Futures Seminar and Lab – EASA Future Anthropologies Network
Sarah Pink (RMIT University)
Juan Francisco Salazar (University of Western Sydney)
Elisenda Ardèvol (IN3-Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)
The EASA Future Anthropologies Network is convening the Futures Seminar and Lab in Barcelona following the first meeting in Tallinn in August 2014. Activities include an international seminar and a walking lab on researching futures.
The workshop will situate the different approaches to researching the future across the social sciences and humanities and in particular in the context of anthropological field. The notion of `future´ acquires many meanings in the various disciplines that study Media. Furthermore, future is conceptualized, theorized and utilized in differing ways. There are two big conceptual constructions that are playing central roles in the articulations of academic discourses of Media-futures. First, future as a “meaning giving device” associated with technological development aims at understanding how future operates/acts in the construction of meanings, as part of practices, as a goal in the present, as a vector in the development of Media, as a descriptor of hegemonic discourses, and so on. Second, forecasting the future is based on the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, rather than to explain our past or interpret our present, taking the future as an analytical goal. The idea is that we can predict possible futures based on ethnographic fieldwork as any other qualitative and quantitative methods using speculation, fabulation and productive methods like design and narrativity.
The Future Anthropologies Network (FAN) brings together a group of young and senior scholars across the world to explore the roles that anticipatory and future focused modes play in the making of society and culture. The aim of the encounter is to revision the future as an analytical category, a mode of being and site for anthropological research and representation.
The workshop and Lab sessions will focus on the set of core questions that contemporary anthropologists are confronting around how to encounter, embrace and intervene in the uncertainties and possibilities of working in an emergent and changing world. This event is oriented to strength the international connections among FAN network members, and 17 international researchers have confirmed their strong interest to assist. Barcelona will be the first meeting of the network after our initial formation at the Tallinn Lab and will encompass the following activities, which will be designed to help us to advance the plans we made regarding publications, research projects and future meetings.
The event is composed by three main activities:
1) Methods for researching the future: A workshop about different approaches to investigate the future. 10 Participants will present their contributions based on their own research.
2) Exploring futures in town: A Lab for collective experimenting through media and design the notion of future, possible and imagination.
3) Planning and management meeting: to organize and coordinate the following year’s activities, publications and proposals for the EASA 2016 conference.