— Michael Guggenheim

Archive
Tag "Futurology"

This is the final performance of our project on Frederick’s sandtable (see here). Come and help us to find new forms of emergency provisons!

Francing with Frederick. A Civil Protection Exercise to Search and Abandon Emergency Provisions.
Thursday, 25th and Friday 26th of April, 19.30
Franz von Assisi Church, Mexikoplatz 12, 1020 Vienna.
Free entry.

„Oh Herr, in Deinem Arm bin ich sicher. wenn Du mich hältst, habe ich nichts zu fürchten. Ich weiß nichts von der Zukunft, aber ich vertraue auf Dich.“

Wie bereiten wir uns auf die grosse Überschwemmung vor? Wie auf den Zerfall der Gesellschaft? Indem wir einen Kuchen backen? Indem wir neue Freunde finden?  Indem wir einen Bunker bauen? Gar nicht?

Allgemeiner gefragt: Welche Notvorräte brauchen wir für welche Katastrophen?

Verfranzen mit Frederick ist eine kollektive Übung zur Findung und Entledigung von Notvorräten. Die Übung bildet den Abschluss von einem Forschungsprojekt mit dem Titel “Im Falle von….. Antizipatorische und partizipatorische Politik der Katastrophenvorsorge“. Das Projekt erforschte welche Katastrophenszenarien überhaupt in einer demokratischen Gesellschaft vorstellbar und diskutiert werden. Herkömmlicherweise werden solche Katastrophenszenarien von Experten in Ministerien entwickelt mit sogenannten Delphi-Methoden entwickelt. Das Problem dabei ist, dass diese Szenarien oft wenig überraschend sind, sowie über wenig demokratische Legitimation verfügen.

Um überraschendere und breiter abgestützte Katastrophenszenarien zu finden führten wir ein Experiment  mit ca. 100 Personen unterschiedlichen Hintergrunds durch.

Der Experimentalaufbau bestand aus einem Sandkasten auf einem Tisch und Tierfiguren sowie abstrakten Objekten. Die Spieler wurden aufgefordert im Sandkasten eine Welt zu erbauen und dann eine Katastrophe über diese Welt hereinbrechen zu lassen und schliesslich einen Notvorrat für diese Katastrophe zu erfinden.

Die Zivilschutzübung „Ver-franzen mit Frederick“ testet die in dem Experiment gefundenen Notvorräte auf ihre Brauchbarkeit: Jeder Notvorrat wird in einem eigenen Ritual getestet und anschliessend für entweder aufbewahrt oder vernichtet. Die Franz-von-Assisi Kirche ist der passende Ort für diesen Test: Sie ist benannt nach dem Heiligen, der es sich zum Prinzip machte, sich aller Notvorräte zu entledigen.

Das Forschungsprojekt und die  Zivilschutzübung sind gefördert durch einen “art(s) and science(s)” grant des Wiener Wissenschafts-, Forschungs- und Technologie Fonds (WWTF).

Ein Projekt von Shared Inc.

Konzept: Michael Guggenheim, Bernd Kraeftner, Judith Kroell,

Regie: Guillermo Luis Horta Betancourt

Mit Dank an: Pater Mario Maggi, Franz-von-Assisi Kirche Wien.

Forschungsprojekt:

Konzept: Michael Guggenheim, Bernd Kraeftner, Judith Kroell,

Mitarbeit: Gerhard Ramsebner, Isabel Warner

Das Experiment wurde mit freundlicher Unterstützung der Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, dem Zentrum für Interdisziplinäre Forschung (ZiF) in Bielefeld, und der Franz-von-Assisi Kirche in Wien durchgeführt.

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Why is there no STS futurology? Why does STS not write about future data? Economists routinely project data into the future; STS doesn’t, why?

Here is the documentation of my contributions to two conference panels I organised on these themes.

I have written a short article, which makes the theoretical case:

The Science Fiction of Science Studies (2009). Unpublished manuscript.

I have also written my own piece of futurology:

Official statement: Words of Goodbye by the Actualiser (2008). Unpublished Manuscript.

(Feel free to contact me, if you wish to publish either of these texts).

At the two conferences, the following papers were given (Zürich conference: “Sciencefutures”, held at ETH, 6-9 February 2008/Rotterdam: 4S/EASST, 20-23 August 2008):

Michael Guggenheim: Synchronity. A report by “Security, Technology, Strategy” (STS) on “the misuse (with the goal to resuscitate disputes) of the actualiser”
Sha LaBare: Here Be Dragons
Rainer Egloff: Paradise lost – hell thickly described?

