Revolutionizing the Arts: A New Collective Emerges at Arizona State University

Syllble’s Worldbuilders Program expands its artist collectives to university and college campuses around the world. This collaboration with Arizona State University’s (ASU) Center for Science and the Imagination (CSI) and Syllble brings 8 talented writers and visual artists to form an artist collective. They will create a unique shared-fictional world to imagine new possible futures. They will pitch and write stories across mediums in that shared-world.

Arizona State University has continually been ranked as one of the most innovative universities in the U.S, we’re excited to collaborate with the Center for Science and the Imagination and expand the incredible work they are pioneering around the imagination. This new collective is brimming with potential and I believe will help us see more, understand more, envision more. I am excited to welcome them into the Syllble community!Fabrice Guerrier, Founder of Syllble Studios.

At CSI we seek to inspire collective imagination for better futures. Worldbuilding is a powerful way that artists and creators can share compelling and inspiring visions of what could be. I can’t wait to see what the writers, artists and creators working in this collective build together. This is a great opportunity for ASU students to work with our amazing collaborators and imagine new visions for the future.” Ed Finn, Director of The Center for Science and the Imagination and Associate Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University (ASU).

Introducing the members of the ASU collective:

Chandler Escalante is a Master of Science in Global Technology and Development student at Arizona State University. He currently works for the Sustainable Cities Network at ASU, which is going to influence the section of the book. He would like to write about a near-future city that has converted to solar and electric powered technologies, but only middle and upper class people can afford them, and the rich oligarchic government prevents lower class citizens from having access to these different technologies. The storyline would follow a poorer person who still has to use outdated gas/coal powered tech, which contributes to polluted air, water, etc. How are they going to make the cleaner tech more accessible? How is this near future city different from the present? These will be the questions that he tackles.

Libbie Farrell is a second year Masters student in the Global Technology and Development Program at Arizona State University. She has spent her tenure at ASU exploring various topics including complex adaptive systems, environmental sovereignty, and the social impact of offline digital learning programs. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Timor-Leste from 2019-2020 working on climate change mitigation strategies with a local NGO. Some common threads through her work are participatory action, the interface of human-nature relationships, and the value of reciprocity. Outside of her academics and work, Libbie enjoys rock climbing and hiking with friends, spending time with her partner and cat, and making bread and soup.

Dr. Jenna Hanchey has been an actress, particle physicist, Peace Corps volunteer, and afterschool-space-program teacher. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Critical/Cultural Studies and Senior Global Futures Scholar at Arizona State University. Her research looks at how speculative fiction can imagine decolonization and bring it into being. Her own speculative writing tries to support this project of creating better futures for us all. Her stories appear in Nature: FuturesDaily Science FictionLittle Blue MarbleIf There’s Anyone Left, and Martian Magazine, among other venues. She’s also a podcast and audiobook narrator, and Poetry Editor at Orion’s Belt. Having once been called a “badass fairy,” she attempts to live up to the title. For this project, she’s hoping to bring decolonial and anti-racist imaginaries into writing and narrating liberatory futures. 

Madeline Henderson is earning her Master of Science in Global Technology and Development at Arizona State University. Madeline also earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with minors in Civic Education and International Studies from Arizona State University. She works as an engagement coordinator for the Center of Science and the Imagination at ASU as well as a part-time tutor for children with disabilities. She is currently co-writing a science fiction novel which includes speculative futures and worldbuilding processes for her masters thesis. She previously worked as a MEdia Arts Teacher for children in special needs education. She focused on finding more ways to incorporate creative methods of teaching children as well as inspiring her students in developing creativity and self-expression through various art forms and media.

Madeline is an artist who enjoys sketching, painting (acrylic & watercolor), and some photography. She is currently teaching herself how to create digital art through programs including Adobe Photoshop and Procreate and will be responsible for all of the digital art that will be used in her collaborative masters thesis.

Allison Hoops is a second year graduate student in the Global Technology and Development program at Arizona State University.  She worked as a Peace Corps volunteer from 2019- 2020 in the beautiful Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho where she taught high school math and life skills. From 2020 to 2021 she served in Los Angeles as an Americorps VISTA Leader supporting volunteer outreach for the food banks and pantries across 8 counties in southern California. Since starting grad school she has been interning with the SolarSPELL initiative at ASU developing their monitoring and evaluation system and supporting the partnership development between SolarSPELL and Peace Corps Lesotho. Over the last couple of months she has been supporting SolarSPELL training in Lesotho and Malawi with educators and students. She is also working on a short documentary focused on the information gaps in Lesotho’s education system and how SolarSPELL can be one part of the solution to improving the quality of education in Lesotho.

She is excited to work on the Worldbuilding project and contribute her passion and interest in futures thinking. She plan to apply her skills of principle photography, script and creative writing, as well as her academic studies in education and food systems to the project. Overall she is looking forward to the many learning opportunities within this project as well as collaborating with fellow creatives.

Karishma Kasad is a queer, Zoroastrian, woman of color finishing up her Masters in counseling psychology at Arizona State University. She is excited to be a part of the project and hopes to add to the growing literature reflecting feminist, anti-capitalist, and decolonized works. Kari is also a writer interested in the development of characters and plots that resonate with those who are not traditionally written about in fiction.

Jay Yen is graduating from ASU with a Bachelor’s in Communications and a minor in Digital Culture this May 2023. Some of their work experience includes working on an educational game called HackerHero and interning at the Center for Asian Research at ASU. They are a worldbuilder who excels at character design and visuals, as well as and they look forward to working with Syllble!

Lein de León Yong is a Mexican  Ph.D. student in the Media Arts and Sciences program at Arizona State University. She has an MBA in Art History focusing on film studies from Mexico’s National University, UNAM. She graduated from CUEC/ENAC-UNAM with a degree in film production, and there she shot three film theses as a Director of Photography. Lein has worked in video editing, post-production, and project development for companies such as Maz Mexico, Dinamita Post, Labo Digital, Taller de Luz, and Greenpeace Mexico. And for brands like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Televisa, and Salinas Group. She has also worked as a freelance photographer and photojournalist for Reforma and Excelsior newspapers and as a set dressing assistant for feature films.

Lein has diverse language skills, including Spanish (native), English, Mandarin Chinese (HSK 3), and French (reading comprehension). Her post-production skills include Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, AVID Media Composer, and Da Vinci Resolve.

Syllble hopes to foster and cultivate the growth of this new artist collective at Arizona State University and their fictional world over the years.

Founder Fabrice Guerrier was a recent guest in the Imagination Desk Podcast hosted by ASU’s CSI in conversation with Director Ed Finn. Listen to the episode as they spoke on ‘utilizing the imagination to create better social futures.’