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Exhibition 2022

Federica Matelli

City. The future has no date

In his work Passagenwerk, Walter Benjamin warned us that in the capitalist world consumer goods are also connected to another type of phantasmagoria: the idea of progress. Thus, according to his vision, the idea of the future goes hand in hand with the modern city and the society of its own that inhabits it. If the word "utopia", as coined by Thomas More, is originally defined as the "ideal city that has not yet been produced", then the role of objects of consumption becomes evident in the conformation of the utopian sense of contemporary and future consumer society, which has its main stage in the modern city. Beyond the end of ideologies and the great historical narratives (Jean-François Lyotard), in today's society the space of the utopia of progress is either occupied – or, rather, vampirized – by the market: unfortunately the market is, at the moment, the only technology of the future (Elie Ayache). Despite all attempts at resistance, in capitalist society consumption remains the centre of everyday life. Therefore, a question arises: what would everyday life be like in a future post-capitalist society? At present new accelerationist political theories (Nick Srnicek, Alex Williams and Nick Land) are developing beyond the "trench" of the

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postmodern left focused on the critique of the present and the reinterpretation of the past and that currently looks to the future only in a retrospective way. Accelerationist theorists  propose that we speculate on the possible results of an acceleration, and an alternative appropriation, of the material platforms of capital (or the collapse of capitalism), and of the market/consumption as part thereof. On the other hand, as Rosi Braidotti affirms, utopian or dystopian science fiction allows us to think about popular culture in a different way, so that science fiction is presented as a space for speculation and imagination also about the landscape, public space, social life or the economy of the future. What are the possibilities for our daily lives in two hundred years? What objects will constitute our everyday landscape? Starting from Rosi Braidotti's notion of science fiction  and accelerationist theories, this project proposes a speculative, interdisciplinary, collaborative and obviously visual introduction to future daily life in the city.

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