Initiated by: Marjolijn Dijkman and Amélie Bouvier
Currently involved: Amélie Bouvier, Maxime Bondu, Marjolijn Dijkman, Antye Guenther, Toril Johannessen, Jean Katambayi Mukendi, Pádraic E. Moore, Daniela de Paulis, Simon Ripoll-Hurier, Maarten Vanden Eynde
Past participants / guests: Sol Archer, Stephen Boyd Davis, Alejandro Alonso Diaz, Ramon Amaro, Theo Atrokpo, Rebecca Bligh, John Ryan Brubaker, Florence Cheval, Cosco (Louis de Cordier), Owen Cotton-Barrat, Sven Dehens, Julien Griffit, Alexis Destoop, Kris Dittel, Aurélien Dupuis, Caroline Edwards, André van Es, Mark Fisher, Goldin + Senneby, Jay Griffiths, Cathy Haynes, Elias Heuninck, Denis Maksimov (Avenir Institute), Raewyn Martyn, Cécile Massart, Wesley Meuris, Sofia Lemos, Maya van Leemput (Agence Future), Myriam Mihindou, Magda Osman, Steeve Sabatto, Murray Shanahan, Philip Sheldrake, Femke Snelting, Maarten Speekenbrink, Emily Penn, Emma Perrochon, Pierre Rubio, Fatos Ustek, Filip Van Dingenen, Jamie Ward, Olivier Weber, Matthew C. Wilson.
Partners / Venues so far: Fig 2. at ICA (Institute for Contemporary Art), London (UK); L'Iselp, Brussels (BE); Fluent, Santander (ES); Greylight Projects, Brussels (BE); La Conciergerie, La Motte - Servolex (FR); La Loge, Brussels (BE); Art Brussels (BE); Galeri NON, Istanbul (TR); Lehnbachhaus, Munich, (DE).
Uncertainty Scenarios is a collective experimental research project that explores the ways people throughout history have tried to speculate, predict and anticipate the future and different attitudes that go along with this. The project creates a common ground for a group of artists that all share interest in the concerns of the project and aims to establish a context for an ongoing conversation. Together we reflect on possible consequences of current global socio-political or ecological issues and question our position as artists towards these. Uncertainty Scenarios tries to become an artistic tool to grasp the ‘futurity’ that is already, and increasingly, a part of our present.
Collectively we research for instance notions of speculation, methodologies used to predict the future, strategic thinking and scenario planning, risk and crisis management, divination and spiritual forecasts, Big Data, artificial intelligence or science fiction. How do these phenomena affect our thinking, behaviour and acting? What operations are we dealing with when we speak about speculation? How have technologies, like for instance computer modelling and calculating, affected our thinking about the future?
Since 2015, 'Uncertainty Scenarios' has developed a format for the development of the project in the form of sessions. The 'Uncertainty Scenarios - Sessions' are gatherings for often one or more days, to collectively explore a specific focus within the project. Besides contribution of the participants of the project, other specialists are invited to contribute. Sessions can involve different forms like presentations, artist talks, performances, exhibitions of work, film screenings, etc. Some of the sessions are public and open for all and some involve only a specific group of participants.
We often engage in dialogue with other organisations and institutions to support and publicly present Uncertainty Scenarios, these collaborations range from hosting presentations of work, artists talks or support for the production of specific parts of the project.
Uncertainty Scenarios: Session #11 - Statistics focused on the use and presence of statistics and how these are increasingly present as a tool for research and study in different sectors of our contemporary society. Besides talks focusing on scientific uses of statistics the session highlighted how artists have used and / or responded to them within their practice.
After a year in which our presence in the global pandemic statistics was permanent, the session looked at how statistics allow us to study the past, understand the present and try to predict the future. During the session we will explore where fact and fiction meet within the statistical world.
