CANCELED: Study Day: “Picturing Tomorrow: Future-directed Imagination in American Art”
This study day aims to explore the trajectory of future-directed imagination in American art from the eighteenth century to the 1980s.
How do we understand the concept of the future? Is it inevitable and shaped by a long sequence of events and interconnected chance occurrences? Or do we conceive of it as something that is determined by our actions and decisions in the present day? Is it a pure potentiality, a promise of a radically different world and yet unimaginable existence? Or is it something that is forever unreachable, something that defines our experience of the present as a perpetual state of deferral and transience?
Historically, these questions have inspired a variety of political, cultural, and discursive formulations that have informed different, period-specific concepts of the future. In this regard, art has been instrumental in giving form to the shifting definitions of the future—a few examples include nineteenth-century visions of territorial, economic, and epistemological progress; an understanding of the future as a rapture, inherent in the historical avant-gardes’ reliance on the strategies of shock and estrangement; or postmodernist emphasis on immanence as a means to constantly retrieve the future moment into the political and social arena of today.
The event is organized by Tatsiana Zhurauliova, Terra Foundation for American Art Postdoctoral Teaching and Research Fellow at the Université Paris Nanterre and Université Paris Diderot, in collaboration with these affiliated institutions.