Fifty days of lectures, discussions, and debates about the future,
May 12 to July 28, 2013, as part of EXPO 1: New York
May 12, 2013
Mon., Thurs., Fri., Sat., and Sun. afternoons, May 12–July 28
Triple Canopy is pleased to announce Speculations (“The future is ______”), fifty days of lectures, discussions, and debates about the future, as part of EXPO 1: New York at MoMA PS1. Speculations will take place from May 12 to July 28, in a structure created by artist José León Cerrillo and in an installation designed by artist Adrián Villar Rojas. Participants include Marina Abramović, Jacob Appelbaum, David Auerbach, Gopal Balakrishnan, Klaus Biesenbach, Ray Brassier, Ted Chiang, Jace Clayton, Adam Cohen, John Crowley, Chris Csikszentmihalyi, Mary “Missy” Cummings, Ruth DeFries, Samuel Delany, Agnes Denes, Silvia Federici, Peter Frase, Rivka Galchen, Alex Gourevitch, David Graeber, Group Theory, N. Katherine Hayles, Natalie Jeremijenko, Thomas Keenan, Myung Mi Kim, Katie Kitamura, Josh Kline, Benjamin Kunkel, Ajay Kurian, Rachel Kushner, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Kelly Link, Marie Lorenz, Niklas Maak, Danny Marcus, Mary Mattingly, Joseph McElroy, Maureen McHugh, Yates McKee, Mileece, John Miller, Naeem Mohaiemen, Evgeny Morozov, Ted Nelson, Trevor Paglen, Ashwin Parameswaran, Otto Piene, Laura Poitras, Fatima Al Qadiri, Srikanth Reddy, David Rieff, Ben Rivers, Kim Stanley Robinson, Carne Ross, Norman Rush, Saskia Sassen, Gavin Schmidt, Taryn Simon, Elizabeth Stark, Astra Taylor, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Ellen Ullman, Kathi Weeks, and Ben Wizner. The full schedule is posted below.
We know all the ways the world will end. And yet, we continue. Our action in the present implies an optimism about the future, even if that optimism is skeptical, worried, or dark. For Speculations (“The future is ______”), Triple Canopy is inviting writers, artists, scientists, activists, economists, and technologists to bet on futures they want to see realized and to describe them as clearly as possible, while considering what demands these futures make on the present. The speculations will take the form of daily lectures and debates in Villar Rojas’s installation and discussions within the structure created by Cerrillo, which will also house a library and an offline file-sharing network for collective speculations, designed by artist and programmer Dan Phiffer.
All Speculations participants will be filling out a standard questionnaire about their future and its demands on the present, for eventual publication. The public is also invited to speculate on the future and reconsider the present by answering the questionnaire, which will be available all summer at MoMA PS1. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Mondays, Thursdays (except July 4), and Fridays
One speaker will give a two-part presentation, each part an hour long. The first part, a seminar, taking place at 2 p.m., will be a discussion of a historical speculation on the future—a short text or other work that the speaker has found generative. The second part, a talk or lecture, taking place at 4 p.m., will present the speaker’s own speculation on the future, to be followed by a Q&A. Weekday events are unticketed and free with museum admission.
Saturdays (through June 22), Sundays, and Thursday, July 4
Weekend days and July Fourth will have a wider range of formats: debate, conversation, keynote, performance, etc. Generally, sessions will begin at 3 p.m. (times will vary) and last for up to two hours. For capacity reasons, these events are ticketed; tickets include museum admission. Tickets are available here.
Monday, May 20, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Maureen McHugh’s latest story collection, After the Apocalypse, was one of Publishers Weekly’s Ten Best Books of 2011. She will speculate on the consequences of depopulation and de-extinction, and the possibility of terraforming Earth itself to ensure our survival.
Thursday, May 23, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
John Miller is an artist and writer based in New York and Berlin, and a professor of professional practice at Barnard. At 2:00 p.m. he will discuss Vilem Flusser’s Toward a Philosophy of Photography and describe the impact of cybernetic information technologies on future social structure. At 4:00 p.m. he will speculate about environmental concerns as they relate to entropy, technology, systems theory, networks, conceptual art, sci-fi, and immortality.
Friday, May 24, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Adam Cohen is a professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and Physics at Harvard. His research focuses on controlling light-matter interactions in warm, wet, squishy environments. He will speculate about the future of stem cells and the brain.
Saturday, May 25, 3 p.m.
