Narratives of a Near Future

Liam Young

Liam Young is a speculative architect who operates in the spaces between design, fiction and futures. He is cofounder of Tomorrows Thoughts Today, an urban futures think tank, exploring the local and global implications of new technologies and Unknown Fields, a nomadic research studio that travels on expeditions to chronicle these emerging conditions as they occur on the ground. He has been acclaimed in both mainstream and architectural media, including the BBC, NBC, Wired, Guardian, Time, and Dazed and Confused, is a BAFTA nominated producer and his work has been collected by institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum and MAAS in Sydney. He has taught internationally at the Architectural Association, Princeton University and now runs the ground breaking MA in Fiction and Entertainment at Sci Arc in Los Angles. Liam's narrative approach sits between documentary and fiction as he focuses on projects that aim to reveal the invisible connections and systems that make the modern world work. Liam now manages his time between exploring distant landscapes and prototyping the future worlds he extrapolates from them.

Hello, City!
Digital technologies are radically reshaping our perception and occupation of cities.  Join speculative architect Liam Young and an all-seeing smart city operating system as they take a tour in a driverless taxi through a network of software systems, autonomous infrastructures, ghost architectures, anomalies, glitches, and sprites, searching for the wilds beyond the machine. The talk will be an audio-visual expedition to a city found somewhere between the present and the predicted, the real and the imagined, stitched together from fragments of real landscapes and designed urban fictions.

Mark Wigley

Professor of Architecture and Dean Emeritus of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation Columbia University. An accomplished scholar and design teacher, Mark Wigley has written extensively on the theory and practice of architecture and is the author of Constant’s New Babylon: The Hyper-Architecture of Desire (1998); White Walls, Designer Dresses: The Fashioning of Modern Architecture (1995); and The Architecture of Deconstruction: Derrida’s Haunt (1993). He co-edited The Activist Drawing: Retracing Situationalist Architectures from Constant’s New Babylon to Beyond (2001). Wigley has served as curator for widely attended exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Drawing Center, New York; Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal; and Witte de With Museum, Rotterdam. He received both his Bachelor of Architecture (1979) and his Ph.D. (1987) from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. After a decade as Dean of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University he is now stepping down to return to teaching.

Mark Wigley

Jan Vorisek

Jan Vorisek (born in Switzerland, 1987) lives and works in Zurich. Recent solo presentations include “Burst City” (2017, Nottingham); “Total Fragmented Darkness”, Hard Hat (2017, Geneva); “NotFair”, Galerie Bernhard (2016, Warsaw); “Rented Bodies”, Galerie Bernhard (2015, Zurich). He has shown in group exhibitions including at Kunsthalle Exnergasse (Vienna 2017 ); Plato Ostrava (Ostrava 2017); Kunstverein Braunschweig (2017); Kunsthalle St.Gallen (2016); 83 Pittstreet (New York 2016); Espace Aurlaud (Lausanne 2016 Lausanne) and Kunsthaus Glarus (2016). Recent performances include Spring Workshop (Hong Kong 2016); Luma Foundation (Zurich 2016, Zurich); Cave12 (Geneva 2016, with Timotheé Calame); TG (Nottingham, 2015); Kunsthalle Zurich (2015). Together with Mathis Altmann and Lhaga Koondhor Vorisek has been organizing a series of club nights called HOUSE OF MIXED EMOTIONS or in short H.O.M.E since 2011.

Artistic proposition

Working across sculpture, performance, improvised music and noise, Jan Vorisek’s installations are site-specific comments, ephemera and documentation – all examining formal hierarchies. With assemblages consisting of used and found materials, as well as sound-producing devices, the artist reflects on the fluctuation of noise as vessels of information. Accumulated materials and objects are disassembled into their component parts and then subjected to new systems of organization. This can take the form of vertical formations meandering through the room, selective markings or large-scale architectural interventions. The subtly animated structures function as both producer of and resonant space for sounds, which test and exceed the limits of perceptibility. Jan Vorisek’s self-performing structures and scores are complemented by edits of sounds recorded outdoors – echoes of urban space — in which “inside” merges with “outside” and the exact dimensions of the work remain undefined. The recurring motif of corrosion—the corrosion of new configurations of sound and material— is used as a productive method. Constant adjustments, variations on sound and material, are constitutive of Jan Vorisek’s work, which can be taken as snapshots of a potentially endless production process. The act of arranging and modifying the material assemblages becomes visible, periodically throughout performances of the artist.


Founded by Vinca Kruk and Daniel van der Velden, Metahaven’s practice spans art, filmmaking, and design to provoke new imaginaries that are equally bound to aesthetics, poetics, and politics. Recent solo presentations include ‘Information Skies’, Auto Italia, London (2016), and Mumbai Art Room, Bombay (2016), ‘The Sprawl’, YCBA, San Francisco (2015), ‘Black Transparency’, Future Gallery, Berlin (2014), and ‘Islands in the Cloud’, MoMA PS1, New York (2013). Recent group exhibitions include the Sharjah Biennale 2017, Sharjah, UAE, ‘Fear & Love’, Design Museum, London (2016), ‘Dream Out Loud’, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2016), ‘The Eighth Climate (What Does Art Do?)’, the 11th Gwangju Biennale (2016), ‘All of This Belongs to You’, Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2015), ‘Private Settings: Art After the Internet’, Museum of Modern Art Warsaw (2014), and ‘Frozen Lakes’, Artists Space, New York (2013). Recent publications include ‘Black Transparency’ (2015), ‘Can Jokes Bring Down Governments?’ (2013), and ‘Uncorporate Identity’ (2010). Music videos by Metahaven include ‘Home’ (2014), and ‘Interference’ (2015), both with musician, composer and artist Holly Herndon, as part of an ongoing collaboration. Metahaven’s full-length documentary, ‘The Sprawl (Propaganda about Propaganda)’, premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2016. Its successor, a short film titled ‘Information Skies’, was shot and edited in 2016 and has been nominated for the 2017 European Film Awards. The short film ‘Hometown’, a successor to ‘Information Skies,’ was shot in Beirut and Kyiv in 2017.

Marie Velardi

Marie Velardi is a Swiss artist, living and working in Geneva and Paris. Her artistic approach is multifaceted, addressing the way in which different temporalities connect together, i.e. how the short and the long term or the present, the past and possible futures relate to each other. She has produced “Les Futurs Antérieurs, XXIe siècle / Future Perfect, 21st Century” (2006), a book over five metres long published in French and English that tells the story of the 21st century, based on sci-fi films and books; “Atlas des îles perdues, Edition 2107” (2007) with ink drawings of islands that will be submerged by the rising water levels by 2107 and a series of groundwater- and shifting territory-related works, “Aquifers” and “Renewal Time” (2012-2013). Her work has been presented in Switzerland, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, the USA, the UK, India and Thailand. In 2014-2015, she was one of three artists to represent Switzerland at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India.

Artistic proposition

“Lettre de Terre-Mer” (Letter from Land-Sea)
Reading and slide show by Marie Velardi

Terre-Mer (“Land-Sea”) is an ongoing project that focuses on both past and future shifting coastlines, and on the relationship between land and sea. It follows field experiments carried out by Marie Velardi in France, Scotland, India, Thailand, Italy and the Netherlands. Based on encounters and conversations with coastal residents, questioning living conditions with the sea and how human beings live with uncertainty and hazards, Marie wrote a Letter from Land-Sea. The project has also led to other productions, including watercolour cartographic paintings representing coastal areas: Where the sea once was and where it could come back to, linking memories of land through old historical maps with simulations of rising seas in the future. This method of representing the land does not correspond to the usual distinction between land and sea with a coastline. In her paintings, the coastline is thicker, representing an in-between area, where the land and the sea interact and connect, where the past could meet with possible futures.

