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Medea Talks | Perspectives and Collective Future-Making

March 26 @ 16:1518:00

Medea Talks on March 26 with Nick Montfort, poet and professor of digital media at MIT. He will argue for the importance of the act of future-making, and he will discuss the importance of the perspective we take when so doing. His book The Future was recently published by The MIT Press.

This event is organized in collaboration between Medea and the Collaborative Future-Making network at Malmö University.

Place: Hörsal B2, Niagara, Malmö University

Free of charge, but please sign up!

There is a deeply-graven idea that the future is something we can predict and to which we can react; my concept — one that is shared by writers, artists, designers, technologists, and others — is that we should instead try to consciously make our future. This means not just inventing or disrupting, but thinking about our world systematically and considering how we can change it for the better. To collectively engage in future-making we need to present our ideas about the future to each other in more or less formal ways; this is the case whether we are utopian writers or computer scientists. To do this, we need to choose a perspective. Will we show how researchers and other specialists can make use of new systems to continue expanding our collective knowledge? Will we show how everyday life is made better by focusing our view of the future on daily activities? Will we show the dangers of new technologies, when adopted uncritically, to prompt better future-making? Will we show how widespread changes can be made at the urban, national, or global level by putting cities and societies, instead of individuals, into focus? My talk considers the importance of the perspective we take when sharing our ideas of the future, looking at how some perspectives are more suitable for some future-building discussion. One implication is that the decision about perspective is a vital one, and should not be an afterthought.

Nick Montfort studies creative computing and develops computational art and poetry. His computer-generated books of poetry include #!, the collaboration 2×6, Autopia, and The Truelist. Among his more than fifty digital projects are The Deletionist and Sea and Spar Between, both collaborations.

His MIT Press books, collaborative and individual, are: The New Media Reader, Twisty Little Passages, Racing the Beam, 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10, Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities, and The Future. He is professor of digital media at MIT and lives in New York and Boston.

Read more about Nick Montfont.


March 26
16:15 – 18:00