Journalist David Rieff, author of books on immigration, international conflict, and humanitarianism, will detail the proposed solutions to the world food crisis, and the serious difficulties with each. Tickets are available for this session.
Sunday, May 26, 3 p.m.
Rivka Galchen’s first novel, Atmospheric Disturbances, was awarded the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Norman Rush is the author of three novels, including Mating, which won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1991. They will discuss commonalities between literature, OCD, fortunetelling, lucid dreaming, and weather reports. Tickets are available for this session.
Monday, May 27, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Marie Lorenz is an artist whose project The Tide and Current Taxi ferries passengers through the waterways of New York. Drawing on the alien “Zone” in the Russian sci-fi film Stalker and novel Roadside Picnic, she will describe how to experience the future in the trash of the present.
Thursday, May 30, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
In 2009, Mary Mattingly launched the Waterpod project, a sustainable art-and-technology habitat. She will talk about a future where people rely on community-based networks for resource sharing, from islands made of boats and barges to flock houses to floating spheres.
Friday, May 31, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Ellen Ullman is author of Close to the Machine and The Bug, which draw on her experience as a software engineer, and the novel By Blood. She will describe a near future in which each person, place, and thing will have a unique identifier and will broadcast its own promotional message.
Saturday, June 1, 3 p.m.
Chris Csikszentmihalyi is an artist working on technologies that rebalance power between citizens, governments, and corporations. Mary “Missy” Cummings is one of the Navy’s first female fighter pilots and director of the MIT Humans and Automation Lab. Thomas Keenan is director of the Bard Human Rights Project. They will debate the future of drones. Tickets are available for this session.
Sunday, June 2, 3 p.m.
Taryn Simon draws on many disciplines to explore the limits and possibilities of photographic representation. She will discuss her projects Picture Collection and Image Atlas (with Aaron Swartz), and how they envision the history and future of the image archive. Tickets are available for this session.
Monday, June 3, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Mileece is a sonic artist whose interactive “ecoscapes” are generated from the electromagnetic emissions of plants and by handmade, sensor-based musical instruments. She will discuss the future of renewable energy, biocurrents, and power generation without power plants.
Thursday, June 6, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Naeem Mohaiemen is a writer and visual artist working in Dhaka and New York who explores the history of the international left and utopia. He will talk about the 1970s ultra-left and speculate on the future of piety and leftism in Muslim-majority countries.
Friday, June 7, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Katie Kitamura has written for Frieze, Wired, and the New York Times. Her novels include The Longshot and Gone to the Forest. She will discuss Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s film World on a Wire and describe a future where languages are traded like currency.
Saturday, June 8, 3 p.m.
Group Theory, a Brooklyn-based theater company, is Ben Vershbow and Dorit Avganim plus collaborators. They will present scenes from their work-in-progress Coast of Mars, a Russian doll of stories, conversations, and fantastic reveals, pondering our near future (and recent past) on the Red Planet. With: Clare Barron, Max Dana, Craig Pattison and Ted Schneider. Tickets are available for this session.
Sunday, June 9, 1:30 p.m. lecture & 4 p.m. conversation
Kim Stanley Robinson is a science-fiction author and the winner of Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards. At 1:30 p.m., he will deliver a keynote talk, “What Is the Future For?,” and consider the strange shape that climate change gives the future. At 4 p.m., he will be in conversation with novelist John Crowley. Tickets are available for these sessions.
Monday, June 10, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
John Crowley is the author of many novels and volumes of short fiction, including the famed fantasy novel Little, Big. He will discuss the prophetic work of Norman Bel Geddes, designer of the Futurama, and describe his own foolproof method of predicting the far-distant world future.
Thursday, June 13, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Benjamin Kunkel is an editor of n+1 and author of the novel Indecision. He will talk about the idea of “commonism,” or some institutions for an ecological and egalitarian society.
Friday, June 14, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Joseph McElroy is the author of nine novels, including Women and Men and Cannonball, as well as a nonfiction book about water, long in progress and to be completed later this year. He will outline the elements of a new global ethic of water.
Saturday, June 15, 3 p.m.
Architects, activists, and Niklas Maak, German writer, architecture critic, and co-organizer of the EXPO Colony, will talk about the Rockaways and the future of urban living. Tickets are available for this session.
Sunday, June 16, 3 p.m.
Peter Frase is an editor of Jacobin and a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center. Ashwin Parameswaran writes about resilience in economics, ecology, technology, and other complex systems. They will debate the future of work, technological unemployment, and the universal basic income. Tickets are available for this session.
