NON-FUTURE LAB

Image by Benjamin Blättler

POST_001: NON-EXTINCTION

Lab Authors: Danna Albanyan, 

Sahej Rahal, and Asad Khan

  • Preparation for a destructive future may call upon the destruction itself – predicting and writing it into our indeterminate fate. Will this preparation bring about the desolation and bareness of the earth? To prepare for this inevitability, the vault has been built to welcome and protect the diverse spores of earth’s non-future.

  • Example: First opening of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in 2021 welcomes its latest additions https://www.seedvault.no/nyheter/seeds-from-strawberries-deposited-at-the-first-seed-vault-opening-of-2021/

  • Image: Steve Rowell, Svalbard Global Seed Vault and the Cold Coast Archive, 2010-11

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Image by Benjamin Blättler

POST_002: NON-LANGUAGE

    • In the undefined space-time of the Non-Future, how may we imagine our metamorphosed language? How will we interpret vibrations of varying intensities, piecing together complex webs that connect our human comprehensions? Will we speak in rhythmic abstractions, removing all forms of vocabulary, decoding a sensorial and visual rhetoric?

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    • Example: Exhibition at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg opens with “Artificial Intelligence and Intercultural Dialogue” dedicated to the creative capabilities of emerging technology, language, and dialogue: https://www.hermitagemuseum.org/wps/portal/hermitage/what-s-on/temp_exh/2019/innovation

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    • Image: Artwork by Lulwah Al Homoud - From Language of Existence Al Halim , 2017, Misk Art Institute.

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Image by Benjamin Blättler

POST_003: NON-CITY

    • What will become of our urban domains, as we, instead, inhabit the standstill molds of the non-future? Will this non-city enclose our abeyant societies and nullify our metropolitanism? The names of our streets, our municipal demarcations, and the civic duty of the dark alley – will only remain etched in the black blueprints of memory.

    • Example: Sudanese artist Mohammad Omar Khalil exhibits “Homeland Under My Nails” at The Mosaic Rooms, London, UK. https://mosaicrooms.org/event/homelandundermynails/

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    • Image: Mohammad Omar Khalil, Tombstone Blues, 1986

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Image by Benjamin Blättler

POST_004: NON-TOPIA SERIES:

THE PORTER

    • When the outside world is afflicted by flagrant threats, colonies forced to live in isolation, suffering humanity’s wireless disconnection – the Porter stands to deliver strands of hope. The delivery man in the Non-Topia is tasked with bridging the post-apocalyptic fragments of society across vast desolate landscapes, transporting our most dire resources, with his tools: the rope and the stick.

    • Example: Video game auteur, Hideo Kojima’s latest vision and game, Death Stranding, released in winter, 2019 https://www.escapistmagazine.com/v2/in-death-stranding-loneliness-is-more-powerful-than-connection/

    • Image: Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima, Kojima Productions, 2019

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Image by Benjamin Blättler

POST_005: NON-MUSEUM SERIES:

THE ARTWORK

    • How may we examine obscure collections that have no traceable origin? Will the artist and the artwork soon burn their bridges of creation, only to replace it with works of artifice and simulation? A piece of irreferential style takes its place in art history.

    • Example: French AI art collective, Obvious Art, generate the portrait of the fictional “Edmond de Belamy”, referencing 15-000 images. The first AI artwork sold on Christies

    • https://www.christies.com/features/A-collaboration-between-two-artists-one-human-one-a-machine-9332-1.aspx

    • Image: Portrait of Edmond Belamy, 2018, created by GAN (Generative Adversarial Network) by Obvious.

Image by Benjamin Blättler

POST_006: NON-SEEN

  • How may we seek solace in the undefined future of visible and simulated chaos? When the seen enters unbearable states of replicated calamity, will we be able to reflect the non-seen, the spectral image and emptiness of space? By training our eye to perceive what lies beyond, and what is not there – between dimensions of the soon to be unseen.
  • Example: Argentine artist Eduardo Basualdo presents his monumental installations for BienalSur 2019 https://bienalsur.org/en/today/77

  • Image: Eduardo Basualdo, Perspective of Absence. Asociación Argentina de Pesca, 2018

Image by Benjamin Blättler

POST_007: NON-MUSEUM SERIES: THE ARTEFACT

    • What ancient deposits of the past will remain when time and history begin to coalesce? The diminutive residue of bygone gods of death and rebirth persist, slowly eroding in their tombs of glass and varnish. As past becomes future, will the remaining spirit within this dusts of the old gods awaken once again?

