Film and Video, Photography and Digital

Exotopia: Rogue 45

The online story-telling experience Exotopia combines exoplanet research, science fiction, and NFTs. This project was developed with SETI Institute artist-in-residence Scott Kildall and the SETI Institute’sSenior Planetary Scientist Franck Marchis. Exotopia invites participants to join imaginary voyages to study alien life on real exoplanets in our galaxy. Each journey uses scientific data from the SETI Institute to imagine where extraterrestrial life could actually exist.

Guest science fiction writer craft each voyage with multiple storylines for many characters. Each day, participants receive an update on their character’s story. They may be a starship pilot, a science officer, on the command team, or even a stowaway.

I wrote and illustrated the Exotopia project’s story Rogue 45, which takes place on a ‘rogue planet,’ which is a world that does not orbit a star but floats alone in the darkness of space. The story was written using the platform Twine and features four characters: an astrobiologist, an exogeologist, a chief engineer, and a documentary filmmaker. I created fictional Wikipedia pages for each character which can be read on the blog of the Exotopia website. Selected storylines from Rogue 45 can also be found on the Exotopia site’s “Recent Voyages” section.

To accompany the story, participants intermittently received NFT drops. I created the NFTs in collaboration with Midjourney, a prompt-based AI engine. Based on these visuals, I then created an animation inspired by the storylines of two characters from the Rogue 45 story using the AI engine Deforum.


Watch the Rogue 45 video on Vimeo