Radical Futurisms: Insurgent Universality, Solidarity, and Worlds-to-Come

Research Seminar

  • Online event via Zoom
  • Date: Jan 13, 2021
  • Time: 18:00 - 20:00
  • Speaker: T. J. Demos
  • Contact: freiberg@biblhertz.it
Radical Futurisms: Insurgent Universality, Solidarity, and Worlds-to-Come
The presentation by T. J. Demos addresses current artistic modelings of radical futurisms and worlds-to-come, where radical imagination meets radical praxis in the material forces of solidarity. This political form of collective belonging, more than ever necessary in the collective battle against international fascisms and global neoliberalisms, also involves a necessary act of dis-belonging to overcome the particularisms of essentialist identity. How can solidarity operate anew on that basis?

With reference to three international examples of contemporary art—those of Thirza Jean Cuthand, The Otolith Group, and Black Quantum Futurism—the talk discusses current modelings of radical futurisms and worlds-to-come that refuse surrender to capitalist realism. While acknowledging the bankruptcy of Eurocentric universalisms, this presentation defends approaches to insurgent political formations beyond identitarian fragmentation, including a political aesthetics of abolition—ultimately of racial and colonial capitalism.


T. J. Demos is professor in art history in the Department of the History of Art and Visual Culture, at University of California, Santa Cruz, and founding Director of its Center for Creative Ecologies. Demos is the author of numerous books, including Against the Anthropocene: Visual Culture and Environment Today (Sternberg Press, 2017); Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology (Sternberg Press, 2016); The Migrant Image: The Art and Politics of Documentary During Global Crisis (Duke University Press, 2013). During 2019–21, with the Center for Creative Ecologies, and as a Getty research institute scholar, he’s working on a Mellon-funded research project, art exhibition, and book project dedicated to the questions: what comes after the end of the world, and how can we cultivate futures of social justice within capitalist ruins? His new book, Beyond the World’s End: Arts of Living at the Crossing was recently released by Duke University Press.

For participation via zoom, please find the link HERE
(no registration required)

Scientific organization: Katharina Bedenbender, Charlotte Matter, Tristan Weddigen

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