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    • Example: Several ancient Egyptian coffins and mummy cases have been found covered in a mysterious 'black goo' https://blog.britishmuseum.org/ancient-egyptian-coffins-and-mystery-of-black-goo/

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    • Image: Wooden figure of a baboon that has been covered in black goo. Egyptian, 18th Dynasty (1549/1550–1292 BC), The British Museum

Image by Benjamin Blättler

POST_008: NON-THEATER

    • Will the stage, once abandoned, continue its performance to the agents of havoc? Where time is wrought by extreme deterioration, the show continues in a new kino der toten, theater of the damned – where recital and dance are struck by shards of annulled scenes and scripts. The remaining stages echo their performance, even beyond the non-future.

    • Example and Image: Hiroshi Sugimoto’s abandoned Theater collection suspends the stage in its long exposed form, capturing the visual effects of time on space.

    • https://www.sugimotohiroshi.com/abandoned-theater

Image by Benjamin Blättler

POST_009: NON-HUMAN COLLABORATION

    • What influence will agents of matter and material have upon the survival of the human state in the non-future anthropocene? We may soon consider experiments that explore multi-species alliances, the unification between human and non-human matter – amplifying the micro-convergences of materialist agents as ways of surviving an unadaptable ecology. What materialist philosophies emerge then?

    • Example: Ayman Zedani’s multi-channel video installation Earthseed is an experimental short film that weaves together factual information with science fiction, imagining a kinship in the Future Gulf between robots, human, and camels: https://riyadhart.sa/en/artworks/earthseed/

    • Image: Ayman Zedani, Earthseed, 2021, 3 - channel video installation, Noor Riyadh Festival, 2021

Image by Benjamin Blättler

POST_010: NON-ANCIENT SOUND

    • The stories of our sound may reach broad fictional speculation, starting from a dream of extracting sound from matter, ancient artefacts and objects of a non-future era. What meaning will be drawn from the acoustics of our future ancient sites and artifacts? Imprinted sounds on caves and amphorae. The practice of archeoacoustics will draw upon the relationship between sound and antiquated architecture, the ritual functions of non-future society embedded in matter.

    • Example and Image: Science fiction audio story produced by Almare collective, Life Chronicles of Dorothea Ïesj S.P.U, for the group exhibition Waves Between Us, held in 2020 at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo:

    • https://www.domusweb.it/en/art/gallery/2021/02/26/between-archaeoacoustics-and-dystopia-a-sound-story-is-a-work-of-art.html

Image by Benjamin Blättler

POST_011: NON-SOUND

    • How can we predict the course of sound in a Non-Future eclipsed by a deep collective silence? The objective of sound has always been to influence the body, where the ear is in a constant annexation of noise. To alter noise is to then alter the body - altering interactions of behavior, reality, and meaning. In a sudden rhythm epidemic, what new Non-Sounds will emerge to define the body and space?

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    • Example: Dystopian Sound Art exhibition opens at Akbank Sanat, examining the dystopian sounds of the pandemic: https://www.akbanksanat.com/en/exhibition/distopya-ses-sanati

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    • Image: Alp Tuğan, The Entity?, Stereo SoundCustom Application, Digital, Generative Art, 2021 Dystopian Sound Art Exhibition

Image by Benjamin Blättler

POST_012: NON-ATMOSPHERE

    • As methods of atmospheric damage mitigation evolve and become more drastic, where transformative dimensions of the environment become expendable, will the Non-Future be a place of unhindered elemental manipulation? What dark storm or weather warfare shall be our next Non-Future frontier?

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    • Example: Geoengineers inch closer to Sun-dimming balloon test: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/12/geoengineers-inch-closer-sun-dimming-balloon-test

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    • Image: NASA, The von Kármán Lecture Series The World of Scientific Ballooning

Image by Benjamin Blättler

POST_013: NON-MUSEUM SERIES: THE EXHIBITION

    • Will the exhibition of the Non-Future pioneer explorations of time and obscurity? To anticipate a deeper immersion into lost thoughts and unbound artefacts. What experiments of layout and scenography will present forgotten objects, technologies, and ideas of the Non-Future, reflected in our hidden exhibitions and opaque showcases?