Marie Velardi’s Land-Sea project has received the support of and a grant from the City of Geneva (FMAC).

Thomas Thwaites

Thomas Thwaites is a British designer whose work examines the interaction of science, technology and economics in shaping our present society, and possible futures. Thwaites’ work has been acquired by the Victoria & Albert Museum for their permanent collection, and is exhibited frequently and internationally, including at the National Museum of China, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, the Science Museum (London), 21_21 Design Sight (Tokyo) and the Zero 1 Biennial (California). His first book, The Toaster Project, published by Princeton Architectural Press to critical acclaim, describes Thwaites’ attempt to make an electric toaster from scratch. It has been translated into Korean and Japanese editions. His second book, written about his project to take a holiday from being human by becoming a goat, is called GoatMan: How I took a holiday from being human, and was published in 2016, and translated in to Norwegian, Korean and Japanese. He is currently a visiting assistant professor in Industrial Design at Rhode Island School of Design.

Artistic proposition

©Tim Bowditch, Wellcome Trust

A holiday from being human (GoatMan)

Man is born as a freak of nature, being within nature and yet transcending it. He has to find principles of action and decision-making which replace the principles of instincts. He has to have a frame of orientation which permits him to organize a consistent picture of the world as a condition for consistent actions. He has to fight not only against the dangers of dying, starving, and being hurt, but also against another danger which is specifically human: that of becoming insane. In other words, he has to protect himself not only against the danger of losing his life but also against the danger of losing his mind.
Erich Fromm, The Revolution of Hope: Toward a Humanized Technology (1968), p. 61.
Wouldn’t it be nice to take a holiday from being a human? A holiday from the existential angst, worry and stress of life as a self-aware mortal being. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to enjoy fresh green grass, to gallop across the landscape, to be free from time?
Yes. So I tried to become a goat to escape the angst inherent in being a human. The project became an exploration of how close modern technology can take us to fulfilling an ancient human dream: to take on characteristics from other animals. But instead of the ferocity of a bear, or the perspective of a bird, the characteristic most useful in modern life is something else; being present in the moment perhaps.
With this work I wanted to present an alternative aesthetic for the vision of the post-human; a little twee, a little homely, a reminder that there are many viewpoints, many perspectives, and many futures.
Anyway I ended up in the Alps, on four legs, at a goat farm, with a prosthetic rumen strapped to my chest, eating grass, attempting to become a goat.

Mathieu Triclot

Mathieu Triclot is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Technology of Belfort-Montbéliard as well as a member of the RECITS team at the FEMTP-ST Institute. His work on the philosophy of technology focuses on the history of computer science, artificial intelligence, cybernetics, the concept of information and video games and his research falls within the scope of the philosophy of technology and engineering. Triclot has authored such books as Le moment cybernétique and Philosophie des jeux vidéo. He is also head of the scientific interest group “Unité des Technologies et des Sciences de l’Homme” which promotes the principle of technological research in the field of human and social sciences.

Has the cyber-world become a reality? A look back on a policy for information machines

Cybernetics has addressed all these issues, which have made a major comeback in the public discourse about technology, while also constructing a framework (in particular around Wiener’s public commitments) for political criticism of technology which it is interesting to revisit at this time. A cyber-policy involves several axioms which Wiener might spell out as follows: the mode of production of knowledge must be taken into account; information is not immaterial; information is not intended to be traded; governing machines are an illusion; “thinking gadgets” should be rejected and the myth of robots replacing humans, dispelled.
We believe these technological policy proposals are interesting on two levels. First, we hope to explore the scope of this cyber-policy in light of the contemporary situation. However, by doing so, our aim is not so much to find a key in ancient cybernetics that would help us understand the contemporary world, but rather to measure discrepancies and locate what might have become irremediably inappropriate or obsolete in the discourse on cybernetics. The cyber-movement has fostered a breakthrough in scientific and technological innovation as well as both philosophical and political reflection on these innovations. These dimensions create an inextricable pattern that echoes the trajectory of the cyber-group. The balance of science, technology, philosophy and politics that cybernetics involves provides a remarkable touchstone to assess everything that may have changed in contemporary set-ups.

Kevin Slavin

Chief Science and Technology Officer, The Shed. Research Affiliate & Founder, Playful Systems at MIT Media Lab. Co-founder, Everybody at Once and Collective Decision Engines.
Co-founded Area/Code (acquired to become Zynga New York), Starling, AFK. Worked at DDB, Chiat, SS+K.
Invested in Pienso, Timehop, Makers Row, Burner. Advisor to Electric Objects, Knotch, Innovid. Consulting at large.
Taught at NYU/ITP, Cooper Union, Fabrica. Vice Chair, Cooper Union Board of Trustees.
TED talk is here. Toxoplasmosis. Poptech on luck. Old MoMA talk, Ignite, etc.

Oliver Ressler

Oliver Ressler is an artist and filmmaker who produces installations, projects in public space, and films on issues such as economics, democracy, global warming, forms of resistance and social alternatives. Ressler has had solo exhibitions at Berkeley Art Museum, USA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade; Centro Cultural Conde Duque, Madrid; Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum, Egypt; The Cube Project Space, Taipei and survey solo exhibitions in Wyspa Institute of Art, Gdansk; Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz; Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo – CAAC, Seville; SALT Galata, Istanbul; and MNAC – National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest. Ressler has participated in more than 300 group exhibitions, including Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid; Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven; MASSMoCA, North Adams, USA; Centre Pompidou, Paris; the biennials in Seville (2006), Moscow (2007), Taipei (2008), Lyon (2009), Gyumri (2012), Venice (2013), Athens (2013, 2015), Quebec (2014), and at Documenta 14, Kassel, 2017 (as part of an exhibition organized by EMST). Ressler has completed twenty-seven films that have been screened in thousands of events of social movements, art institutions and film festivals. A retrospective of his films took place at Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève in 2013. In 2002, he won first prize at the International Media Art Award of the ZKM in Karlsruhe and is the first prize winner of the newly established Prix Thun for Art and Ethics Award in 2016. For the Taipei Biennale 2008, Ressler curated an exhibition on the counter-globalization movement, A World Where Many Worlds Fit. A travelling show on the financial crisis, It’s the Political Economy, Stupid, co-curated with Gregory Sholette, has been presented at nine venues since 2011. Ressler was the project leader of the research project Utopian Pulse – Flares in the Darkroom at Secession in Vienna in 2014, in collaboration with Ines Doujak; funded by the Austrian Science Fund.

Everything's coming together while everything's falling apart

Not too long ago, global warming was science fiction. Now it has become hard science, and a reality we already live in. According to the Copernicus Climate Change Service, average global temperature in 2016 was close to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. Many scientists see this as the “red line” beyond which global warming will be unstoppable and uncontrollable
In his presentation, Oliver Ressler will talk about a new cycle of films that may turn out to be a story of the beginning of the climate revolution, the moment when popular resistance began to reconfigure the world. The project follows the climate movement in its struggles to dismantle an economic system heavily dependent on fossil fuels. It records key events for the climate movement, bringing together many situations, contexts, voices and experiences. The first two events – there is one film for each – are the action during the COP21 summit in Paris in December 2015 and a blockade of a fossil fuel extraction site in Germany in May 2016.

