Después del Futuro/بعد المستقبل/After the Future
ENCOUNTERS AND FORMS
IN THE AGE OF GLOBALIZATION
The School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, Paris
Studies Encounters_22-23 June 2017
More then ever, the contemporary globalised world offers possibilities of encounters between individuals and things at a both material and immaterial level. The multiplication of these encounters leads individuals to question their personal, social, national, cultural, religious, sexual and political identities (to mention a few) and sense of community, labour and belonging to places and spaces. By constantly taking different forms, the amplification of possibilities of encounters between people and material and immaterial things leads individuals towards new experiences. Like browsers in shopping malls, the globalised individual expects to be easily aroused and instantly gratified through the ‘accumulation’ of human/non-human encounters. While guaranteeing a rapid, if temporary, sense of control and security these encounters are fragile, ephemeral and precarious in practice and yet enduring at a structural level. By the time the ‘form’ (or ‘category’) created through these encounters starts to circulate in the public sphere as a legitimate discourse, the question about the correspondence between the previous, “perennial” form of representation and the “precarious” dynamic of actual encounters also emerges.
If this contradiction may be more tangible in central zones of globalisation (which by and large affects western societies), our hypothesis is that the problematic concerning ‘precarious’ vs. ‘perennial’ forms of representation, inherited of the contemporary encounters, are also manifested in the marginal zones of globalisation. Thus, what are the repercussions of these two sides of globalisation to a growing debate about contemporary encounters and their effect on the human/non-human representation? In order to question the formal and semantic similarities and differences of the contemporary globalised world, we believe it is important to take into account both artistic and academic perspectives. A context of multiple interactions can indeed foster the creation of new forms of representations (adjusted for the contemporary time) that precisely question the previous form, and more specifically the classic notion of individual, community, body, labour, place and space. Both artists and academics respond and/or participate to these new creations.
Accordingly, for this symposium, we would like to reflect on this theme from both an academic and artistic perspective. How do artists and social scientists respond to the contemporary world in continuous movement? To what extent do reflections about contemporary encounters help us to better understand global dynamics? We believe that emphasising this approach will be a fertile way to grasp the ‘frictions’ (cf. Tsing) of contemporary societies in their diverse globalised dimensions. In other words, can the notion of ‘global encounter’ be used as a constructive analytical concept to better grasp the complexities of encounters between communities placed in contact with each other?
In line with these sets of questions, we invite proposals from artists and academics to reflect around the modalities in which the logic of confrontations are approached in the areas of globalised boarders. We would appreciate propositions able to highlight positive and negative aspects on these contemporary encounters bringing examples coming from both the centre and the periphery of globalisation.
The School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences is a French grande école specialised in the social sciences, and a constituent college of PSL Research University.
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