Monday, June 17, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Yates McKee is a scholar and critic whose work has appeared in venues including October and the Nation. Drawing on his coedited volume Sensible Politics, he will discuss the future of visual culture and nongovernmental activism.
Thursday, June 20, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
N. Katherine Hayles is professor of literature at Duke and author of How We Became Posthuman. Hayles will talk about Speculation, an alternate-reality game in which a collapsed euro has plunged the world into economic crisis.
Friday, June 21, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Carne Ross is a former British diplomat and founder of the nonprofit advisory group Independent Diplomat. Author of The Leaderless Revolution, he will discuss participatory democracy and the redistribution of political power from governments to individuals.
Saturday, June 22, 3 p.m.
Josh Kline, Ajay Kurian, and other artists included in the group exhibition “ProBio,” organized by Kline for EXPO 1, will talk about the future of the body, pharmaceuticals and cosmetic surgery, the artist as speculative thinker, and new issues in posthumanism. Tickets are available for this session.
Sunday, June 23, 3 p.m.
Alex Gourevitch is a political-science professor at Brown University who writes on the environment, work, and economic freedom. Kathi Weeks is author`of The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries. They will debate the role of work in a better future. Tickets are available for this session.
Monday, June 24, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Srikanth Reddy is the author of two books of poetry, Facts for Visitors and Voyager, which probes this world’s cosmological relation to the plurality of all possible worlds. He will talk about the future of the alphabet and how evolving writing technologies might shape the poetics of futurity.
Thursday, June 27, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Jace Clayton is an artist focused on the intersection of sound, technology use in low-income communities, and public space. As DJ /rupture, Clayton has released a number of acclaimed albums. He will discuss inexpensive time-travel devices and how the future might not exist.
Friday, June 28, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Ben Rivers is an experimental filmmaker and artist based in London. Drawing on his most recent film, A Spell to Ward off the Darkness, produced in collaboration with Ben Russell, he will talk about spiritual existence in an increasingly secular culture.
Sunday, June 30, 1 p.m.
Jacob Appelbaum is a photographer and a developer with the Tor Project. Trevor Paglen is an artist and the author of books on experimental geography and state secrecy. Laura Poitras is a documentary filmmaker working on a trilogy about America post-9/11. They will discuss surveillance and how ordinary citizens can reclaim their anonymity. Tickets are available for this session.
Monday, July 1, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Ruth DeFries is an environmental geographer, the Denning Family Chair in Sustainable Development at Columbia University, and a 2007 MacArthur recipient. She will talk about the links between human-altered landscapes and the food we eat.
Thursday, July 4, 3 p.m.
Gopal Balakrishnan is a political theorist and author of The Enemy (on Carl Schmitt) and “Speculations on the Stationary State.” David Graeber is an anthropologist and activist whose books include The Democracy Project and Debt. They will discuss prospects for utopia and stagnation, in America and worldwide.
Friday, July 5, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Ted Nelson is an American philosopher and pioneer theorist of information technology, best known for coining the terms “hypertext” and “hypermedia.” His Project Xanadu, founded in 1960, anticipated the World Wide Web.
Sunday, July 7, 3 p.m.
Elizabeth Stark is a lecturer at Stanford Law School, where she started the Ideas for a Better Internet program. Astra Taylor is a documentarian, Strike Debt activist, and author (The People’s Platform: And Other Digital Delusions). They will debate technological and anti-institutional approaches to the future of education. Tickets are available for this session.
Monday, July 8, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Ted Chiang is the author of Stories of Your Life and Others and, most recently, the novella The Lifecycle of Software Objects. His fiction has won the Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon, and Locus Awards. He will describe how technology will change the way we narrativize our lives.
Thursday, July 11, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Fatima Al Qadiri is a New York–based Kuwaiti composer and visual artist, and a contributing editor at DIS. Inspired by the film Akira, she will discuss visual and musical specters of the apocalypse, Japanese literature and religion, and Al Qadiri's experience of the first Gulf War.
Friday, July 12, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Myung Mi Kim engages with the translingual and translocative in her poetry; with translation and mistranslation and mass global migration. She will speculate on the figure of the heteroglot and its relation to future citizenships and practices of civil life.
Sunday, July 14, 3 p.m.