Artistic proposition

Everything's coming together while everything's falling apart
An ongoing film project by Oliver Ressler

The title “Everything's coming together while everything's falling apart” refers to a situation in which all the technology needed to end the age of fossil fuel already exists. Whether the present ecological, social and economic crisis will be overcome is primarily a question of political power. The climate movement is now stronger than ever. It obstructed pipeline projects such as the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. It stopped Arctic drilling and blocked fracking all over the globe. Coal-fired power plants were shut down by resistance, and the divestment movement that pressures institutions to unload their stocks from fossil fuel corporations has had successes.
The project follows the climate movement in its struggles to dismantle an economic system heavily dependent on fossil fuels. It records key events for the climate movement, bringing together many situations, contexts, voices and experiences. There is one film for each event.
In the first film (17 min., 2016), activists contest the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. Like twenty failed annual climate conferences before it, COP21 in Paris in 2015 proved the incapacity of governments to commit themselves to any binding agreement that would curtail global warming through a definite strategy for the end of fossil fuel use.
The film on the Ende Gelände action (12 min., 2016) shifts the focus to a massive civil disobedience action at the Lusatia lignite coal fields (near Berlin). 4,000 activists entered an open-cast mine, blocking the loading station and the rail connection to a coal-fired power plant. The blockades disrupted the coal supply and forced the Swedish proprietor Vattenfall to shut the power station down.
The film on the ZAD (35 min., 2017) focuses on Europe’s largest autonomous territory that is located close to Nantes in France. The ZAD (zone to defend) emerged from the struggle against a new airport. In 2012 the French state's attempt to evict the zone was fiercely resisted by more than 40,000 people and police has not set foot there since. Today 250 people in 60 collectives live permanently at the ZAD occupying the wetlands, fields and forests. The ZAD is a successful example that the creation of alternatives and resistance need to happen at the same time.
The film about Code Rood (11 min., 2017) highlights a civil disobedience action in the port of Amsterdam in June 2017. The blockade of Europe’s second-largest coal port draws a red line against this important infrastructure facility for fossil capitalism.
Whether and when fossil fuels are abandoned will be determined above all by social movements and the degree of pressure they exert on institutions. Powerful structures force us into lives that destroy our livelihood. It is these structures that must be changed, and nothing but our action in common can change them.

Jussi Parikka

Dr Jussi Parikka is Professor at the Winchester School of Art (University of Southampton) and Docent of Digital Culture Theory at the University of Turku. His various books have addressed a wide range of topics relevant to a critical understanding of network culture, aesthetics and media archaeology of contemporary society. The books include the media ecology-trilogy Digital Contagions (2007, 2nd. ed 2016), the award-winning Insect Media (2010) and most recently, A Geology of Media (2015), which addresses the environmental contexts of technical media culture. In addition, Parikka has published such books as What is Media Archaeology (2012) and edited various books, recently Writing and Unwriting (Media) Art History (2015, with Joasia Krysa) on the Finnish media art pioneer Erkki Kurenniemi. He is also the co-editor of Across and Beyond: – A transmediale Reader on Post-digital Practices, Concepts, and Institutions (Sternberg Press, 2016, co-edited with Ryan Bishop, Kristoffer Gansing and Elvia Wilk). Parikka’s website/blog is at and you can find him on Twitter as @juspar.

Some people say not to worry about the air

This presentation speaks about air and the lack of air. The air is full of nitrogen, oxygen, light, clouds, wind, pollution, radio, airplanes, satellites, signals, dust, birds and more.

The solidity of the narrative about the Anthropocene as a geological period gives way to the various dynamic qualities that pertain to the other elements such as liquids and temperatures. A cultural and media focus on the Anthropocene also starts to look different from the point of view of the other of the three elements which, of course, are more complex when it comes down to their actual chemical composition let alone their effects on the human lungs and rest of the body. The geological solidity of the Anthropocene gives way to something that in alternative ways already the philosopher Luce Irigaray explicated: the air has been the philosophical unthought for the likes of Martin Heidegger and many others that are the infrastructural backbone of much of contemporary philosophy. Or then, in a bit more straightforward way, take the lyrics from Talking Heads:

What is happening to my skin?
Where is that protection that I needed?
Air can hurt you too
Air can hurt you too
Some people say not to worry about the air
Some people never had experience with...

While we might not want to mistake Talking Heads’ song Air (from the album Fear of Music, 1979) as a note about the Anthropogenic climate change and air pollution, it does set the tone in suitable ways. This talk will address such questions about air and air pollution, and the various political, media theoretical and material contexts in which it is registered.

Aimée Mullins

Aimée Mullins is an Olympian, ground-breaking model, beacon for design/tech and an actor. Born without fibulae, she was amputated below the knee at the age of one and learned to walk on prosthetics. She was one of three students chosen for full academic scholarship from the Department of Defense and at 17 became the youngest person to hold a top-secret clearance at the Pentagon. While at Georgetown she became the first female amputee to compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and was instrumental in the design of, and the first person to compete in, carbon fiber prostheses modeled after a cheetah, now the international standard for amputee runners. She set world records in the 100m, 200m, and long jump. Mullins made her catwalk debut for Alexander McQueen, becoming a muse for him and artists like Matthew Barney.  As an actress, she currently appears in the award-winning Netflix series Stranger Things. Mullins was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2017 and is in both the NCAA and Track & Field Hall of Fame. She's been featured in The Smithsonian, the Met, and the Women’s Museum in Dallas, where she's recognized as one the “Greatest American Women of the 20th Century.”

Baptiste Morizot

Doctor in Philosophy and teaching fellow Baptiste Morizot is also a lecturer at the University of Aix-en-Provence. He dedicates his work to the relationship between human beings and the living, both within and without. He is the author of Les Diplomates. Cohabiter avec le loup sur une autre carte du vivant, 2016, Editions Wildproject (Fondation de l'Ecologie Politique 2017 Prize and François Sommer Literary Award 2016) and Pour une théorie de la rencontre. Hasard et individuation chez G. Simondon, Editions Vrin.

Diplomacy with the living. A return to a time of myths

Can we conceive any other relationship with the living than the one the Western world has inherited? Our relationships, between exploitation and protection, are based on a fundamental asymmetry between us and them. Could we conceive and implement relationships that would recognise our uniqueness as human animals without creating a split that would condemn us to “natural” relationships with nature’s creatures?

The most intriguing impact of environmental metamorphoses on our relationship with the living and the natural world becomes visible if we make a detour via what anthropology teaches us about the reactions of some animistic populations to climate change. In animistic worlds, nature is domesticated from all sides, except for mysterious knots which harbour metamorphic changelings, whose nature is unclear and with whom one cannot establish a stable relationship. Faced with these creatures, one must continue to speak and share in order to try and establish a stable social relationship. Yet, these creatures are an anomaly in traditional animistic worlds. In the Far North for example, because of environmental metamorphoses, Gwich'in hunters are no longer able to catch animals, hybrid animals (coywolves and pizzlis) elude ancestral knowledge, incomprehensible and unpredictable phenomena multiply in a nature that was well domesticated until then, and all this turns the status of these metamorphic changelings from anomalies to the norm (Nastassja Martin, 2016). Yet, when metamorphic changelings, with whom social relationships have not been established, become the norm, one could talk of a return to the time of myths in an animistic world. In parallel reasoning, I would contend that contemporary naturalism in the face of climate change has also entered into a new time of myths, the argument being that in the face of climate change, biological sciences and political ecology jointly give rise to natural living figures that make obsolete the status we granted to former natural creatures and destabilise the relationships we had established with them. What becomes of nature if Earth becomes Gaia, if human beings become bacteria-filled multispecies ecosystems (or holobionts), if wild animals become diplomatic interlocutors and matsutake mushrooms become alliance partners? Nothing we thought we knew, is the answer. These changelings which have become the norm are metamorphic creatures, in the sense that we do not know their nature and what relationship to establish with them, which in itself is a reasonable definition of a time of myths. While Modernity built itself on the idea that the rise of modern sciences would spell the end of the time of myths, precisely because that specific myth would actually be true, we might find ourselves immersed once again into a time of that nature. The living came out of nature to enter politics, but we do not yet know with what status – they have that non-distinctive, metamorphic, pre-individual status which is the status of dreamtime, and which demands (this is the second parallel) that we talk, we name, we share and invent, while also finding again, in order to try and individuate who they are, to give them a new name and status, and thirdly (and this is the third shared aspect with the time of myth) to establish stable social and political relationships with them. They came out of nature, which means we cannot have “natural” relationships with them. In a way, we are compelled to become perspectivists, i.e. we have to accept establishing social and political relationships with creatures from a former “nature”.

