DAY 3     April 3

Guided Apophenia
& The Wonder Machine 

The Interactions Group, Reed Berkowitz


The Wonder Machine

Time: 3pm CEST
Time commitment: 1.5hrs

An exercise in collective and continuous inquiry. The ‘Wonder Machine’ is an Oracle that runs on/produces questions. Expect no concrete statement or predictions. In the collective mind one question will echo as a multitude of new ones. And in this rhythmic expression of wonder and doubt, a web of connected intuitions emerges. Become entangled.


Building Your Own Conspiracy Theory

Time: 4:45pm CEST
Time commitment: 1.5hrs
Requirements: tba
Where do conspiracy theories come from and how do they work? Why do they have such a hold on us?  Conspiracy theories are a dangerous phenomenon with major impact on our modern world, but at their heart, they are simply fiction.

One of the best ways to understand something is to build it. That’s what we’ll be doing in this hour-long hands-on workshop.

First, we’ll look at some famous, mindfully created, conspiracy theories and legends.  We’ll take a look at how they were created and examine why they had the impact they did.
Then participants will dig in and together we’ll create our own conspiracy theory.  We’ll use apophenia, correlation, attention bias, collaborative storytelling, and other techniques to craft a bespoke conspiracy theory or two.
Learn to be sneaky, ridiculous, and trick people for educational purposes!  Can we create a compelling conspiracy theory?  Join us and find out.

Reed Berkowitz   

Reed Berkowitz is a media professional with 25+ years of experience designing, writing, and researching award-winning interactive experiences for some of the best entertainment companies and brands in the world including Universal Studios, Paramount, Cartoon Network, Peanuts, Sanrio (Hello Kitty), and many more. He has helped create AR apps, ARGs, immersive theater experiences, websites, movies, educational video games, and more. His recent analysis of QAnon and related conspiracy theories has been featured on NPR, New Yorker Radio Hour, Al Jazeera, and many other media outlets.

The Interactions Group

The InterActions is an transdisciplinary ‘thought band’ of roughly 20 artists, scientists and philosophers who together explore the weird and wonderful folds in the dimensions of all possible collective thought through playful experiments that distribute thinking across many people and embrace emergence at the level of the collective mind, to experience what new hybrid forms of thought may be generated by studying and intervening in multi-individual thinking networks, and collective human algorithms. The Interactions is an nomadic autonomous group with affiliations to the Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Amsterdam (where the group began) and Center Leo Apostle, Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Regular contributors include: Orion Maxted, Katarina Petrović, Renske Vroomans, Enrico Sandro Colizzi, Izabelė Jonušaitė, Sára Iványi, Marie Groothof, Cadell Last, Roland Kupers, Carina Erdmann, Esmee Geerken, Mirko Lazović, Andrew Wass, Marielle Pelissero.  

Keywords: Collective thought, Collective Intuition, Collective
computation, Collective organisation, complexity science, cybernetics, interaction, algorithmic theatre,