-breed of Shibuya and Kowloon Walled City, during a perpetual rainy night. But why do we have these associations? This particular vision of ‘the future’ appeared in 1980s movies because that was the rise of Japan as a superpower, during the personal electronics boom, when we walked around with Sony Walkmans, and neon signs illuminated streets across the world. Today we find ourselves in a very different society, with different hopes and fears – Japan as a rising superpower has given way to India or China, and even neon lights have been mostly replaced with LED ones – but these 1980s science-fiction cities still persist in our collective consciousness; once again confirmed in recent Hollywood blockbusters. The cities of cinema are mirrors of society at the time when they were written, but they also leave a tremendous cultural legacy for decades, shaping how we see our own world.
11月23日星期五下午四點,我將於香港城市大學創意媒體學院舉辦一個關於電影如何塑造我們對世界認知的講座。
 
馬樂思:熒幕上的霓虹街道
 
閉上眼,想象一下“未來的世界”是什麽樣的?你的腦海裏首先浮現的會不會是這樣的一個畫面,夜空中飄落著淅瀝的小雨,你站在一個高樓林立的十字路口,仿佛是澀谷和九龍城寨的混合體,四處豎立著霓虹燈的廣告牌。但是,你有沒有想過,為什麽我們都會有這樣的聯想。這種獨特的“未來的世界”的畫面第一次出現,是在1980年代的電影中。當時日本作為一個冉冉升起的新生力量,掌控著個人電子用品行業的命脈。人類世界迎來的除了索尼的隨身聽,還有霓虹燈照亮的街道。時至今日,世事變遷,日本作為超級大國的地位已然讓步給了印度和中國,霓虹燈也逐漸被LED取代。然而1980年代科幻城市的影子卻依然占據著我們的潛意識,一而再再而三的出現在今時今日的好萊塢大片螢幕中。熒幕中的城市猶如一面面鏡子,反射出作品被創作年代的社會背景,但他們同時也留下了影響深遠的文化遺產,進而塑造了我們看待自己世界的方式。

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Join us on Friday August 31st at 7pm for the final screening of our Fiction & Entertainment MA programme at SCI-Arc. We’ll be premiering short films, music videos, interactive installations, and more – the culmination of a year of hard work by our students.
 
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with guests including: Ane Crabtree, costume designer for Handmaid’s Tale; Alex McDowell, worldbuilder and production designer for Fight Club and Minority Report; Claire Evans, artist and lead singer of the band Yacht; Andrew Thomas Huang, artist and director of Bjork’s music videos; Jamin Warren, cofounder of videogame arts and culture company Kill Screen; Brian Merchant, author and editor at VICE Motherboard; Patti Podesta, production designer for American Gods; Ben West, creative director at Framestore LA; Timothy Williams, designer and animator for games film and music videos, and more. See you there!

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What does ‘the future’ look like? You could be forgiven for thinking of a neon-lit dense cityscape somewhere in Japan or Hong Kong, during a perpetual rainy night. But why do we have these associations?
 
Join us at SCI-Arc for Visions of the Future’ – an interactive exhibition of new ideas for visions of the future.

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Last week I taught at the Post-Industrial Landscapes AA Visiting School in Hong Kong. We created experimental VR scenes, video game environments, and 360° panoramic prints, from 3D scans of Hong Kong…

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Join us at SCI-Arc for ‘CGI Film Sets’ – an exhibition of CGI rendered scenes, inspired by six movies from the pre-digital era…

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Join us on Friday 1st August at 7pm for the final screening of our Fiction & Entertainment MA programme, followed by a panel discussion with guests from Framestore, Sundance, Disney Imagineering, Digital Domain and many others…