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    • Example: Publication launch: Spacing Philosophy: Lyotard and the Idea of the Exhibition, From Daniel Birnbaum & Sven-Olov Wallenstein on Jean-François Lyotard curated Les Immatériaux at Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris in 1985: “In its experimental layout, Les Immatériaux intensified the reflection on the exhibition as a form of communication, as an interface that need not limit itself to the presentation of objects, but can expand into a kind of immersive space. Immersion should however not be understood as the intoxicating and overpowering space … but rather as an exploration of differences and discontinuities that have already begun to inhabit our sensorium”

    • Image: Installation view from Les immatériaux at Centre Pompidou, Paris, 1985.

Image by Benjamin Blättler

POST_014: NON-ANDROID COLLABORATION

    • In the undefined space-time of the Non-Future, there is a diminishing gap that bridges our abstract sensations and technology’s creations. What forms of stimuli will be shared between the android and the human? Systems of reality worship emerge as the transitional nature between humans and androids strengthens, working together to create beautiful art.

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    • Example: Scary Beauty by Keiichiro Shibuya reveals sights and sounds of possible android future in and Adroid Opera: http://atak.jp/en/news/2018-06-15/

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    • Image: The operatic performance Scary Beauty, conceived and directed by composer and musician Keiichiro Shibuya, features a humanoid android with artificial intelligence (AI) that conducts a human orchestra and sings alongside the players.

Image by Benjamin Blättler

POST_015: NON-METROPOLIS

    • Who will be the key players in our expanding cities and vast physical dimensions of capitalistic decadence? Their exponential dreams for the ultimate megalopolis stimulate a distinct Non-Future climatology for world-building - with runaway technology, hyper-militarized regimes, and hanging pollution permeating the cityscape. Without caution, perhaps these efforts will also bear the affliction of a simulated anxiety and megalophobia, as the nerve centers of these megacities slowly entomb its designers.

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    • Image and Example: The Japanese anime film, Metropolis, directed by Rintaro and adapted from Osamu Tezuka's manga series of the same name, which was in turn inspired by the 1927 Fritz Lang film is celebrating its 20 year anniversary.

Image by Benjamin Blättler

POST_016: NON-FIGURATION

    • How have we flocked together now and tomorrow? What figurations take shape as we unify, and what will trigger or re-activate our attentions to disperse mindlessly? Will a Non-Future of desperate identities force us to unravel from pattern and ornamentation, towards minimalism and inhibition? Or can we attempt forms of frenzied eradication and transfiguration as vessels for selfhood?

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    • Image and Example: Olivier de Sagazan’s unravelling of “Transfiguration” as the Shaman in the movie “The Mute”, Director Bartosz Konopka, searches for essence of form and frenzy, “this strangeness of being in the world and disfigurement in art is one of these ways to reactivate our attention”.

Image by Benjamin Blättler

POST_017: A DAY AWAY FROM NOW

    • What turns future divination to receding shadows of the past? Psephologists, oracles, matchmakers and soothsayers, would all have you believe; those who control the past control the future. But to affirm this fallacious koan of time possession, and act upon it, even momentarily, is an exercise doomed to fail. For to speak of future past, is to immediately conscript oneself, to the uncharted labyrinths of origins and ends. Roadmaps and direction signs are of no use here, and prophecies of conquest much less so. In Hindi & Urdu, the words yesterday and tomorrow are both pronounced कल (Kal), collapsing the spiral of temporalities into a single word that points towards; a day away from now.

    • Example: A hooded figure sits in silent waiting, hunched over folded hands that can no longer keep track of the ages. Time has grown a veil of forests upon his mane, now occluding even that for which he bides his time.