In this context, the artist Jean Katambayi Mukendi wrote a text on the place of statistics in Congolese society: what they do not tell us, what is missing and finally the statistics that could help households to have access to more sustainable electrical installations for instance. What is the role of the state in the management of statistics ? It also reminds us that statistics need to be collected, managed, analyzed, archived and that this requires infrastructure, a certain budget and objectivity.
Uncertainty Scenarios: Session #11 will focus on the use and presence of statistics and how these are increasingly present as a tool for research and study in different sectors of our contemporary society. Besides talks focusing on scientific uses of statistics the session will highlight how artists have used and / or responded to them within their practice.
After a year in which our presence in the global pandemic statistics was permanent, the session will look at how statistics allow us to study the past, understand the present and try to predict the future. During the session we will explore where fact and fiction meet within the statistical world. Some contributions will consider how statistics allow us to dig into the hidden aspects of particularly complex phenomena, while others will question how they can manipulate and guide thoughts and opinions. Measurement processes that generate statistical data are often subject to error, and the presence of missing data or censoring may result in biased estimates. For this session we invited scientists, thinkers and artists.
Contributors: Florence Cheval, Antye Guenther, Koen Hufkens, Toril Johannessen, Jean Katambayi Mukendi, Maya Van Leemput, Simon Ripoll-Hurier, Daniela de Paulis, Roy Smits, Oscar Santillán, Michiel Schwarz.
Due to limited seats please reserve: firstname.lastname@example.org
Uncertainty Scenarios – Session #10: What to do with our Brains? -- About the Pleasures and Pain of Brain Alteration.
To place the essence of personhood into the MIND is a concept deeply ingrained into Western Philosophy. It might be one reason for our centuries long philosophical obsession with (rational) thinking as an activity of higher purposes and our desires to manipulate and enhance the brain as the host of these activities.
In the 20th century these obsessions were amplified with new approaches to brain alteration. This is exemplified in cases of mind control enthusiasm in the 1950s/60s to consciousness expansion techniques of the counter cultures in the 1960s/70s, blending frictionlessly into apolitical ‘mindfulness’ tools so suitable for our neoliberal times.
In Uncertainty Scenarios - Session #10 we will discuss different perspectives regarding the brain and how it has been a target of alteration, augmentation, manipulation and control.
Contributors: Felix Drücker; Antye Guenther; Flora Lysen; Susan MacWilliam; Pádraic E. Moore; Simon Ripoll-Hurier; Ties van der Werff.
Glowing in the Dark Again - Featuring Uncertainty Scenarios, Stone Orgy and other special guests. This evening consists of a collage of screenings, readings and live music performed for one night only in response to Orgonomics. The event in two parts consists of a collage of readings and screenings that relate to the ideas of Wilhelm Reich.
Curated by Pádraic E. Moore.
On the 2nd of March we hosted Uncertainty Scenarios - Session #8, a gathering with a contributions by Maarten Vanden Eynde, Pádraic E. Moore, Steeve Sabatto, Cécile Massart, Daniela De Paulis and Olivier Weber. The session was accompanied by a specially prepared menu for UV light with uranium glass ware and by a part of the 'Uncertainty Scenarios - Playlist' with music influenced by the Atomic age arranged by Amélie Bouvier and Marjolijn Dijkman.
Participants of Session #8: Marjolijn Dijkman, Amélie Bouvier, Maarten Vanden Eynde, Antye Guenther, Pádraic E. Moore, Daniela De Paulis, Maxime Bondu, Simon Ripoll-Hurier, Emma Perrochon, Olivier Weber, Steeve Sabatto, Cécile Massart, Alexis Destoop, Florence Cheval.
During this residency Maxime and Simon have developed their collaborative project ' The Call', for which they are researching the possibilities of several vocal transmissions into outer space, containing all the possible phonemes of the human species. The project 'The Call' will be presented at the end of 2019 at Enough Room for Space opening on the 7th of December.
On the 29th of November we hosted Uncertainty Scenarios - Session #7 at the ERforS HQ, a gathering of people related to the project 'Uncertainty Scenarios' contributions by Wesley Meuris, Daniela De Paulis, Matthew C. Wilson (virtually) and Pádraic E. Moore.
