Worlds Apart. Above the Level of the Everyday: The Estranging and Familiar Worlds of Simon Stålenhag


Luna's fifth Call for Papers, Worlds Apart: Worldbuilding in Fantasy and Science Fiction is now in pre-order and will be released on Tuesday 27th of July. Here is a chance to discover the 14 brilliant papers you will find in the book in the order they appear.

Today, we would like to introduce you to Kevin Cooney, presenting the paper: "Above the Level of the Everyday: The Estranging and Familiar Worlds of Simon Stålenhag"

Abstract:

Science fiction draws the participant into worlds strange and new, but sometimes familiar and intimate. While many theories seek to explain or define the genre cognitively or emotionally, I believe the artist is at the nexus of Bertolt Brecht’s Verfremdung—the defamiliarisation effect—where the viewer is detached from the familiar only to be reconnected in a provocative new way. Swedish digital artist Simon Stålenhag subverts naturalist or landscape painting by inserting advanced technology into the fictionalised environment of the 2015 art-book Tales from the Loop. Stålenhag portrays the familiar places or objects of everyday life only to disrupt them with disorientating juxtapositions or injections of seemingly incongruous objects.Through naturalistic worldbuilding, science fiction is freed from the shackles of techno-fetishism or sterile detachment, demanding the viewer rethink the world they know in ambitious, strange ways. In a sense, Stålenhag is science fiction’s first naturalist painter.

Kevin Cooney is an expert in human ecology and graduate of Harvard University. An independent scholar, freelance writer, and ecocritic, his interest in environmental issues and associated subjects embedded in uncanny and estrangement stories of horror and science fiction propels his work and analysis.

Worlds Apart: Worldbuilding in Fantasy and Science Fiction

is now in pre-order!

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