Addressing the Future: The Tactics of Uncertainty

Attractor: Claudia Westermann

More than 30 years ago, Michel de Certeau suggested that a shift in methodologies was necessary from strategies that operate on the basis of planning and prediction to tactics that operate on the basis of appropriation. Within this context, competition for the best prediction is substituted for a search for authorities that create the places that give space. This stream of interest with the title ‘Addressing the Future – The Tactics of Uncertainty’ suggests that even though Utopia has not been valued recently, it is nevertheless the actual turn towards the future – this radical uncertainty – that allows for a profound re-questioning of our methodologies. How do the sciences and the arts address the future? Can we speak to it, and in doing so, can we create openings in the present?

Methodology: The main intention of this suggested stream of interest is to provide for a ‘good’ start question from which the theme of uncertainty could be addressed in a rather radical way. I am interested in viewpoints from all areas of the sciences and arts. In addition to presentations, there could be conversational panels and workshops. The latter could also be contextualized within the city of Prague. Which inclination this theme takes also depends on the other streams of interest and should be discussed.

Biography: Claudia Westermann is a licensed architect holding a postgraduate degree in Architecture from the University of Karlsruhe (Dipl. Ing.), a second postgraduate degree in Media Fine Arts from the University of Art and Design (HfG) at the Center for Art and Media (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, Germany, and a PhD from the University of Plymouth, UK. Her Ph.D. thesis entitled ‘An Experimental Research into Inhabitable Theories’ was supervised by Professor Roy Ascott. Her works have been exhibited internationally, including at the Venice Biennale for Architecture, the Moscow International Film Festival, ISEA Symposium for the Electronic Arts, and the ZKM in Karlsruhe.


Extreme Metabolic Interactions: Cooking for Apocalypse

Attractor: Denisa Kera

We want to rethink the relation between food and technology and experiment with future metabolic exchanges that are biological, technological and political at the same time. Cooking and eating offer and ideal ground for design experiments with future scenarios around the theme of “tribute to uncertainty”. Metabolism, death and possible apocalypse are all part of the same process, which intimately links various organisms and scales of existences. We will explore extreme eating and cooking practices that are not afraid to rethink the function and possibilities of deadly and evil ingredients in our planet kitchen like CO2 and GMOs and rethink their limits. We want to test new relations between food chains, networks and systems at a variety of scales and propose new, metabolic exchanges.

Methodology: We will explore various forms of cooking and eating at times of uncertainty and possible apocalypse by organizing workshops and dinners with the participants. With series of recipes and interventions we want to transform the dinners into apocalyptic event showing various metabolic interactions that will prepare the participants for the ultimate and inevitable. Our body is a system transforming thousands of organisms into a source of energy for other organisms, so perpetually involved in death and apocalypses. How to make these processes visible and enjoyable?

Biography: Denisa Kera is Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore and Asia Research Institute fellow. In her present research she is bringing together Science Technology Society (STS) studies and interactive media design. She builds design prototypes and critical probes to reflect upon issues in STS and create tools for deliberation and public participation in science. She also studies science community labs and alternative R & D places (Hackerspaces, FabLabs) around the world following the convergence of web technologies and biotech around (Do It Yourself) DIYbio movements, consumer genomics and various citizen science projects. She has extensive experience as a curator of exhibitions and projects related to art, technology and science, and previous career in internet start-ups and journalism.