Raewyn will be in residence within the framework of Uncertainty Scenarios, and will create a series of animations in and around the residency site. The animations will be made up of moments in time of small-scale biopolymer interventions. The biopolymer medium is fugitive and highly sensitive to the surrounding conditions.
Raewyn will use the medium in proximity to the Senne valley which will engage the Brettanomyces Bruxellensis wild yeast as an agent within the film. The sensitivity of the biofilm makes it analogous to the light sensitivity of celluloid film. Measuring or graphing other forms of light and atmosphere to create some kind of “biograph”.
Uncertainty Scenarios will host a session focusing on the Sun, its influences and repercussions of radiation on the future. The impact of the Sun on life on Earth has been recognised since prehistoric times. Our main star illuminates our planet with a duality of darkness and light. The Sun has been regarded by some cultures as a divinity, having influence on the course of our future by predicting misfortune or promising rising prospects. The Sun has supported the evolution of life but can also become a destructive force within the changing climate of our planet. It's energy is more than sufficient to supply us with all we need, but at the same time one big solar storm can wipe out vital life supporting technologies like electricity and Internet networks.
The conversation will include contributions by: Amélie Bouvier, Cosco (Louis de Cordier), Alexis Destoop, Marjolijn Dijkman, Kris Dittel, Toril Johannessen and Pádraic E. Moore.
This session is accompanied by the finissage of the solo exhibition by Amélie Bouvier, a continuous screening of ‘Non-conservation of energy (and of spirits)’ by Toril Johannessen and a presentation by Kris Dittel and Marjolijn Dijkman of the recently published publication 'Radiant Matter'.
Amélie Bouvier presents the second solo exhibition at Enough Room for Space within the framework of the ongoing project Uncertainty Scenarios. Amélie Bouvier has developed a strong interest in aerial and outer space imagery and its ramifications on our perception and use of history, geography and power. While the aerial and outer space views are a magnificent instrument in the evolution of human knowledge, it also suggests a potential absence of limitations, which filled with unpredictability our close futures. Finnisage: 9 June 2018.
The performance lecture 'Alice and Bob (future perfect)' by Antye Guenther speculates about the futuristic potential of ceramics, about the possibilities of hybrid intelligence & ways to communicate into the future, and about how our modes of thinking going to change facing rapid technological progress. "Natural ceramic masses are a mix of quartz, feldspar, clay minerals and kaolin: substances that all consist of silicon as a basic element. At a specific time in the future museums all over the world will likely be forced to surrender all their ceramic objects, even the oldest items, to supply the production of semiconductor silicon."
- (Excerpt from the performance lecture).
During this event there will be a continuous screening of the video work 'First Dawn' by Aurélien Dupuis.
Software engineer Julien Griffit and artist Maarten Vanden Eynde are developing a new installation for the upcoming exhibition Artefact: This Rare Earth - Stories from Below. Their collaboration is part of Uncertainty Scenarios, a collective experimental research project that explores the ways people throughout history have tried to speculate, predict and anticipate the future and different attitudes that go along with this. Julien will reside during several short residency periods throughout 2017 and 2018 at Enough Room for Space.
A video recording of 'Water Find its Own Level' by Alejandro Alonso Diaz as part of the project Uncertainty Scenarios is now online on Vimeo. The title of this lecture, 'Water Finds its Own Level', is a simple, direct statement introducing a set of questions connected to the notion of liquidity, as a means to explore what we can understand as material uncertainties.
Recorded at ERforS HQ on the 6th of January 2017. 'Water Finds its Own Level' is part of a series of off-site talks and presentations, developed by fluent in collaboration with a group of international partners. Uncertainty Scenarios is a collective experimental research project that explores the ways people throughout history have tried to speculate, predict and anticipate the future and different attitudes that go along with this.
