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Maria Barnas, Hassnae Bouazza, Maarten Doorman, Melissa Gronlund, Metahaven, Snejanka Mihaylova, Katharina Neuburger, Patricia Pisters, Ding Ren, Simon Rogers, Oona Strathern, Timotheus Vermeulen, Juha van‘t Zelfde and many more.
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The seventh and last evening of lectures and debates in the lecture series Facing Forward: Art & Theory from a Future Perspective on the theme FUTURE’S FUTURE will take place on Thursday 31 May. During this evening a large number of speakers will present their views in short lectures ranging from speculative reflections to visionary predictions. In this way the theme FUTURE’S FUTURE is given a broad treatment, and the evening of lectures will serve as a think tank for the pressing question: how should we look forward? The opening lecture will be given by OONA STRATHERN (trend consultant and futurologist, Austria), followed by short, 6- minute presentations by: MARIA BARNAS (artist and writer, the Netherlands), HASSNAE BOUAZZA (journalist and programme maker, the Netherlands), MATTHIJS DE BRUIJNE (artist, the Netherlands), MAARTEN DOORMAN (philosopher, poet and critic, Amsterdam), MELISSA GRONLUND (editor of Afterall and art critic, United Kingdom), METAHAVEN (graphic designer, the Netherlands), SNEJANKA MIHAYLOVA (artist and researcher, Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht), KATHARINA NEUBURGER (art historian and curator, Germany), PATRICIA PISTERS (Professor Media Studies, University of Amsterdam), DING REN (artist and writer, the Netherlands/United States), SIMON ROGERS (news editor and data editor, The Guardian, United Kingdom), TIMOTHEUS VERMEULEN (lecturer in Cultural Studies and Theory, Radboud University, Nijmegen), JUHA VAN’T ZELFDE (co-director of Non-fiction, Amsterdam) and many others. The evening will be moderated by ANN DEMEESTER (director of the Appel arts centre, Amsterdam), HENDRIK FOLKERTS (curator of the Public Program, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam) and MARGRIET SCHAVEMAKER (Head of Collections and Research, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam).
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Our contemporary view of the world is changing rapidly, due to drastic shifts in power relations, discourses, and the role of technology and communication in everyday life. Given the current state of global affairs — revolutions in the Arab world, the rise of populism and neoliberalism in Western Europe, the shift of global power from Europe and North-America to Asia and Latin America, and the primacy of mass communication methods, to name just a few important recent developments — the future has become increasingly precarious. To face forward is not that simple anymore. How are we able to look at the future when the present is so uncertain and unstable? And if we do fix our gaze on the horizon, what and how do we see — is it utopia or dystopia, a purely speculative view or a mere extrapolation of current events? Ultimately, can the future be a productive model for visualizing contemporary power structures, global shifts, and changing relations?