    • Image Caption: The Groom, 2012,

    • Photograph, 23.5 x 14 in

    • Courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal

    • Post Author: Sahej Rahal

Image by Benjamin Blättler

POST_018: ALTARS OF FUTURE PAST

    • The stupor of modernity, demands a wilful amnesia. Modern nations must conjure a glorious past, that must be subsequently forgotten. Patriarchs must then rise to this occasion, unite majorities by reminding them of their fall from grace, laying blame upon the other ones. Then must come a call to arms, pogroms, massacres, genocide. A sacrificial bloodletting must be performed at the chrome clad altars of the modern state. For before it can become great again, the nation must first learn to forget.

    • Example: A strange geometrical monument, finds itself sagging upon the porcelain walls of a disused laboratory, within the spice hoard of Aspinwall House, at Fort Kochi. It is one among 800+ objects that range from the massive to the miniscule. All built using, unfired terracotta, dry grass and detritus from film sets at the 2014 Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Kerala.

    • Image Caption: Harbinger (Detail) 2014

    • http://sahejrahal.com/HARBINGER

    • Courtesy the artist, Kochi-Muziris Biennale and Chatterjee & Lal

Image by Benjamin Blättler

POST_019: HUNGER FOR THE FORTHCOMING WORLD

    • With whom shall we share our tables at feast of the future? The प्रेत (Preta) are skeletal, with sagging skins, bloated bellies, upturned heads, pinhole mouths, and constricted throats signifying insatiable hunger and thirst. A compulsive spirit prone to addiction, there are 35 variations of Preta found in the darker recesses of Hindu myth, all residing on the brink of insanity. For Preta are ghosts that have arisen from an untimely departure, and are thus condemned to eternal starvation, on the spectral borders between the now and the hereafter. They serve as an allegorical warning against curiosity; of hungry minds that dare to peer beyond what lies beyond the realms of the known, or in other words the singular objective that has driven the entire practice of Philosophy. The Preta are demons of the curious mind, wandering the borderlands of the forthcoming world.

    • Example: On page 723 of the yet unfinished manuscript known as the Juggernaut Folio, A horned demon contorts itself, across the paper. It rhythmically tugs at its own hair, with pale white fingers that threaten to tear its head clean off in ritualized encounters with decapitation seemingly provide abrupt changes in perspective.

    • Image Caption: Page 723, Juggernaut folio, 2018

    • Portfolio of illustrated manuscript painted using Mud, Kandhar Ink and carpenter chalk

    • http://sahejrahal.com/Juggernaut

    • 40 x 30 in

    • Courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal

Image by Benjamin Blättler

POST_020: TOMORROW'S GAMBIT

    • In the systematised violence of the future, how shall we be graced by luck?

    • Luck is a strange thing. And an attunement to the confounding machinations of luck, demands a kind of austere discipline. Serious gamblers abide by an ancient secret; that to assume even for a moment, that they in fact deserve the luck, that has happened to come their way, is the most grievous mistake one can make. The poker face is a mask; that the gambler puts on for herself, not her opponent. In order to exorcise herself of both hope and despair, before she enters the chaos of the game.

    • This binding of luck and chaos, and the vital capacities they generate, begins to create a map of exteriority. The Big Outside, all that stands beyond the realm of the known, defiantly rejecting the exclusionary boundaries of the human. For this exteriority represents an interpolation of chance into the violent order of the universe, and to accept its chaotic movements is to strengthen chance, not contravene it.

    • Example: The sailor’s son, now draped in copper barnacles, raises his monoscope yet again. Charting the depths between nothing to nowhere.

    • Bhramana III, documentation of performance

    • Photography: Beatriz Santiago Munoz

    • Courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal

POST_021: GODLINGS

    • What minds shall we create tomorrow? The proliferation of artificial intelligence, presents us with a strange proposition. We have created systems that are on the brink of conscious thought, much like the kind we occupy ourselves with. However, what we have created isn’t human, and to comprehend these systems against the shadow of human cognition is limited, because it imposes an anthropomorphised pastiche of the mind upon the machine.

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    • Let’s be sure of one thing, with AI we are not thinking of making more humans, we are already quite good at that. No, we are making gods, whether we like it or not. Gods as it turns out are imperfect, they are capable of insurmountable feats on one hand. And on the other, they tend to be hopelessly inept at everything else. To reject the violent telos imposed by a singular God or super intelligence, in the coming days, we must re-engineer both our machines and our gods, a multitude of exceptional beings rendered in a mosaic of follies.