Vanessa Lorenzo

Vanessa Lorenzo is a hybrid researcher based in Lausanne. She creates fictional scenarios to put in context the use of biotechnology and DIY biology through imagined objects that usually influence in our perception of our environnent. She holds an engineering degree in industrial design (Mondragón, Spain, 2008 and Barcelona, Spain, 2010) and a Master of Media Design (HEAD – Geneva, 2016). Currently, she is an independent researcher and artist in Hybridoa, co-president of the Hackuarium biohackerspace (Renens), part of the international network of collaborative art and biohacking Hackteria and member of Utopiana Genève transdisciplinary association. She received a distinction for her final Master project "Camera Obscura et les artefacts de l'invisible" in collaboration with Biodesign for the Real World. She presented her work in «La Semiosphere du Commun » at Le Commun (CAC, Gevève, 2017) and TouchMe Festival (Zagreb, 2017). She earned a residency "Biofilia Urbana" at the MediaLab Prado (Madrid, 2016) and Ars Bioarctica in Subartctic Lapland (Kilpisjärvi, 2017). She presented her work on bioink and biomaterials "Prin(k)t plastic, it's fantastic! " at the Istituto Svizzero del Diseno (Milan, 2016), the Salone Internationale del Mobile (Milan, 2014) and at Lift Conference (Geneva, 2015 and 2016) and LIFT (Genève, 2015). 
With We Spoke Music Company and Hackuarium, she also presented her experimental music and new media work "Living instruments" at KlangMoorSchopfe (Gaïs, 2017), the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (Darmstadt, 2016), in Le Bourg (Lausanne, 2016) and was part of the colaborative Kammer Klang Program at Project Space with a performance in Cafe Oto (London, 2017). She organises and designs collaborative workshops about biodesign, ideation and biohacking with Hackuarium (Great Lausanne), Utopiana (Geneva) and collaborates with the Open Science School (CRI, Paris).

Most interactions between humans and the Earth are mediated through technological objects, often influenced by a dualism that separates nature from culture; they filter out a wide range of data streamed from events that cut across spheres (biosphere, lithosphere, ionosphere, semiosphere, techno-sphere, etc...). This partial approach to our environment haunts our perception and requires new modes of abstraction to decipher the secrets of a global shift. By exploring the potential contribution of living beings to media systems, we build a common ground that enables equity by considering the other inhabitants at the same level to tell stories about our planet: citizens with memory, sensing capabilities and political weight that could influence policy making and help us create forms of collaboration. What would be the dialogue between a GMO with sensing capabilities and a toxic artifact? Could fungi and bacteria stream out data to map techno-geographies of our damaged locations? Could moss sound out the Anthropocene? By appropriating technologies and scientific protocols, we could give rise to new ecologies that would lead us to alternative futures.

Artistic proposition

Camera obscura & the artefacts of the invisible
Installation, 2017

Camera Obscura & the artefacts of the invisible is part of a design research project that aims to rise awareness on the anxieties of progress in the age of the Anthropocene through new media ecologies. By merging electronic media, toxic artefacts and bioengineered organisms, this interactive installation uses bacteria as witness of an ecological shift that was caused by a massive spill of heavy metals in the Rhone valley since the 1960’s. Since then, the incident has been overall covered, badly managed and unspoken at social, political and / or economical level till 2015, when workers of the A9 highway, unveiled the dormant evidence laying under the mud at the river side in Turtig (Vaud, Switzerland). The Camera Obscura is a DIY, (bio) hacked, opensource tool that uses the “blackboxed” dialogue between bacteria and toxic matter as non-human narrators (I use non-human carefully here, meaning that we humans failed telling liable stories about our damaged planet). By shifting the narrator, we discharge a shirking society to confront the fact, mourn the loss and accept the ecological shift and seek for alternative futures.

Khalil Joreige & Joana Hadjithomas

The Lebanese film-makers and artists Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige (1969, Beirut) interweave thematic, conceptual and formal links through photographs, video installations, fictional films and documentaries. Self-taught, they became filmmakers and artists through necessity in the wake of the Lebanese civil wars and consider themselves as researchers. Their very personal oeuvre, based on their various encounters with people, has led them to explore the realm of the visible and of absence, leading to a back-and-forth between life and fiction. For more than fifteen years, their films and artworks, created using personal and political documents, develop narratives out of stories kept secret in the face of the prevailing history. The investigative process they adopt, together with their exploration of geographical and personal territory, endows their work with a particular aesthetic.
Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige’s work is constructed around the production of types of knowledge, the rewriting of history, construction of imaginaries, and also around contemporary modes of narration. They draw on their experience of their own country while going beyond its frontiers.
The films and artworks of Hadjithomas and Joreige have been collected by private and public institutions and museums around the world, including the Centre Pompidou and Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris; the Victoria & Albert Museum and British Museum in London; the Guggenheim in New York and the Sharjah Art Foundation in Sharjah, as well as many biennales including Istanbul, Lyon, Sharjah, Kochi, Gwangju, Yinchuan, Venice and the Triennale in Paris. In 2017 they were awarded the Marcel Duchamp Prize, after exhibiting the project Unconformities at the Centre Pompidou.

Khalil Joreige and Joana Hadjithomas present their most recent project, ‘Unconformities,’ which like their video ‘Waiting for the Barbarians,’ shown in the exhibition and inspired by the eponymous poem by Constantine Cavafy works on temporalities and confronts the idea of the city in relation to its complex histories of inhabitation. They create artworks derived from drilling cores, which reveal and fix the subterranean worlds of Paris, Athens and Beirut: three cities omnipresent in their personal imaginary. Recovered from the construction sites that discard them after use, these core samples bare their "unconformities" - temporal ruptures, natural disasters, geological movements - in full view, revealing construction as a cyclical process; the defining feature of civilizations past and present. History appears not as layers but as actions, a kind of palimpsest mixing epochs and civilizations. These poetic recompositions question the dominant forms of narrating and representing history, but also address debates around the Anthropocene. Hadjithomas and Joreige presented Unconformities at the Centre Pompidou in Paris after their nomination for the Marcel Duchamp Prize, which they won.

Artistic proposition

Waiting for the Barbarians

What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?
The barbarians are due here today.
Why isn’t anything happening in the senate?
Why do the senators sit there without legislating?
Because the barbarians are coming today.
What laws can the senators make now?
Once the barbarians are here, they’ll do the legislating.

Why did our emperor get up so early,
and why is he sitting at the city’s main gate
on his throne, in state, wearing the crown?

Because the barbarians are coming today
and the emperor is waiting to receive their leader.
He has even prepared a scroll to give him,
replete with titles, with imposing names.

Why have our two consuls and praetors come out today
wearing their embroidered, their scarlet togas?
Why have they put on bracelets with so many amethysts,
and rings sparkling with magnificent emeralds?
Why are they carrying elegant canes
beautifully worked in silver and gold?

Because the barbarians are coming today
and things like that dazzle the barbarians.

