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Futures & Fictions / Fiction as Method

VisCult recently celebrated the dual launch of Futures & Fictions (Repeater Books) and Fiction as Method (Sternberg Press) at Res. in Deptford.

Both books bring together essays and papers orbiting around two Visual Cultures events and research projects: a 2015 public lecture programme and a 2015 conference, respectively.

Futures & Fictions has been edited by VisCult staff Ayesha Hameed, Henriette Gunkel and Simon O’Sullivan, asking the question: “In what ways could we imagine a world different from the one in which we currently live?”

This is the question addressed by the essays and conversations in Futures and Fictions, which explore possibilities for a different “political imaginary”.

With discussions around decolonization, new Afro- and other futurisms, post-capitalism, science fiction, and new kinds of social movements – and the intersections of these with contemporary art practice and visual culture – Futures and Fictions creates a space for alternate narratives and image-worlds that might be pitched against our neoliberal present.

With contributions from Mark Fisher, Ursula Le Guin, Kodwo Eshun and Oreet Ashery.

Fiction as Method has been edited by Jon K Shaw (Goldsmiths) and Theo Reeves-Evison (Birmingham City).

See the world through the eyes of a search engine, if only for a millisecond; throw the workings of power into sharper relief by any media necessary; reveal access points to other worlds within our own. In the anthology Fiction as Method, a mixture of new and established names in the fields of contemporary art, media theory, philosophy, and speculative fiction explore the diverse ways fiction manifests, and provide insights into subjects ranging from the hive mind of the art collective 0rphan Drift to the protocols of online self-presentation. With an extended introduction by the editors, the book invites reflection on how fictions proliferate, take on flesh, and are carried by a wide variety of mediums—including, but not limited to, the written word. In each case, fiction is bound up with the production and modulation of desire, the enfolding of matter and meaning, and the blending of practices that cast the existing world in a new light with those that participate in the creation of new openings of the possible.

Mark Fisher Memorial Lecture

On 19th January 2018, the Department of Visual Cultures hosted the first Mark Fisher Memorial Lecture, given by Mark’s close friend and colleague Kodwo Eshun.

This lecture marked the first anniversary of Mark’s death but it is hoped that, in the years to come, a speaker will be invited to engage with the themes and ideas written about by Mark with an eye to taking them further or, indeed, somewhere else.