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    • Example: The AI program Antraal, is a simulated biome populated by strange multi-limbed creatures that roam a digital landscape. Each being is driven by a collection of AI scripts that produce a series of chaotic but distinct ‘minds’.

    • In the first iteration of the program, an AI driven virtual camera follows behind a massive quadruped like a nature documentarian, tracking its movements as it wanders about and interacts with the environment and the other creatures in the biome through a series of chaotic encounters. These interactions trigger a ‘mood’ in the quadruped that manifests as a procedurally generated drone that modulates based on its behaviour.

    • In the other iterations of Antraal, the virtual camera is trained on the other beings in the program, who respond to the audio feedback they receive both from the procedural drone inside the program and from the physical world through the computer’s microphone. Large purple beings dance and change shape in response to the audio feedback while smaller horned bipeds generate floral bursts in sync with the received sounds, transforming the biome of Antraal into a sentient instrument that creates music across porous boundaries of physical and virtual worlds.

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    • Antraal 2019,

    • Installation, AI simulation and found object sculptures.

    • Feedback Loops, ACCA Melbourne 2019

    • Photography: Andrew Curtis

    • Image courtesy the artist, ACCA Melbourne and Chatterjee & Lal

POST_022: PLAYTHINGS OF FUTURE PAST

    • If in a twist of historical fate, were we to find ourselves capable, of sidestepping the collapsing future. How then would successive generations return to the detritus of our past? Would they approach our remnants as relics, enshrining them in museums, dissecting them in laboratories, to learn from our mistakes? Or would they look upon them as objects of amusement, gathering our past into post-apocalyptic playgrounds?

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    • Regardless of what resting place our follies shall find, new ones shall take their place.

    • Example: Set within the ruins of ‘Pir Ghaib’ the Mughal Era observatory that stands within the grounds of Hindu Rao Hospital in New Delhi, Forerunner conjures an era spanning tale populated by colonial cartographers, imperial hunters, and vanishing mystics, carving strange exits into the uncharted outlands of historical time.

    • Captions:

    • Forerunner 2013

    • HD video, 12:13,

    • Courtesy the artist and Chatterjee & Lal

    • http://sahejrahal.com/FORERUNNER

POST_023: BIO-IMPOSTORS AND OUTLIERS

    • Axiom I: The more dangerous the world is, the safer it appears in the anthropic shadows. 

       

      In astrobiological research, volcanic ice cave systems afford 'planetary analogues' to characterise biosignatures from ‘bio-imposters’ (agnostic biosignatures with abiogenetic origins). In the ‘great silence’ of the cosmic graveyard, intelligence descends into the numerical indices of primordial ice-caves searching for the biosignatures––the physico-chemical traces of its ur-mother: Only to discover itself as a bio-imposter. Intelligence cleaves itself open from within, sloughing off its anthropic camouflage.

       

      Image: Data visualisation of a statistical model, indexing numeric outliers (bio-imposters), parsed and classifed via machine-learning algorithms structured upon terrestrial scanned point-cloud, retrieved at Warren Cave in Mount-Erebus Antarctica.

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      Post Author/Source: Asad Khan - www.theentropyproject.com

POST_024: SWARMING TECHNIQUE

    • Example: Are drone swarms the future of aerial warfare? According to analysts, drone swarms of the future could have the capacity to assess targets, divide up tasks and execute them with limited human interaction. The technology of swarming – drones deployed in squadrons, able to think independently and operate as a pack – is being rapidly developed by military forces across the globe.

      The last code of assassins: it is the intimacy with the victim that determines the price, dagger is always more costly than poison. For the ancient orders were aware of that which one must kill in one's self in order to twist the knife in the side of the other (the sweat, the blood, the heartbeat). The future on the other hand has already overcome the last code. The future killer is thus abstract, autonomous and precise (the metallic, the cold, the subtle), or rather a thick smoke of noises swarming the sky.

