Course detail

Future of Everything

FaVU-FOEAcad. year: 2020/2021

The course is designed as a general playful exercise in speculative ("what if") thinking that combines concepts from speculative design, ecological thought and radical landscapes of the future - existing at the border of fiction and social reality. Speculative thinking is all about the future, so we are especially going to focus on the human and post-human in the future, the future of work, as well as the possible relations between the human and the non-human labor forces in an approaching post-anthropocene landscape.
It is expected that the participation in this course will strengthen students' ability to work with selected theoretical texts and visual materials. The course will also include a lecture by an invited guest from the field of speculative design. From the students’ side it will be important to reflect on the topic in the form of discussions, essays, or their own creative projects.

Learning outcomes of the course unit

Completion of the course is expected to contribute to students' ability to orient themselves in one segment of the complex environment of contemporary global art theory and practice; it should also enhance their ability to think and work interdisciplinary and anti-disciplinary.

Prerequisites

Previous experience in the field not needed.

Co-requisites

Not applicable.

Recommended optional programme components

Not applicable.

Recommended or required reading

AGAMBEN, Giorgio (HELLER-ROAZEN, Daniel, ed.). Potentialities: Collected Essays in Philosophy. Stanford University Press, 2000. ISBN 9780804732789
AVANESSIAN, Armen and Andreas TOPFER. Speculative Drawing: 2011–2014. Sternberg press 2014. ISBN 978-3-95679-044-7
BRATTON, Benjamin H. The stack: on software and sovereignty. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, [2015]. ISBN 9780262029575.
DUNNE, Anthony a Fiona RABY. Speculative everything: design, fiction, and social dreaming. London: The MIT Press, [2013]. ISBN 0262019841.
DELEUZE, Gilles a Félix GUATTARI. A thousand plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia. Přeložil Brian MASSUMI. London: Athlone Press, 1988. ISBN 0-485-12058-5.
HLAVAJOVA, Maria. Posthuman Glossary. Editor Rossi BRAIDOTTI. Londýn: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018. ISBN 978-1-350-03025-1.
ITŌ, Jōichi a Jeff HOWE. Whiplash: how to survive our faster future. New York, NY: Grand
Central Publishing, 2016. ISBN 978-1455544592.
LATOUR, Bruno. Down to Earth: politics in the new climatic regime. Přeložil Catherine PORTER. Cambridge: Polity, 2018. ISBN 978-1-5095-3057-1.
LIGORIO, Deborah. Survival Kits. Sterberg Press 2013 ISBN 978-3-95679-018-8
MORTON, Timothy. Being ecological. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, [2018]. ISBN 9780262537124
PFALLER, Robert. Interpassivity: The aesthetics of delegated enjoyment. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017. Incitements.
YOUNG, L. Machine Landscapes: Architectures of the Post Anthropocene. Wiley, 2019

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Lectures; seminars focused on analysing of selected texts; group discussions around practical outputs of students' creative practice.

Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes

The condition for granting the credit is active participation in lessons and submission / presentation of the final practical task (the assignment will be specified in a discussion with the teacher at the end of the first third of the semester).

Language of instruction

English

Work placements

Not applicable.

Course curriculum

The five main topics/blocks in which the subject is been divided are supposed to act as orientation; all of them are going to be a “hybrid” form, combination of lectures, seminars and individual creative work.

1. Introduction to speculation: potentialities
During the introductory part(s) of the course we will discuss theoretical texts dealing with the notion of “potentialities” and what could be (future scenarios) under what kind of circumstances. The students will be presented with examples of speculative thinking from history of visual art, literature, film and design but will be also asked to conduct a little research and present their own findings of examples on speculative thinking.

2. Crazy objects that turn into philosophical matter
During this part of the course, the students will be introduced to a selected set of projects devised at the centres that are known for experimenting radically with mixing art and science such as the MIT Media Lab (USA), Strelka Institute (Moscow) and similar, so the students can engage with a variety of bold examples of art, design and architecture research from the recent years.

3. Anti-disciplinary everything
Beyond interdisciplinary - there is anti-disciplinary; an important element in the processes of imagining future scenarios about things and relations as anti-disciplinary allows new ways of working (“not just a sum of a bunch of disciplines” as Joi Ito states), because it does not obey the well-established methods, frameworks and approaches of work.

4. Future of work
"Future of work", used actively as a syntagm across contexts, is referring to the future of work and workplaces as we know them now in an ever-changing world of technology, demographics and globalization. "Future of work" is a hot topic of today which brings together experts from various domains to imagine and discuss possible future scenarios about their workplace, companies; systems of human as well as human-nonhuman relations. Through various examples of using artistic approaches to create future work scenarios for companies and public bodies, the dialog of the present and the future is being examined, as that future is already here; the examples have been implemented and documented during the lecturer's work as a consultant in future scenarios at RISE SICS Stockholm. During this block of seminars we would try to imagine what is beyond the popular belief that “AI will replace our jobs” as the systems of the future will be more complex than that.

5. Post-anthropocene landscapes
During the final block of activities, we will discuss future landscapes through ecological thought, taking in consideration possible political and architectural landscapes of the future where people could, but do not have to dominate (or even exist on) their native planet. The students are expected to present their work on the topic during the final meetings, or upon agreement for an individual presentation with the teacher.

Aims

The aim of this course is to introduce the students to the notion of speculative thinking and anti-disciplinary approach to artistic research. The students are expected to discuss, but also propose their artistic research in the form of speculative fiction.

Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences

Attendance 85% is compulsory - missed classes can be compensated with individually assigned tasks.

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme Bachelor's

    branch ZST , 1. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective

  • Programme VUB Bachelor's

    branch VU-D , 3. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-D , 3. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-D , 3. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 3. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-D , 4. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-D , 4. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-D , 4. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-VT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective
    branch VU-IDT , 4. year of study, winter semester, 3 credits, elective

Type of course unit

 

Lecture

12 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer

Seminar

14 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer

eLearning