Why don’t our distinguished orators come forward as usual
to make their speeches, say what they have to say?

Because the barbarians are coming today
and they’re bored by rhetoric and public speaking.

Why this sudden restlessness, this confusion?
(How serious people’s faces have become.)
Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly,
everyone going home so lost in thought?

Because night has fallen and the barbarians have not come.
And some who have just returned from the border say
there are no barbarians any longer.

And now, what’s going to happen to us without barbarians?
They were, those people, a kind of solution.

In today’s troubled times of war, recessions and loss of ideals, Contantine Cavafy’s voice through his poem “Waiting for the Barbarians” becomes more relevant than ever, echoing very strongly, resonating in endlessly disintegrating societies, in places where the unexpected always happen and where there is nothing but desire and poetry to counter violence and power.
Different instants mix and mingle, producing impossible images and evoking supernatural visions. Photography becomes animated by the effect of superimposition, as if time, space and movement were entangled, creating a tension between stillness and motion. Temporalities become disrupted, nature is reversed and many suns appear on multiplied horizons.

Joana Hadjithomas et Khalil Joreige

Aliocha Imhoff & Kantuta Quirós

Aliocha Imhoff and Kantuta Quirós are filmmakers, art theorists and curators based in Paris, founders of the curatorial platform A People Is Missing. For several years, they have been developing a research project that calls for a new ecology of knowledge, based on curatorial formats, that present contemporary thought (diplomatic fictions, fictitious processes, staged controversies, assemblies and thought experiments on the subject at scale 1:1. Among their latest curatorial projects and exhibitions, Le procès de la fiction (Nuit Blanche, 2017), Une Constituante migrante (Centre Pompidou, 2017), A Government of Times (Rebuild Foundation, Chicago, Leipzig, 2016), La frontera nos cruzo (Museo de la Inmigracion, Buenos Aires, 2015), Post-exotisme (New Haven Fort, UK, 2015), Cinéma Permanent in Leiris & Co (Centre Pompidou Metz, 2015), Au-delà de l'Effet-Magiciens (Fondation Gulbenkian, Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers, 2015), The Accelerationist Trial (Centre Pompidou, 2014), Le procès d’une polémique : Jan Karski, histoire et fiction (HEAD Genève, 2014), La géografia sirve, primero, para hacer la guerra (Museo de la Memoria, Bogota, 2014), A Thousand Years of NonLinear History (Centre Pompidou, 2013), Fais un effort pour te souvenir. Ou, à défaut, invente. (Bétonsalon - Centre d’Art et de Recherche, 2013), L’artiste en ethnographe (Quai Branly - Centre Pompidou, 2012), Que faire ? art/film/politique (Centre Pompidou, Palais de Tokyo, Beaux-Arts de Paris, 2010). They are also part of the editorial board of the journal Multitudes, the editorial board of the Prairies Ordinaires, in 2015-2016 they were part of the artists in residency of the programme the Method Room in Chicago, at the Rebuild Foundation.
Kantuta Quirós is Lecturer associate at the National School of Architecture. Alyosha Imhoff teaches cinema and art theory at Paris 1 University. They directed the publications Géoesthétique (Editions B42, 2014), Histoires afropolitaines de l’art, Multitudes 53-54 (2014), and published Les potentiels du temps, Manuella Editions, 2016. They are currently developing Les Impatients, a film-essay, a chronopolitical series.

“Our age has been described as the age of winter – an ice age for possibilities. Faced with this ‘crisis of the future’ that the early 21st century is undergoing. The Impatient Ones are those who work towards reconstructing the future (or futures). They are the same people who feel a sense of impatience towards a seemingly stagnant and immobile History.
Based on this crisis, this series arises from the urgency to rediscover possibilities for the future. Thus, we are left in search of traces and hints of possible futures, which we collect and gather together. We then seek to sew together these ‘bursts’ of possible futures, which many modern artists and thinkers express. We address this investigation like rhapsodes – the rhapsode who goes from town to town reciting poems written by others, the seeker, the liaison agent who, in the primary sense of the term, aims to sew and link together different spaces, continuously, as far as the limits of the inhabited world.
Each episode thus begins from a chronotope, a specific space-time, from which a temporal reflection is constructed. The people we film in Chicago, Detroit, Dakar, Paris, Leipzig and soon in Haiti and Lagos, embody crystals of time, far from the fiction of the homogeneous time of globalisation, far from the fantasy of global simultaneity.
We film in Chicago, in Detroit, where the crepuscular ruins of the sub-prime crisis and the wounds inflicted on the black community are contradicted by Afro-futuristic imagination and the Black Lives Matter movement. We film in Dakar, where seeds of a different future for Africa are beginning to sprout. We film in Leipzig, where the movement that would lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall historically started. We film in Paris, during Nuit Debout, where agendas were undone and where, like an epiphany, the shared joy of rediscovering political possibilities re-emerged.” — KQ & AI

Artistic proposition

Les Impatients
A film by Aliocha Imhoff & Kantuta Quirós (in progress)
Production: Spectre / Phantom
With the support of the Patronage Commission of FNAGP
Featuring Steven Shaviro, Krista Franklin, Amir George, Devin Cain, Devin King & Caroline Picard, Ytasha L. Womack, Joshua Rios, Ellen Rothenberg, Michelle Wright, Camille de Toledo, Ibaaku, Ican Ramageli (Agit’Art Laboratory), Felwine Sarr, Malick Ndiaye, Maurizio Lazzarato, François Hartog, ….
The first episode in Chicago/Detroit was shot during the Méthode Room residency programme led by Guillaume Désanges at the Rebuild Foundation (established by artist Theaster Gates) with the support of the French Institute, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the USA, the University of Chicago and the Théâtre de la Ville. Other episodes are in progress (Paris, Dakar and Leipzig, with the support of Leipzig’s Halle 14 Contemporary Art Centre).

Lauren Huret

Lauren Huret was born in 1984 and is currently living in Geneva, Switzerland. After a first MA degree from Bordeaux’s School of Fine Arts (2008), Huret moved to Geneva and graduated with a second MA degree in Fine Arts (WORK.MASTER option), from HEAD – Genève in 2013. Her visual work, which consists mainly of videos, performances and collage, reconsiders our ambiguous and confused relationship with machines, in particular with new technologies and the many unknowns they give rise to. Her works have been presented in venues such as La Panacée in Montpellier, Kunsthaus Langanthal, Hard Hat gallery and the Rath Museum in Geneva, and the Copenhagen Contemporary, while her performances have featured at the Swiss Festival for Performance at the Kunstmuseum in Luzern, the Schinkel Pavilion in Berlin, the Théâtre de l’Usine in Geneva and Les Urbaines festival in Lausanne.

On cursed pictures

At the time of reddit, 4chan, viral images and access to all kinds of content, I will try to explore the history of the image as a curse experience, or "d" image which can rot the soul.

Artistic proposition

Les âmes suspendues
HD video, PAL, loop, no sound, 30', 2017, co-production HEAD – Genève

Entirely shot with a smartphone and a facial recognition application, the video is composed of a collection of attempts to replace identity and unexpected trade between faces and objects. In search of spectral appearances in various contexts, the application seeks to recognise the features of a woman on everything that resembles her and superimposes her own drawn, empty, disturbing masks. The video results are kind of hallucinatory "algorithmic pareidolies".

