Vortrag19. Mai 2017

Václav Janoščík Pädagoge, Forscher, Kurator, Prag

Speculative history and objective future

In 1908 Henry Ford introduced his model T, the first car for masses that will later fundamentally change our mobility, our sense of location both in space and time. In the same year Marinetti wrote the Manifesto of Futurism glorifying industry, technology and even war as a means of attaining future. In 1977 Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak produced Apple II, the first user or consumer oriented computer; as well in 1977 Charlie Chaplin, the funny and human face of capitalism, dies, while the Star Wars narration is launched with the Episode VI: New Hope. It appears to me that what happened between these two years bears great significance to what we are experiencing now.

Everything seems to suggest we live in critical times, in a situation were the basic assumptions of both art and society are being reprogramed or articulated in a new language, at least. This crisis involves not only particular political problems but also our very perception of time and temporality. While the most of artistic and academic work does not aim directly at addressing the issue I would like precisely to experiment with different modes of conceptualizing historical time, both past and future.

The future has been traditionally seen as a field of speculation, while history usually represents "that what really happened”. I would like to reverse such attitudes in order to see whether history may be seen as reservoir of our shared imagination and identification, while future stands out as a pressing challenge, an objective of our action. History may then present a resort that catapults us into the future. In such a course of thought I would like to revisit the transformative power of knowledge (of the past) as opposed to mere information.

Václav Janoščík is a pedagog, researcher and curator; he is currently assistant professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, the Academy of Performing Arts and Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design, all based in Prague. He focuses on contemporary philosophy and theory of media and art, nonetheless, he stays engaged in diverse other fields. In this respect it is interdisciplinarity, dialog (between theory and arts) and the critical aspects of art which form his main interest. He edited several collective monographs, most recently the collective monograph entitled Objekt (2015), translating some key text from speculative realism and new materialism, and Reinventing Horizons (2016), an international book featuring texts aiming at the redefinition of current means in art, technology, academia, and society. He has curated several international exhibitions such as Cities and Velocities (2016 Brussels, BOZAR) or a section of Moscow Biennale of Young Art (2014 Moscow, MMOMA).

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