Science Fiction: New Death

  • 27 March 2014 - 15 June 2014

Explore how our relationship with technology has blurred the lines between the real and the virtual; making our everyday lives feel increasingly like science fiction. Artists including James Bridle, Jon Rafman, Mark Leckey, Larissa Sansour and Ryan Trecartin, plus award-winning science fiction author China Miéville present works which explore how technology is creating new ways of living (and dying), of fashioning identities and the growth of cult-like communities.

Science Fiction: New Death seeks to provoke the question – have the Sci Fi visions we once imagined of the future since become a reality? The exhibition presents works of art that explore these questions and considers how technology has created new ways of living, fashioning new identities, forms of intimacy and desire. This has occurred in tandem with the growth of cult-like communities both online and in physical space, the conceit of social media, and the hyperrealist architecture of computer screens. Arguably, our everyday lives have increasingly become a form of science fiction.

The author China Miéville has produced a new series of texts that have inspired the narrative of the exhibition. Here, the exhibition is presented as a deconstructed film set, with the curator acting as director, the artists as actors, Miéville as scriptwriter and artist collective The Kazimier as set-designers.

Inspired by the work of J.G. Ballard, our story looks to the bleak, man-made landscapes of the future and asks: What happens when virtual environments become indistinguishable from reality? Will our global culture allow us to choose where to live, and who will stop us? What will we do with knowledge that becomes freely available to all? With social platforms acting as camera, how will ‘selfies’ develop and what new forms of narcissism will thrive? What is it that we need to preserve, and what do we need to change? These questions are explored through intense visualisations of electronic communication, dystopian domestic interiors, and re-enactments of historical revolutionary moments.

In an era where dissidence and revolution continue to capture our headlines, are the modes of control in the hands of the people or have we unknowingly pushed them into the hands of an elite group as so many Sci Fi narratives once foretold?


Accompanying the exhibition will be The Personal Archive, a specially curated selection of clips from science fiction films and television programmes, books and memorabilia alongside homemade science fiction films submitted in response to an international open call by FACT.

Science Fiction: New Death is curated by Omar Kholeif (writer and curator) and Mike Stubbs (Director, FACT).

The Personal Archive is curated by John Dunning with the University of Liverpool’s Science Fiction collections from the University Library’s Special Collections & Archives (Europe’s largest catalogued collection of science fiction material)

Artists: Zach Blas, James Bridle, Close & Remote, Petra Gemeinboeck & Rob Saunders, Jae Rhim Lee, Mark Leckey, Karen Mirza and Brad Butler, Laurence Payot, Sascha Pohflepp, Jon Rafman, Larissa Sansour, Dario Solman and Ryan Trecartin.


‘It’s this kind of event that re-establishes what a genre can be, deconstructing its conventions and coming out with something new, something better.’ Starburst


‘Visitors can expect a surreal and often disturbing take on a new kind of reality’ Creative Tourist 


With the ongoing troubles in the Middle East and current problems in Ukraine, it’s particularly prescient.’ Liverpool Echo 


‘Science and technology is helping us live longer, but it could also be the death of us, and this collection looks at how the two fields shape our lives now, and how they might in the future.’ We Heart


‘One of the most intellectually enjoyable current fiction writers, China Miéville, lends a hand to this politically aware group show’ Culture Critic


‘Dizzingly futuristic, this installation confuses the viewer and challenges them to seek out their own path into this sparse, unforgiving universe.’ Corridor8


‘The year’s most thought-provoking exhibition’ SFX


‘amazingly ambitious’ The Double Negative


'unlike any exhibition you’ll have experienced before' Arcfinity

Science Fiction: New Death is curated by Omar Kholeif (writer & curator) and Mike Stubbs (FACT Director)

Arts Council England
Liverpool City Council

Supported by

Australian Arts Council
COFA, University of New South Wales
Culture Programme of the European Union
Québec Government Office, London
The Mersey Forest
Springfree Trampolines
University of Sydney

In collaboration with

The Double Negative
Film and Video Umbrella
The Kazimier
Little White Lies
Liverpool Biennial
Picturehouse at FACT
The University of Liverpool