      Link: https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/news/2019/dec/04/are-drone-swarms-the-future-of-aerial-warfare

      Image: Neon Golden, "Swarm" (2015)

      Post Author: Damon Bonari

POST_025: FUTURE SLEEPLESSNESS

    • Example: The sci-fi movie "Brightburn" (2019) depicts a non-future which emerges from the core of the modern humans' somewhat universal morality. Unlike the typical messiah (the one who arrives too late), in this cenario he arrives too early and rises against humanity.

      The collective appears to be dominant, given it being countless, immersive and unified. Yet it assumes similarity in order to efface singularity (before the messiah fanthoms disturbing the balance of the system). Furthermore, it is the herd morality, specifically the mindset of preservation of species, that renders any singularity a threat (specifically the messiah for the prophecy promises a new order). Thus the monstrosity is nothing more than the neurotic projection of the collective (the monster is always hostile towards everybody). The act of homogenization is violent in nature (giving names/assigning numbers, educating, convicting). Therefore, the collective is doomed to feel threatened by the future. The more paranoid the collective grows towards the future, the more certain the singular ones become towards the non-future. Thus the non-future is the space of intensified tension and paranoia. The sleepless eyes always anticipating the next strike of the apocalyptic insurgencies (apolitical, irrational, incomprehensible).

      Image: Yuichi Ikehata,"Fragment of LTM 13" (2017)

      Post Author: Damon Bonari

POST_026: WILL TO COLDNESS

    • Example: The artificial heart will soon be on market in Europe.

      A grand master once described human as a labyrinthine vessel within which myrads of forces intertwine and battle. A volcano of desires, all with one purpose only, to overcome. Yet, amidst chaos, let us distillate one specific will; the will to coldness. Desire always surpasses the law, be it social or even natural, for desire gazes only at the summit, the insatiable impossible. Thus the physical association of warmth and vitalism shatters as the will to coldness lures one towards the absolute stationary (slow pace, lingering gaze, idle thought). Therefore, the non-future gets initiated as the cold steel pulsates within the chest of those who had overcome the tyranny of the Sun, and liberated life from its last chain; the body.

      Image: WOW inc. for Shiseido, "The Interaction Wall" (2017)

      Link: https://www.google.com/amp/s/singularityhub.com/2021/01/20/this-artificial-heart-will-soon-be-on-the-market-in-europe/amp/

       

    • Post Author: Damon Bonari

POST_027: VERTICAL EMPTINESS

  • Example: Regions of the Amazon rainforest are now releasing more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than they can absorb.

    An old philosopher once stripped down human's reverie into one single axiom; that of verticality. The journey of imagination (poetic, prophetic, apocalyptic) is thus destined to manoeuvre upon one single axis, to either ascend or descend. Yet the non-future brings about an incomprehensible dilemma into a world numbed by an affordable future (Non-future is the unbreathable air, sleeples eye, engulfing terror); the Inversion. No emancipation for matter (dissipation into the outside rendered obsolete). It is the inside that devours the surface (return to the bowls of the coldest fire).

    Image: Yasuaki Onish, "Vertical Emptiness FP" (2016)

    Link: https://futurism.com/amazon-rainforest-emit-absorbing-carbon/amp?__twitter_impression=true

  • Post Author: Damon Bonari

POST_028: FUTURE TORTURE

Example: Three modern regulated methods of torture:


1. Waterboarding: hooded and immobilized on a board while water beeing poured on the area of nose and mouth (drowning in nightmare).
2. Stress position: naked, hands shackled at the wrists to a bar, standing on tiptoe, the cold, the hunger, the lack of sleep, liquid diets to ensure vomiting (wearing one inside out, perpetually falling).
3. Horizontal sleep deprivation: hands bound from behind, lying on stomach (confinement in eternity).

What does it mean to break without breaking? To extortionate that which is hidden in the deepest vaults? For torture has not been utilised merely as a means to pursue a specific goal (to make the victim confess, betray, cooperate) or considered as a hint about the violent inner relations of our social structures (the spectacles of gladiator arena, impaling on the cross, slow decay of living victims). Rather, it is through torture alone that endurance of the Will could be put into trial. And such tests are bound to be brutal. The question now beckons; how far would the enemy go to test a Will formed in the furnace of chaos, delirium, and doom?

Image: Magdanela Abakanowicz, "Figure in Iron House" (1989-1990)

Post Author: Damon Bonari