Maren Klotz: If the Kids are United. Reproductive Unit Research in Four Actor Human/Human and Human/Non-human Groups.
Heidi Gautschi: Pattern Recognition and the Everything Archive

Here is a report about the Zurich panel (in German).

Here is the call for paper (for both panels)

The Science Fiction of Science Studies: Acting with science in the
future.

The session attempts to develop improbable, inconvenient and
extraordinary stories of the future of STS in the larger context of
future societies, 30, 50, 100 or even a thousand years from today.
Conceived as a follow-up to an session at “sciencefutures” this
February in Zürich, the goal is to imagine a future for a specific
discipline, STS, in the context of an unknown future. Presentations
can explore any theoretical, methodological or material aspect of the
future of STS and its related fields. The following questions should
serve as starting points for your own themes and ideas:
What are the sources and materials of STS 100 years from now? How
does scientific change of next 50 years or so affect our disciplinary
practices? How can we act as STS scholars with science, technology
and medicine in the light of future changes of society?

Will science still exist in the future, and if not, what happens to
STS? What happens to STS if radically new technologies for doing STS
appear? What if writing ceases to exist? What if universities and
disciplines as organisational forms radically change or disappear?
What will replace them? How are future generations going to assess
present work in STS? What could their criteria be? What happens when
a dictator once bans STS? Will it then become a clandestine or even a
terrorist movement? What kinds of futurology are appropriate for STS?
What are the specific problems for a science-fiction of STS? How
could a theory of science in the 22nd century look like? Will STS
provide the master-narrative for the23rd century?

The goal of the session is twofold: First, we would like to broaden
STS-methods of inquiries by relying on techniques of Sci-Fi writing.
Second, we would like to explore the possibilities of a discipline
that has matured, but still seems to have no clear goal of its own
future history and which has never had a clear vision of its future.
Presentations can have any narrative, visual or audible form, please
make sure that if you intend to use technologies from the future that
these are appropriately translated for today’s audiences in science
studies. Papers drawing on research based on material from the 20th
century or before are discouraged.

 

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Together with Bernd Kräftner and Judith Kröll, and Gerhard Ramsebner and Isabel Warner (a.k.a shared inc.), funded by the Vienna Science and Technology Funds (WWTF).

With Research stays at the research group “communicating disasters” at the center for interdisciplinary research (ZiF) Bielefeld.

Inspired by Frederick.

Here is an abstract:

The project focuses on provision and care in the event of anticipated emergencies. These provisions serve as vanishing points to imagine different concrete futures. During the project we gather several versions of emergency provisions that we test under experimental emergency conditions. Our aim is to find out about how to live a good life – in the face of anticipated futures.

This approach is based on the observation that societies are driven by reactions to disasters scenarios, but that the methods how to prepare for those scenarios, even though they are of tremendous importance, belong to the so-called grey sciences and are largely hidden from public debate. By grey sciences we refer to formal and informal actors like logistics, heritage protection, household economics, allocation and regulation authorities, quality managers, insurance organisations, and psychologists that are involved in decision-making.

Our first aim is to bring the various logics of these disciplines together into one arena, confront them with everyday practices of emergency provision and develop from this new forms of emergency provision. To do so, our second aim is to intertwine the artistic and scientific epistemologies: the question of how to “enact” and create methods at the borders of science and art to re-create, re-calculate, mediate and change the methods for defining, calculating and comparing methods to assess emergency provision is a crucial part of the project.

The project proceeds in three steps. First, we conduct performative ethnographic fieldwork that investigates current methods to analyse and constitute emergency provision in contemporary western societies, from logistics and economics, cultural property protection to individual household emergency provision; from food storage, civil defence to Xpress money fees neighbourhood care. In a second step we develop an extended version of Delphi method. By doing so, we intend to elaborate, together with emergency provision experts, both lay ones and professionals, new disaster scenarios that specify different situations for which we may need emergency provision. It is also an attempt to enrich the notion of disaster that is usually restricted to threats to life and limb. In the third step we, the team members themselves, will undergo a metamorphosis from investigators to actors who will enter the shelter. We isolate from the environment and withdraw from everyday life, to envision and experience the future that is inscribed in the objects that have been gathered during research: objects with more or less elusive properties and of more or less calculative power.

Thus the project explores the potentialities of both, the artistic and scientific research and how they can contribute and enrich the question of methodology in science and the arts. Finally it is an opportunity to investigate the relationship(s) of science and art to the question of governance.

 

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