When I was at Unsound Festival last week I bumped in to Journalist Jacobo García from Spain based Clot Mag. He told me over the deafening noise of Dreamcrusher that an article based on an interview I did with him at Sonar+D Festival was now online.
According to Jay Springett, one of the most regarded SolarPunk theorists, there is a set of cardinal differences between SolarPunk and traditional Sci-Fi. Solar Punk is born on the internet and it’s developed there, without a central authority or a literary canon defining the background and rules of the universe. Only a small corpus of books have been printed, mostly collections of short stories. Being originated on the internet, the visual component is as important as the writing itself. Browsing through SolarPunk dedicated websites, Tumblrs and forums one can observe a mixture of real-life images taken out its usual context. Stills from movies and video-games, every imaginable type of fan-art -even sketches and designs – all put together framing a concept-art narrative.‘Solar Punk, a framework for hopeful futures’ by Jacobo García
Right now, SolarPunk kind of lives in financial limbo, still underground. But given its horizontal and open ethos (where everybody can contribute by starting its own website), there is a real concern of losing the central values of the genre. It’s not difficult to imagine a literary company appropriating it for-profit or a video-game being released using the catchy name, eliminating on its way the defining values of SolarPunk.
What I hope comes across in the article is how I think of Solarpunk as a Memetic engine. It’s a world first, a set of books, and narratives second.
Here’s a slide I’ve previously posted from my talk at Unsound:
You can read the whole thing here