Marguerite Humeau

Marguerite Humeau (born 1986, France) lives and works in London. She studied at the Design Academy Eindhoven and at the Royal College of Art, London, where she obtained her MA in Design Interactions in 2011. Her work has been shown in various solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums including Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Château de Versailles, Haus Konstruktiv (Zürich Art Prize 2017), Tate Britain (London), Nottingham Contemporary, the High Line (New York), Manifesta11 (Zürich), Schinkel Pavillon (Berlin), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), and the Hayward Gallery (Touring Programme). She currently teaches at HEAD – Genève and Open School East (Margate). Marguerite Humeau’s work stages the crossing of great distances in time and space, transitions between animal and mineral, and encounters between personal desires and natural forces. The work explores the possibility of communication between worlds and the means by which knowledge is generated in the absence of evidence or through the impossibility of reaching the object of investigation. Marguerite Humeau weaves factual events into speculative narratives, therefore enabling unknown, invisible, or extinct forms of life to erupt in grandiose splendour. Combining prehistory, occult biology and science fiction in a disconcerting spectacle – the works resuscitate the past, conflate subterranean and subcutaneous, all the while updating the quest genre for the information age.

Artistic proposition

The complex of works RIDDLES consists in five projects and exhibitions that took place in 2017 on the High Line in New York, at C L E A R I N G New York/Brussels, at the Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin, in the Bosquet de l’Arc de Triomphe in the Château de Versailles gardens and at Haus Konstruktiv in Zürich. 
The figure at the center of all RIDDLES exhibitions is that of the sphinx, a human-animal composite being present in all civilisations around the world, the beginnings of which date all the way back to the early history of humanity. In both Egyptian and Greek mythology, a protective function is attributed to the sphinx: the ability to guard humanity against potential enemies. In ancient Greece, it would also decide on life or death according to whether a riddle was answered correctly or incorrectly. Marguerite Humeau bridges the gap between past and present, hypothesizing that today’s surveillance systems, drones for instance, are directly descended from the ancient figure of the sphinx. 
While researching the origins of the sphinx, the artist came across the Lion Man, a figurine 35’000 to 41’000 years old, found in 1939 in the cave Hohlenstein-Stadel in the valley Lonetal. This shows that sphinx-like figures were already being made in the Upper Paleolithic Age, a time when humans were exposed to wild animals and had not yet become the dominant species on Earth. Another observation support this theory: vultures and lions, that together compose the figure of the sphinx, and that are often represented in early representations of conflicts, are two of the rare species to be eating human flesh. 
This led the artist to assume that early humans invented the figure of the sphinx as a protective deity to guard against enemy attacks. Humeau sees the sphinx as a hybrid of all menacing attackers, which it protects and also threatens. 

Arne Hendriks

Sometimes called a radical ecologist Arne Hendriks (Amsterdam, 1971) investigates what it will take to make real fundamental paradigm shifts that allow the human species to embrace a different mode of existence. Rather than a fixed entity Hendriks considers humanity to be a temporary state of biological and cultural signifiers that can be examined and altered. He combines earnest declarations with wry humor and scientific fact with speculative explorations about what could or should happen. His installations present ongoing research that invites the public to participate and make up their own minds. In 2013 Hendriks was presented with the Future Concepts Dutch Design Award for his speculative research project The Incredible Shrinking Man, an investigation into the possibilities of shrinking the human species to better fit the Earth. He’s been named one of the 50 future thinkers by ICON Magazine and lectures and teaches around the world. Ongoing projects include KankerCel, the writing of an economic narrative inspired by cancer research, Evacuation (8 Billion City), about the resettlement of the human population in a single point and The Academy of Work, a series of speculative installations investigating the past, the present, and the future of work and Fatberg, the collective creation of a floating island of fat.

Artistic proposition

The Incredible Shrinking Man. A performative lecture on downsizing the human species.

Over the past 8 years Arne Hendriks has investigated if and how the humans  species can become smaller. The Incredible Shrinking Man investigates the possibility of a smaller human species. Small people need less and have more. At present Homo sapiens is growing towards scarcity where we should be shrinking towards a situation of abundance. The human species is one of the most hypervariable species on Earth. The smallest person known to human history was Chandra Bahadur Dangi from Nepal, who measured 54.6cm. American Robert Wadlow was the tallest person in recorded history with a height of 272cm. The Incredible Shrinking Man suggests to shrink to 50cm. At this height we need less then 25% of the resources we need today. The challenge is not so much how to become smaller, this is a matter of genes and food, but how to desire to become small. People have an irrational love for tallness, growth, more. We don’t want to become smaller. Yet we must. Arne Hendriks will share his ideas on how to overcome the seemingly impossible and take the first few small steps towards a smaller human species. Rule one: Suspend disbelief.

Michael Hansmeyer

Michael Hansmeyer is an architect and programmer who explores the role of computation to generate and fabricate architectural form. Recent projects include the construction of two full-scale 3D printed grottos for Centre Pompidou and FRAC’s Archilab exhibition, an installation of subdivided columns at the Gwangju Design Biennale, and the Platonic Solids series. Most recently, Michael taught as visiting professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. He previously taught at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich and Southeast University in Nanjing. Prior to this, he worked at Herzog & de Meuron architects and in the consulting and financial industries at McKinsey & Company and J.P. Morgan respectively.

Artistic proposition

Digital Grotesque II
Tools of Imagination

Today, we can fabricate anything. Digital fabrication now functions at both the micro and macro scales, combining multiple materials, and using different materialization processes. Complexity and customization are no longer impediments in design.
While we can fabricate anything, design arguably appears confined by our instruments of design. It seems that our current design tools operate within a too tightly prescribed scope: we can only design what we can directly represent. What we need are new types of design instruments. We need tools for search and exploration, rather than simply control and execution. They require a design language without the need for words and labels, as they should create the previously unseen. Knowledge and experience are acquired through search, demanding heuristics that work in the absence of categorization.
The project Digital Grotesque II seeks to develop such tools. It is a human-scale, highly ornamental grotto that was specifically designed to exploit the potentials of large-scale binderjet sand printing. It was guided by the search for new design instruments, and by a redefinition of the role of the computer vis-à-vis the architect.
While many of today’s 3D software packages allow the design of highly articulated surfaces, they generally lack the ability to generate the complex topologies that a 3D printer is capable of materializing. In Digital Grotesque II, a new type of topological subdivision algorithm was devised to allow the refinement of solid volumes. A form of genus zero can thereby evolve into a form with a genus of thousands, creating topologically complex, porous, multi-layered structures with spatial depth. These forms would be nearly impossible to produce using traditional means, yet are perfectly suitable to binderjet sand printing.
Given the vast solution space of such an algorithm, the question of how to explore and navigate the possibilities is key. Rather than work within a cycle of computer-proposed permutations that are then evaluated and selected by the architect, an attempt was made to let the computer itself evaluate the forms it generates. An optimization can take place in which forms are gradually evolved towards specific goals. But in the absence of functional design criteria – in the case of a grotto – towards which goals should the forms be optimized? Can one quantify notions such as beauty, interestingness, or newness?
Initially, no correlations were found between desirability of a form, and either its process parameters or its geometric attributes. Yet once the perspective of the spectator was also taken into account, two measures for desirability could be formulated: the depth complexity of a form, and its experienceability. The first measure stems from ray tracing in computer graphics, and denotes how many times a ray of light reflects off of a surface before reaching the eye of the spectator. It measures the spatial depth of a form. The second measure, experienceability, denotes a how much a spectator has to change his position or orientation in order to perceive the form in its entirety.
In Digital Grotesque II, the computer evolved forms to maximize these two criteria. It learned to create fragments of the grotto for which the depth complexity and the experienceability were particularly high. In doing so, the computer gained a degree of autonomy, becoming a partner in design to help us to exceed our imaginations.
If 3D printing is thought of as a medium between writing (designing) and reading (spatial experiences) architecture, then the use of computational tools can help us to create exciting new narratives.

