Saturday, April 18, 2009

Open Futures

Open Futures was the title of the lecture given by Maya Van Leemput in the emptied Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp, the MuHKA. It made me think, seen that since modernity we have been used to deal with hard facts, it is high time for the re-enchantment through creativity as an organizing principle. The practice of art and futures studies is very similar because possibilities are explored, dissident visions and imagination are encouraged. We have to be aware that all human actions shape the future. Art is important in this thought process and practice because all possibilities are open in the non linear possibilities that are offered here. We can have sudden shifts, spirals, layers of complexity and possibilities are not a priori excluded. Transhumanism were there is no interface between humans and machines touches the definition of what it means to be human in the psychological, social, mythical and cultural aspects of being human. That kind of technology is seen as disruptive technology because there is break in the normal path of evolution and this leads to new interpretations and new subjectivities about what it means to be a posthuman human. The so called Cyborgs lead to an unstable human identity. Then new definitions become possible. What happens if norms are questioned, when boundaries are transgressed. Remember that the power to create Cyborgs is in the hands of the military industrial complex... If we want peace we have to stop them from claiming that field of creating universal soldiers
So we all have to work to keep our critical openness and to fill it with images of desirable futures. So change will be fed by human emotion and thoughtful creativity, so we will make one of the different possible futures by our daily actions and questions. Thanks to Maya for making me think.


  1. The cover story in the current issue of Scientific American is 'What Makes Us Human?' Necessary reading for those who might have been intrigued by Maya's talk. BTW, why did she give a talk in an empty Museum of Modern Art? Was it just practice, for some day when she has an audience? The future is an endlessly fascinating subject, since it offers, literally, an infinitude of actual possibilities. But if one has money, thus power, and is amoral, those possibilities can be severely limited. Which is why the Military Industrial Complex, which controls a major portion of most of our political power centers, will be difficult, perhaps impossible, to divert from it's purpose. Which is, primarily, to acquire more money and power, and give up not an iota.

  2. There was an audience, besides this blogger. The museum is empty for six months because of renovations, hence the open futures....

    Thanks DR. Strangelove.