The second photobash in what I hope will be a series; a bit larger and more visually interesting than the first. I’ve started thinking of these as 'postcards from a solarpunk future.’ They might not show the width and breadth of this world, but nice scenes of what this fictional solarpunk society would consider aspirational, or values worth showing off.

I feel that for a genre/movement with such a focus on intentionality, there’s a lot of AI art setting the tone online, along with a tendency to accept anything that looks partway futuristic and green, even if it’s a massive cityscape or sort of generically utopian. I want to try to pull the visual aspect towards a more lived-in, human future that sets out to show possibilities/options.

My goals for this one were pretty simple: I wanted to show a setting where cars are no longer the priority, and to show that a solarpunk society will embrace new technology and infrastructure where it’s a good use of limited resources (in contrast to the focus on reusing what’s here that I’m trying to include in other images). I also wanted to show that there’s room for more than one solution (and more than one kind of lifestyle) as with the bicyclist towing a kind of traditional-looking wagon.

As with the other photobashes, there are ruins in this scene. One of my overarching goals is to keep these pictures from looking utopian or like some kind of scratch-built future. Things will be messy, resources will be scarce, and tasks will go undone. As in our world, the debris of abandoned projects will pile up around human society, no matter how good its intentions are. I’m pessimistic enough to see bad times ahead, but I want to emphasize in these that that doesn’t mean giving up. For me, that’s a big part of the appeal of solarpunk, that the people in it keep working to mitigate the damage at any level they can access, and will try to rebuild more deliberately, carefully when they can. So these scenes are a little postapoclyptic, with hopefully a more inclusive, vibrant, and colorful society on the other side.

  • Lilnino@beehaw.org
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    10 months ago

    Cool project. I always like videos or pictures that use things like ruins to suggest a larger story or past struggles, but isn’t the main focus of the scene. I like the mystery and to imagine different histories that lead to that moment.

    • JacobCoffinWritesOP
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      10 months ago

      Thanks! I have a longtime fondness for postapolcyptica, and I think I see solarpunk as the more positive, cooperative-minded alternative to a lot of the stuff I grew up reading. Personally, I think the most likely solarpunk society is something that emerges during/after the crumbles, when the state and corporations are less able to flatten alternatives to the status quo because the status quo itself is fading. I think a lot of my emphasis on reuse and simply using less unfortunately make the most sense if there’s just less to go around. And like I said, I want to focus on the idea that we’ll keep rebuilding, and there’s hope in that.

      My in-progress stories are probably too postapocalyptic to qualify as solarpunk, but something transitional might not be a bad thing to have either.