Since the 2008–09 global financial crisis, the neoliberal ethos has come forth via the technocratic premises of finding market-led and technology-enabled solutions to the ever-growing economic and ecological crises occurring at a planetary scale. The growth of automated and predictive technologies has reorganized the realms of finance, security, environment, energy, urban planning, as well as the global supply chain. The spectacles of what Orit Halpern, Robert Mitchell, and Bernard Dionysius Geoghegan call the ‘smartness mandate’ (2017) prescribe profit-driven imaginaries of risk and hope for the future to absorb the recurring crises of capitalist modernity.
In contrast, Counter-Futuring invests in forms and networks of praxis that invert the contemporary enframing of technological systems and their underlying colonial, racial, and patriarchal regimes of space, time, and visuality. Counter-Futuring aims at demystifying and contesting the material conditions of hegemonic forms and narratives of futurity integral to the extractive mechanisms and imperial violence of capitalist operations. It reconfigures the aesthetic and political potentials of a given technology by shifting the registers of the archive, information, and futurity. Counter-Futuring attends to the ongoing decolonial, anti-racist, feminist, queer, and migrant struggles taking place within and beyond socio-technical interventions while highlighting the verb form in the present tense of futuring.
This one-day symposium will gather artists and scholars whose works generate critical yet creative responses to the imperial aspirations of computational capital as manifested within and beyond Western settings. Indeed, Counter-Futuring is part of a larger project Counter-N, which is a web-based publishing, exchange, and research collection curated by Shintaro Miyazaki and Özgün Eylül İşcen, and is supported by Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.The title is inspired by Jussi Parikka, who in his contribution to the collection coined the term mainly in reference to Kodwo Eshun’s writings on Afrofuturism. Ultimately, this symposium seeks to initiate a series of conversations to collectively reclaim the acts, techniques, and infrastructures of speculating and commoning otherwise.
The event will take place in a hybrid format, some speakers will participate virtually.
11:00-11:30 Introduction by Özgün Eylül Iscen and Shintaro Miyazaki
11:30-12:00 Coffee Break
12:00-14:00 Panel I
Moderator: Shintaro Miyazaki
Tiara Roxanne – Indigenous Futurities: Reflecting on the Technological Haunt
Anna Engelhardt – Augmented Infrastructures at War (online)
Yener Bayramoğlu – Queering Future: Transnational Counterpublics and Temporalities in the Digital Age
14:00-15:30 Lunch Break
15:30-17:30 Panel II
Moderator: Özgün Eylül Iscen
Elise Misao Hunchuck – Between the Stones and the Clouds (online)
Juan Pablo García Sossa and Sarah Grant for Futura Trōpica – Futura Trōpica Netroots: an InterTropical Net of LAN(SCAPES)
Abhijan Toto and Pujita Guha for the Forest Curriculum – Rewilded Futures (online)
17:30-18:30 Coffee Break
18:30-20:30 Screenings followed by a discussion with the artists (artists joining online)
Bahar Noorizadeh, The Red City of the Planet of Capitalism, 2021, 13 min
Bassem Saad, Congress of Idling Persons, 2021, 36 min
Abhijan Toto and Pujita Guha for Forest Curriculum
Juan Pablo García Sossa and Sarah Grant for Futura Trōpica
Elise Misao Hunchuck
Özgün Eylül İşcen, co-organized by Shintaro Miyazaki
An ICI Event in collaboration with Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
The audience is presumed to consent to a possible recording on the part of the ICI Berlin.
If you would like to attend the event yet might require assistance, please contact Event Management.
Image credit © Bassem Saad: Still many hours to be spent with mixed company at the Square, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.