Marina Abramović has been using her own body as subject, object, and medium since the early 1970s. In 2011, the Museum of Modern Art presented her retrospective “The Artist Is Present.” She will talk about how to create a productive union between the arts, science, technology, spirituality, and education in the future. Tickets are available for this session.
Monday, July 15, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Danny Marcus is a Ph.D. candidate in art history at the University of California, Berkeley, and an Occupy activist. He will discuss the future of communization and the communal control of social institutions.
Thursday, July 18, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Silvia Federici, emerita professor of political philosophy and international studies at Hofstra University, is an activist, teacher, and writer whose most recent book is Revolution at Point Zero. She will talk about the future of the family and reproductive labor.
Friday, July 19, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Ray Brassier is a philosopher and a translator of Alain Badiou and Quentin Meillassoux. Author of Nihil Unbound: Enlightenment and Extinction and a participant in the original “Speculative Realism” conference, he will discuss what the future is and what it means to orient oneself toward it.
Sunday, July 21, 1 & 3:30 p.m.
At 1 p.m., artist-engineer Natalie Jeremijenko and NASA climatologist Gavin Schmidt will discuss art and science's responses to climate change. Tickets are available for this session.
At 3:30 p.m., the pioneer in ecological and land art Agnes Denes will discuss her work. Her monumental earthworks have included forests in Finland and Australia and a wheatfield in a Battery Park City landfill. Tickets are available for this session.
Monday, July 22, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Lynn Hershman Leeson is an artist and filmmaker who uses pioneering technologies to investigate the real and the virtual. She will describe a near future where genetic manipulation and the interfacing of humans and machines render remarkable possibilities for human evolution.
Thursday, July 25, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Mierle Laderman-Ukeles is an artist known for her exploration of feminist, labor, and ecological themes. She’ll ask whether we can design modes of survival—for a thriving planet, not an entropic one—that don’t crush our personal and civic freedom.
Friday, July 26, time TBA
Otto Piene, a founder of Group Zero and the first fellow of the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, has examined the connection between art, nature, and technology for more than half a century.
Sunday, July 28, 3 p.m.
David Auerbach is a writer and software engineer. Evgeny Morozov is author of The Net Delusion and To Save Everything, Click Here. Ben Wizner is director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. They will debate technology’s false utopias and progressive possibilities. Tickets are available for this session.
Sunday, May 12, 12–6 p.m.
Opening of EXPO 1: New York and Speculations (“The future is ________”). The School will be open all day, with talks by Triple Canopy editors and others.
Monday, May 13, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Rachel Kushner is author of the novels The Flamethrowers and Telex from Cuba (a finalist for the National Book Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize) and is a 2013 Guggenheim Fellow. She will describe a future in which the American prison system has been dissolved.
Thursday, May 16, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Dan Phiffer is a programmer and artist interested in hackable, inexpensive computer networks. He will lead a workshop on his projects Occupy.here and the Speculations Library, and sketch a future in which everyone controls their own data.
Friday, May 17, 2 p.m seminar & 4 p.m. lecture
Saskia Sassen is a sociologist whose work focuses on globalization, urban studies, and emerging technologies. Her most recent book is Territory, Authority, Rights. At 2:00 p.m., she will discuss “Imminent Domain,” her short article on the global protests of 2011—Occupy Wall Street, los indignados, Tahrir Square—and occupation as a political strategy. At 4:00 p.m., she will speculate about migration and the future of the global city.
Saturday, May 18, 3 p.m.
Known for his monumental clay sculptures, Adrián Villar RojasKlaus Biesenbach is director of MoMA PS1 and chief curator at large at the Museum of Modern Art. They will discuss “Dark Optimism” and Villar Rojas’s installation La inocencia de los animales, built for the EXPO School.
Sunday, May 19, 3 p.m.
Samuel Delany is the author of science-fiction novels including Dhalgren and Babel-17. Kelly Link coedits Small Beer Press and has written three collections of fantastic short stories, most recently Pretty Monsters. They will talk about how we use and abuse the future.
About EXPO 1: New York
EXPO 1: New York is a large-scale exploration of ecological challenges in the context of the economic and sociopolitical instability of the early twenty-first century. Acting in the guise of a festival-as-institution, EXPO 1: New York reconsiders the museum from the ground up, presenting a simultaneity of modules, interventions, solo projects, and group exhibitions that encompass all of MoMA PS1 and other locations such as MoMA and Rockaway Beach. EXPO 1: New York is made possible by a partnership with Volkswagen.