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A science fiction–based historical novel, The Imaginary Twentieth Century is an interactive work with an original sound composition that includes more than 2,000 images culled from different visual archives. The story focuses on the whimsical adventures of a woman in the year 1901 who has four suitors, each with their own vision for the new century. The user navigates the suitors' worlds, follows Carrie on her travels, witnesses what she and her admirers notice, and experiences the era, 1893 to 1926. The project is a meta-journey of adventures and misadventures across centuries, continents, historical events and places, social memories, imaginary worlds, and utopian fantasies. Existing as an art installation and DVD-ROM with an accompanying book, this collaborative media work proposes a new approach to narrative.
Norman M. Klein is a cultural critic, media historian, and novelist. His work concentrates on how consumer spectacle and confused urban planning hide social conditions. He has expanded these interests into two series of books: one on the cultural histories of forgetting, and another on the history of special effects environments. His books include The History of Forgetting: Los Angeles and the Erasure of Memory; Bleeding Through: Layers of Los Angeles; The Vatican to Vegas: The History of Special Effects, Freud in Coney Island and Other Tales; and Seven Minutes: The Life and Death of the American Animated Cartoon. Currently, he is the author and codirector of a sci-fi media novel on how the twentieth century was imagined before it began. Entitled The Imaginary Twentieth Century, it has appeared in exhibitions in Europe, Mexico, and the United States, and will be copublished by Verso and ZKM in 2011. Klein is professor of critical studies at California Institute of the Arts.
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