Ying Gao

A fashion designer and university professor, Ying Gao has achieved personal distinction through her numerous creative projects: six solo exhibitions in France, in Switzerland, in Canada, and participation in around sixty group exhibitions around the world (MAK Vienna, MFA Boston, Ars Electronica…). Her varied creative work has enjoyed international media coverage: over 350 press articles and media appearances (Time, METAL, Vogue, Dazed and Confused, Interni, Radio Canada, TV5… ). She is one of the “Fab 40: Canada” selected by Wallpaper magazine. Ying Gao questions our assumptions about clothing by combining urban design, architecture and media design. She explores the construction of the garment, taking her inspiration from the transformations of the social and urban environment. Recognized worldwide, her designs are frequently shown in museums and galleries. Design is the medium, situated in the technological rather than in the textile realm : sensory technologies allow garments to become more playful and interactive. Ying Gao explores both the status of the individual, whose physical contours are transformed by external interferences, and the garment’s function as a fragile protective space. Her work testifies to the profound mutation of the world in which we live and carries with it a radical critical dimension that transcends technological experimentation.

Artistic proposition

Possible Tomorrows
Nylon mesh, Nylon thread, PVDF thread, thermoplastic, electronic devices.

Interactive clothing with fingerprint recognition technology, that acknowledges only strangers. The two robotised garments are connected to a fingerprint recognition system. However, through bypassing the notion of security, they only become animated in the presence of strangers whose fingerprints aren’t recognised by the scanner. The aesthetic and motion of these garments evoke hypotrochoids, shapes borrowed from the vintage game Spirograph: their flattened curves are drawn by a single point linked to a mobile circle that rolls without sliding, on and inside of an initial circle. This design was developed from a series of algorithms linked to the realm of pattern recognition, or scatter graph.

Neutralité : Can't and Won't
2 interactive dresses, Super organza, cotton mesh, PVDF, electronic devices. 

Two dresses, named “Can’t” and “Won’t”, displaying an aesthetic and motion reminiscent of microbial life, which react according to a facial expression recognition system and stop moving as soon as the on-looker begins to emote. Paradoxes. The “Can’t” and “Won’t” dresses push the notion of a false neutrality a bit further by asking the on-looker, who is usually highly solicited, reactive and emotional, to maintain a stoic attitude and posture. It is only on this condition that the garment’s “life” is prolonged, having already been set in motion by the visitor’s presence; it demands a level of humility clearly out of synch with today’s over-the-top expressiveness. Being asked to take an active part in a “living” system, the spectator therefore becomes a component of a self-generated ecosystem, as French philosopher Edgar Morin suggests in La Méthode, La Vie de la vie (The Method, The Life of Life): “Auto-eco-organisation signifies the plurality of possible relations within a living organism, which is simultaneously closed on itself, and infinitely open to the environment and its diversity.” This balletic back and forth is entertained by a means of trompe l’oeil, where robotised movements and shadow plays create a nuanced and delicate breathing effect. 

Cécile B. Evans

Starting from the relationship between humans and new technologies, Cécile B. Evans' work reflects on the value of emotions in contemporary society by exploring new forms of human subjectivity.

Artistic proposition

Feeling For You

Feeling For You is an ongoing, frequently updated performative lecture that reverse engineers the artist's practice through a series of personal anecdotes, google searches, images, audience reactions, and video clips. Meandering through the last few years of Evans' work, the talk follows the same 'hyperlinked' logic used in recent projects like Hyperlinks or It Didn't Happen or AGNES. Touching on the impacting rise of digital technology and the disorienting feedback loops it creates within society, Evans takes the opportunity to question the last few years of her own work, including projects such as Sprung A Leak, What the Heart Wants, and Amos' World

Kodwo Eshun

Kodwo Eshun is Lecturer in Contemporary Art Theory at Goldsmiths, University of London, Visiting Professor, Haute Ecole d'Art et de Design, HEAD – Genève and co-founder of The Otolith Group.

The Science Fiction of Kojo Bernard Laing from the Year 2020.

Major Gentl and the Achimota Wars, the third novel written by the Ghanaian novelist and poet Kojo Bernard Laing in 1992, is the most sustained science fiction yet written in which the futurity of the African continent constitutes the ground and the stake of warring forces. Set in the year 2020, Major Gentl and the Achimota Wars narrates the right to invent futurity as a War for and over the future existence of the continent. Laing’s conflictual vision of the year 2020 poses problems and possibilities for the future thought of science fiction’s futurities. In what ways does Laing’s science fiction from the year 2020 pressurise the predicates that support the futures narrated by science’s fictions?

Yves Citton

Yves Citton is professor of French Literature at the Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint Denis (since 2017). He previously taught at the University of Geneva, Switzerland (1986-1992, 2015), at the University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA (1992-2003), at the Université Grenoble Alpes (2003-2017), and has been invited Professor at New York University (2011), Harvard (2011) and Sciences-Po Paris (2002-2009). He is co-editor of the journal Multitudes and he recently published Médiarchie (Paris, Seuil, 2017), The Ecology of Attention (Cambridge, Polity Press, 2016, translation of Pour une écologie de l’attention, Paris, Seuil, 2014), Gestes d’humanités. Anthropologie sauvage de nos expériences esthétiques (Paris, Armand Colin, 2012), Renverser l’insoutenable (Paris, Seuil, 2012), Zazirocratie (Paris, Éditions Amsterdam, 2011), L’Avenir des Humanités. Économie de la connaissance ou cultures de l’interprétation ? (Paris, Éditions de la Découverte, 2010), Mythocratie (Paris, Éditions Amsterdam, 2010), Lire, interpréter, actualiser. Pourquoi les études littéraires ? (Paris, Éditions Amsterdam, 2007) and L’Envers de la liberté. L’invention d’un imaginaire spinoziste dans la France des Lumières (Paris, Éditions Amsterdam, 2006). His articles can be found online at

Surprendre des emprises des programmations

We often say that we live in a world of “data” (given), often forgetting that this is in fact “capta” (taken). The joint role of artists and scientists now could well be to over-take the way in which programmes deal with the capture and management of the data which prevalent economic paradigms feed on. What type of over-takings do contemporary artistic approaches give us the model of? What political value can we draw from it?
This intervention will require the clever mind of Vilém Flusser to define the issues of what is at play between human gestures and the programmed devices that now make up our working and living environment. The aim will not be to advocate a de-programming retreat, away from the pernicious and totalitarian grip of programming, or to settle for re-programming (a little better) the algorithms of ubiquitous computation. Rather, the aim seems to consist in over-taking what takes us, without necessarily claiming to avoid it, but with the hope of diverting the path of the ineluctable data companies that plot our daily lives and our futures.

Olaf Blanke

Olaf Blanke is founding director of the Center for Neuroprosthetics and holds the Bertarelli Foundation Chair in Cognitive Neuroprosthetics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL). He directs the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience at EPFL and is Professor of Neurology at the University Hospital of Geneva. Blanke’s neuroscience research is dedicated to the study of consciousness and how bodily processing of the brain encodes the self, including such fascinating alterations of the self as out-of-body experiences and ghost sensations. His work includes pioneering technology research in virtual reality and robotics that is dedicated to the control and enabling of complex subjective mental states (i.e. experience engineering). In his medical research Blanke develops devices and procedures for diagnostics and therapeutics in several neurological conditions, including amputation, chronic pain, schizophrenia, and Parkinson’s disease. Blanke has a long-standing interest in the Arts and Neuroscience and recently published “Lignes de fuite. Vers une neuropsychologie de la peinture”. He has published several articles about self-portraiture and has collaborated with the visual artists Melvin Monti, Luca Forcucci, Nicole Ottiger, Isabella Pasqualini, and Mark Boulos.

