July 2021

Trakal: Magical Materialism: The World Factory

Blend&Bleed: On Transreality and Pervasive Play

Trakal looks at world-building as a literary practice in the tradition of utopian writing. Today, world-building is employed in all kinds of media to depict science-fiction universes. The average world-building project zooms in from the planetary level to the subjectivities that interpret the world by way of the lenses of the empirical sciences: from geology to ecology, biology to physics, political science to anthropology. Trakal’s approach to world-building works instead from the inside out, taking as an ignition point the subject’s imaginary and the effects of alienation that separate it from its ontological home world. This split demarcates a place of radical alterity vis-à-vis the world, and from within this split, alternative worlds may be extrapolated.

“Magical Materialism: World Factory” is an online world-building writing workshop that takes its cues from psychoanalysis and from Andrei Platonov’s post-socialist concept of the “literature factory.” In a series of exercises, participants role-played positions in the world factory to construct a world collectively.

Trakal, born 1988 in Dresden, Germany, is a filmmaker, writer, and participatory artist based in Berlin. Through collaborative processes, performative rituals, historical interrogation, and psychodynamic research, Trakal develops films, texts, and installations that deal with the impact that neoliberal subject-production, post-socialist processes, and surveillance technology have on the possibility of collectivity. Trakal’s work has been shown at the Museum for Photography, Berlin; Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany; Cinemateca Distrital, Bogotá; and Savvy Contemporary, Berlin, among others. Most recently, Trakal was a participant in the Whitney Independent Study Program.


00:00:40: Participant introductions
00:27:15: Workshop introduction
00:35:30: Exercise: History will repeat itself
00:50:45: Exercise: The Trace
01:08:20: Exercise: Characters of the World Factory
01:14:00: Collective reading of the World
01:30:15: Debrief

Preview image: Trakal, Magical Materialism, World Building Writing Workshop, 2020–ongoing.

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