»Utopiaing« with Kris >< Krois

Imagining the desirable and preenacting it to make it happen

Tuesday, 8 Oct, 18:30, unibz, F0.01

Apocalyptic fiction, dystopian science fiction, serious reports and publications on multiple crises and worse disasters to come, plus news on terrible things all the time, create an atmosphere of fear, hopelessness and powerlessness.

While “smart” futures of tech-driven convenience and control are created and heavily propagated by big tech – hiding that this very probably leads to convenience and control for the elites only. At the same time, narrations and imaginaries from nationalist and extreme right forces are gaining more and more traction. They offer oversimplified and dangerous but for many people attractive answers to the multiple crises and (presumed) threats, and to the feeling of fear going along with it.

Where are the narrations, imaginaries and practices of good life for all? Writers, researchers, movie makers, artists, designers, photographers and other storytellers and makers together with all kind of engaged people can co-create concrete utopias of inclusive, open and sustainable societies, which are inspiring and motivating. They can (co-)design environments, where people can imagine, experience and experiment such futures. Positive future trajectories motivate, reinstall hope and the ability to “do something” now.

The talk frames the issue and illustrates it with case studies. It compiles diverse kind of stories, images, interventions, practices, infrastructures and policies that nourish positive futures. A point is made on the pitfalls of utopias as ideal societies. I argue to see utopian imaginaries, narrations and practices not as perfect models, but as attractive possibilities and positive attractors. I roughly analyse approaches, means and methods of the presented cases and from the literature to finally deduce rules of thumb for successful utopiaing.