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Across the five episodes of SPECTRAvision, we asked big questions.
From the building of a future city large enough to house the global population as the planet re-wilds to the integration of artificial intelligence in our daily life; from the role and agency of research in cultivating ideas and the processes required to turn them into new knowledge to the exploration of Indigenous futures in which technology is considered part of a continuum as opposed to a rupture in the timeline. And finally, we addressed the activation of our artistic and research practices as mediums for understanding and communicating the meaning of daily life to society.
In the process, many questions were asked, re-languaged and posed again as we sought, not so much answers, but a better set of questions.
Read more about each SPECTRAvision episode below.
Curated by David Pledger with Alex Kelly, Nina Sellars, Tony Briggs, Zena Cumpston, Robert Walton, Melissa DeLaney and Zamara Robison, produced by Dearna Newchurch, Sophia Marinos, Damienne Pradier and Zamara Robison.
Episode 1: Friday, 25 March, 2022, 10am – 12pm (AEDT)
How might diverse societies accommodate ten billion humans in one city so that Earth might begin to heal? How would we behave as a collective in a single hyper-dense city? Are ‘we’ all equal? What would the city look like? What resources and infrastructure would the city require and how could these elements be ethically sourced and maintained?
In a fully virtual Assembly for the Future, Australian-born / Los Angeles-based speculative architect and filmmaker Liam Young explores these questions with eminent respondents, Nyikina Warrwa Custodian, Professor Anne Poelina, a Guardian of Martuwarra and Nobel Prize Laureate, Professor Peter Doherty. Together, they turn Liam’s provocation into a discursive and imaginative field to inspire the assembled to create new visions for multiple near-futures. Stewarded by an ensemble of artist-moderators, participants will be invited into future-making rooms to speculate new worlds from which artworks will be created by the artists and published online within seven days as Dispatches from the Future.
Artist-Moderators include: Jen Rae, Jennifer Mills, Eleanor Jackson, David Finnigan, Nina Sellars and Jenna Lee.
Curated by Alex Kelly and David Pledger, produced by Sophia Marinos for The Things We Did Next and ANAT.
Episode 2: Friday, 1 April, 2022, 10am – 10.30am (AEDT)
If, as some believe, we are moving towards a metaverse in which the natural and digital worlds are more integrated, becoming a new and unified world, then how might our relationships with machines operate to make these worlds better, fairer, and more sustainable?
The integration of the machine into the daily life of the human has rewired our behaviour patterns from the realms of work to sleep to courtship. Machines surveil our movements, track our habits of consumption, produce other machines to act on our behalf, and provide new ways of sensing, feeling and thinking. If we are not, as futurist Ray Kurzweil proposes, becoming one with the machine and evolving into a new species, then we are certainly becoming closer to something other than what we are now. Exploring this relationship and proposing a multiplicity of expressions and integration, are works by Stelarc, Helen Pynor, Jess Coldrey, Elena Knox, Reggie Ba-Pe, Paul Thomas, Karen Ann Donnachie, Andy Simionato, Kiron Robinson, Catherine Truman, Chris Henschke, Nathan Thompson, Guy Ben-Ary, Matt Cornell, Merinda Davies, Liam Young and PluginHUMAN.
The online exhibition is now live and available for viewing here.
Curated by David Pledger and Nina Sellars
Episode 3: Friday, 8 April, 2022, 10am – 5pm (AEST)
Are there right or wrong ways to navigate relationships with and between our cellular and artificial intelligence? How do our bodies navigate, mediate and corporealize our ever-changing realities? How, for example, is our sense of listening modified and externalized in our mediated world? Does it matter?
Are we already post-Matrix, living in the algorithm? On this day of brain-dancing, conflicting ideas will be proposed and reconfigured. We reckon at least one of them will lodge in your head like an earworm repeating its logic, outrage, challenge, keeping your mind company through the winter months of 2022.
Presenters: Danielle Freakley; Alexandra Chalmers Braithwaite and Andrew Burrell; Anthea Skinner, Melinda Smith, Alon Ilsar, Libby Price, and Aaron Corn; Ella Dumaresq, Kirsten Hillman, and Mischa Baka; Georgia Banks and Dr Jey Han Lau; Tracy Redhead and Florian Thalmann; Dr Leah Barclay, Dr Tricia King, and Lyndon Davis; Oron Catts; Alana Kushnir; Svenja Johni Kratz; Dr Helen Pynor, Dr Jimmy Breen, and Dr Carolyn Johnston; Vanessa Bartlett, Sean Dockray, Xanthe Dobbie, and Katrina Sluis.
Curated by Melissa DeLaney, David Pledger, Zamara Robison and Robert Walton
Episode 4: Thursday, 14 April, 2022, 10am – 12pm (AEST)
ONLINE FILM PROGRAM
In the last couple of years, the uncertainty of our futures has never been more evident, more felt, more confronting. However, what if we could all listen to the ancients and feel a connectedness to Country and culture? What if our futures were guided by those whose knowledges of the pasts, presents, and futures were embodied, understood, and known from deep time?
At the heart of this film program are eclectic stories from all over the world, including Canada, America, Greenland, Hawai’i and Australia, that collectively ask, “what if ?” These storytellers come mostly from First Nations people, but some are from other communities of colour who have also experienced the blunt impacts of colonisation and dispossession.
In all their diversity, these films explore the future cultures of humankind and how their survival may be dependent on ancient cultures. Often set against backdrops of mayhem, there still remains a sense of optimism in the works, a message that humans will get through the worst, that culture and nature will provide us with the strength we need for survival and hope. New beginnings are imagined—a message for all of us and the next generation. Short films by Skawennati, Nivi Pedersen , Thirza Cuthand, Helen Haig-Brown, Mitchel Viernes, Ademeyi Michael, Jeff Barnaby and Danis Goulet.
Curated by Tony Briggs, produced by Damienne Pradier for Typecast Entertainment.
Episode 5: 21 – 23 April, 2022
LIVE EVENT MELBOURNE
Curated by David Pledger with Alex Kelly, Nina Sellars, Tony Briggs and Zena Cumpston
Episode 6: Friday, 6 May, 2022, 10am – 5pm
ONLINE ACADEMIC INQUIRY INTO THE FUTURE
In a series of moderated conversations and discussions, artists and researchers speak to their current projects in the near-shadow of the Multiplicity program. Participants will be asked two simple questions: what am I doing now? and how will it affect what I do next?
These questions will be posed in the frame of individual practice and projects and within the curatorial provocation: how do we, through the intersection of art, science and technology, build a better, fairer, more sustainable future? The last episode of this limited series event will be outward facing and future focussed, seeking to create a better set of questions and acknowledging that some answers may have been found along the way.
Presentations by: Alinta Krauth; Andrew Goodman, Erin Manning, Lone Bertelsen and Andrew Murphie; Andrew Styan; Deirdre Feeney; Grayson Cooke and Dugal McKinnon; Hannah Hallam-Eames; Jill Scott; Jo Law, Agnieszka Golda and Aaron Burton; Karen Ann Donnachie and Andy Simionato; Kate Little; Matthew Walsh; Nathan Thompson, Guy Ben-Ary and Sebastian Diecke; Paul Boyé; and Rebecca Najdowski.
Curated by David Pledger, Zamara Robison and Robert Walton
About SPECTRAvision Episode 6 postscript