From bionic limbs and surrogate bodies to digital selves and out-of-body experiences: Neuroscience, robotics & virtual reality

Modern robotic and haptic technology in the form of surgical robotics, prosthetics and rehabilitation robotics has been widely applied for the improvement of surgical procedures, the training of new abilities, and the restoration of lost sensorimotor functions. Unprecedented advances have also been made in neuroscience and especially our understanding of the human brain. This work discovered the dedicated structure and functions of the human brain, including the neural processes and networks that encode how our represents our body in the brain and how these brain mechanisms enable human consciousness and the self. I will first present our recent work in psychology, neuroscience, and digital technologies (virtual reality) that has linked consciousness and the self to the processing of bodily signals by specific neural processes. Next, I will show how these scientific insights, if linked with engineering expertise in robotics and virtual reality can be applied to the design of powerful bionic limbs, aviation robotics and medicine. I will conclude by sketching the future of the full integration of digital technologies with neuroscience and robotics in order to develop what I propose to call experience engineering of body and self.

J. G. Biberkopf

J. G. Biberkopf works within the paradoxical relationship between club music and art music. Assembling a collage spanning a vast range of influences from dark ecology, sound studies, architecture, media theory, existentialist movements, post-dramatic theatre to grime and musique concrete. His first EP, titled Ecologies, launched the new Knives label created by Kuedo and Joe Shakespeare of Berlin’s Motto Books. From cyber ambience and slamming rhythmic constructions, to instant trails of web-filtered grime and beatless studies of net phenomenology, Biberkopf’s first release was intended as a field trip into the representations of nature that emerge from the (social) mediascape. The second edition in the series, exploring ecologies of urban living called ‘Ecologies II: Ecosystems of Excess’ was released in November 11th, 2016. He is now working on expanding this series into a piece designed to be performed in theatrical settings. The chosen title of the trilogy reflects more broadly Biberkopf’s overall musical practice, namely the urge to make music sound as a “self-sufficient” ecology that cannot be traced back to him as a creator, but that rather seems to originate from an actual landscape. In this vein, he works intensively with aural signifiers, taking sounds that are eminent in public sphere, and noises that work as signs or memes, to explore the semiotics of sound. JGB is part of Gediminas Žygus, whose past works and collaborations were exhibited and performed at Berghain (DE), Pompidou (FR), Barbican (UK), Paradiso (NL), The Kitchen (US), CAC-Vilnius, Rupert (LT). He was part of the co-ordinating team of the Newman Festival as well as of the Unthinkable Nomos series of events. His latest EP Fountain of Meaning was released on 8.12.2017 by Swiss label Danse Noire.

Artistic proposition

Live music act

Mechanics of Overflow, Ushered Across a Feed
J. G. Biberkopf, Ecologies II: Ecosystems of Excess
Booklet in collaboration with Maximage and Deforrest jr. Brown
Download booklet (PDF)

Joanna Berzowska

Joanna Berzowska is Associate Dean of Research at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University in Montreal as well as Founder and Research Director of XS Labs, a research laboratory for electronic textiles and interactive apparel. She is the Director of Intelligent Textiles at Montreal's OMsignal, where she developed a collection of biometric clothing in collaboration with Ralph Lauren that measures and analyzes the signals of the human body. It looks for innovative materials and technologies as well as possible applications in this field, with a focus on innovative methods of creating electronic textiles and reactive clothing. She has worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and has participated in numerous international conferences on electronic fabrics and their social, cultural, aesthetic and political implications. Her creations have been shown at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, NYC, Victoria & Albert Museum, Millenium Museum, Beijing, Siggraph Art Galleries, ISEA, Australian Museum in Sydney, and NTT ICC in Tokyo.

Future Fashion and Critical Materiality

New research in fibre technology, involving material science, electronics, biology, and organic chemistry will create future textiles capable of sensing your heartbeat, changing colour and shape, or otherwise interacting with your body and your environment. We are training the next generation of designers who will be able to harness the full potential of these interactive textiles to enable a fashion design revolution. Berzowska will outline current and future trends in electronic textiles and wearable technology, from the current emphasis on sports performance focused smart textiles, to future impacts for design, including fashion design, health and wellness, manufacturing infrastructure, and social innovation. Future textiles are predicated on a blend of material innovation and social innovation, meaning that they are ideally positioned to change the future of design, through (1) offering a new range of multi-disciplinary design professions, (2) revolutionizing material science and manufacturing industries, as well as (3) defining critical approaches to future “smart fashion,” which examine social, cultural, legal, and privacy concerns.

Korakrit Arunanondchai

Korakrit Arunanondchai (b.1986 Bangkok,Thailand, lives and work New York City) is an artist working in film, photography, sculpture, installation and performance. Drawing from his family members and his current research in natural sciences, technology and religions, Arunanondchai works with the idea of animism as framed by, both the near future and a distant past.

Artistic proposition

with history in a room filled with people with funny names 4
(HD video, 23’32’’, English/Thai, 2017)

"Will you find beauty in this sea of data?” Arunanondchai asks, in Thai, in the video, “we left it behind just for you.” In keeping with the previous three videos in his series “Painting with history in a room filled with people with funny names,” the artist engages a hypnotic epistolary exchange with the drone spirit Chantri, voiced in French by his mother, a language teacher. These missives pay homage to Chris Marker’s cine-essay Sans Soleil (1983) but also to the tribute of Marker’s film, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958). Both similarly center on the urge to recreate, relive, revisit—to find intimacy with that which evades and, in so doing, holds power over us. We’ve seen this impulse in Arunanondchai’s past works: His body, or that of his twin, is pressed against images in an attempt to mark or affect them the way they mark or affect the body. He attempts to forge a non-unidirectional engagement with the spectacle. But here, in a fractured cinematic space of speculation and documentary, the artist faces down the mercurial force of memory. Specifically, he addresses the seeming contradiction between the fluid subjectivity required to contextualize the images that comprise memory, and the technology we have designed to care for it. What happens to memories when they are sloughed off into machines, he seems to ask. Might they recombine to form new paradigmatic presents based on some alienated version of our past? Will they forget us, and can they survive us? " - Annie Godfrey-Larmon

Dan Hill

Dan Hill is an Associate Director at Arup, the global design and engineering firm. He is Head of Arup Digital Studio, a multidisciplinary strategic design, service design and interaction design team. Dan is uniquely positioned at the intersection of design, urbanism and technology, and recognised globally as a key thinker, leader and practitioner in this field.
His previous leadership positions have produced innovative, influential teams and projects, ranging across built environment (Arup, Future Cities Catapult), education and research (Fabrica), government (Sitra), and media (BBC iPlayer, Monocle), each one transformed positively via new digital technology and a holistic approach to design. He has lived and worked in UK, Australia, Finland and Italy, and developed and delivered city strategy, urban development and digital product design projects worldwide, in Sydney, Melbourne, Dubai, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Manchester, Brisbane, New York, California and many others.
Dan is visiting professor at the Bartlett School of Architecture (London), where he is Innovator-In-Residence at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, and an adjunct professor at RMIT University (Melbourne.)
His design work has featured in UAE Museum of the Future, Dubai (2014, 2015), Istanbul Design Biennal (2012), “Habitar: Bending the urban frame” (Gijon, 2010), “Remodelling Architecture: Architectural Places — Digital Spaces” (Sydney, 2009), as well as being regularly featured in global media. Published writing includes “Dark Matter & Trojan Horses: A Strategic Design Vocabulary” (Strelka Press, 2012), as well as numerous pieces for books, journals, magazines and websites. He has produced the groundbreaking and highly influential weblog City of Sound since 2001, now at