On Saturday March 31st, De Appel and Netwerk Aalst jointly presented SCI FI SESSIONS, a programme of presentations and brainstorm sessions at De Appel that aims to collectively think through alternative institutional futures in the face of a post-collapse society. The event was programmed in the context of Tamas Kaszas’ current solo exhibition presented both at De Appel and Netwerk Aalst.
A few words about the programme:
Climate change, the refugee crisis, burn-outs and flex jobs, the global rise of populism, capitalist elites and politics, the ongoing dismantling of institutional sexist and racist structures – many different domains seem on the verge of systemic collapse. What, then, if we think about these collapses as potentially productive? What if we conceive of the breakdown as something that takes the burden of the status quo off our shoulders. What kind of instituting does this enable for the fields of culture, education, welfare, economy, or ecology? What kind of tools, vocabularies, forms of (self)organisation or value systems can we speculate on?
The programme kicked off with a keynote lecture by literary scholar Barnita Bagchi, who brought immanent, feminist and potentially revolutionary utopias into resonances with the work of Tamás Kaszás. This presentation was immediately followed by a number of prompts by Jacob Lillemose, the founder and director of X and Beyond in Copenhagen. Jacob introduced a series of breakout-sessions exploring systemic collapse and its possibilities for the future of instituting, for cultural workers and publics were invited to participate. The three breakout sessions were based
on scenarios from the science-fiction stories The Drowned World (1962) by J. G. Ballard; Night Of The Living Dead (1968) by George A. Romero and The Three-body Problem (2008) by Liu Cixin.
More information and full programme: http://deappel.nl/en/events/a-sci-fi-symposium
For the people from Belgium there was a bus tour organised from Aalst, stopping in Brussels, to Amsterdam.
Following the afternoon programme, artist Tamás Kaszás walked through the exhibition SCI FI AGIT PROP together with director Niels Van Tomme for a last conversation about the themes he discusses. Afterwards, Tamás Kaszás presented a special edition he made for De Appel, which was for sale. The event marked the final day of the exhibition.
Photos of the event are to be found at:
Curated by Guus van Engelshoven
Curator Public Programme & Research, De Appel Amsterdam, www.deappel.nl