The Temporary Telecommunication Union, a performative film installation, is part of a project by Simon Ripoll-Hurier called Diana. Sometimes, 'birders' try to attract birds by mimicking their calls. Other times, 'paranormal investigators' try to communicate with ghosts. From time to time, 'radio hams' make contacts, talking in a coded language and following obscure protocols. These characters and many more are building an ocean of interferences in which the background noise seems to take the first role. The composite assembly thus convened is called the Temporary telecommunication union.
Uncertainty Scenarios - Session #4 will relate to astronomy, cosmology, radio transmission and the search for extraterrestrial life (SETI); its visions of the future in history and its strong speculative ideas spread in our contemporary times: a topic of common interest in the work and research of several Uncertainty Scenarios’ participants. This session is an informal and participatory event where the audience is invited to join the discussion.
With: Maxime Bondu (Artist); Julien Griffit (Technologist / Programmer); Simon Ripoll-Hurier (Artist / Film maker); Daniela De Paulis (Artist); Amélie Bouvier and Marjolijn Dijkman (Artists / Initiators of Uncertainty Scenarios); André van Es (SETI-Philosopher / Engineering Project Manager at SKA (Square Kilometre Array)).
Jean Katambayi (b. 1974, lives and works in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo) has been obsessively studying the energy flows that govern our world, both physical and spiritual. His pieces and drawings are like studies that reveal the imbalanced nature of the world and the forces within it. Open on appointment.
One time Screening of The Unity of All Things / 物之合 , by Alexander Carver and Daniel Schmidt, 2013 | 97 min. at La Loge for 'Present Club'. Proposed by members part of the experimental research project Uncertainty Scenarios.
The Unity of All Things is a work of experimental science fiction about the construction of a particle accelerator on the U.S./Mexico border, and is grappling with questions of self and other by employing particle physics as a metaphor for the morphing nature of human identity. The film engages the utopian impulses of the genre, not through the imagining of another world, but through the rendering of this world as Other. All subjects are treated as alien, or as radical others, who search for, or advance different ideological, psychological, or sexual ideals of belonging. Subjects oscillate between the contemplation of past societal traumas and idealisations of futurity that refuse to synthesise or resolve, but instead reveal a troubling satire of the present.
Old traditions don’t seem to work anymore while new ones haven’t yet established. The pertaining state of uncertainty becomes uncomfortable. Rapid advancement of formal acceptance of otherness causes alienation and a renaissance of nostalgia. Black swans, elephants, jellyfish, (white) ravens, etc. are used not only as the metaphors to highlight possible emerging issues, but as alter-egos for the protection of otherness. They represent the internalised and externalised challenges and potentials that keep futures rich.
Fusing futures, aesthetics and critique, Agence Future and Avenir Institute invite you to participate in an experience of creating the (un)familiar Other, that speaks of reality and ways of writing yesterday, today and multiple tomorrows.
The amount of spaces are very limited, please make sure to RSVP asap.
The title of this lecture is a simple, direct statement introducing a set of questions connected to the notion of liquidity, as a means to explore what we can understand as material uncertainties. Paying special attention to the realm of water, and more specifically to this of the ocean, 'Water Finds its Own Level' takes interest in researching the idea of what it means to jointly conceive ‘liveable ecologies’ in the wake of the Anthropocene and within advanced-capitalist societies; the politics of location in coming to grips with inter-agentivity, intersectionality and multi-species thinking and becoming with other modes of being in the world. Coinciding with the lecture we will present a film and sound installation by David Ferrando Giraut.
On the 27th of November we hosted Uncertainty Scenarios - Session #3 at the ERforS, a gathering of people related to the project Uncertainty Scenarios with a contribution by John Ryan Brubaker, Sol Archer, Sofia Lemos & Elias Heuninck, and Maxime Bondu.
Uncertainty Scenarios is a collective experimental research project that explores the ways people throughout history have tried to speculate, predict and anticipate the future and different attitudes that go along with this. The project creates a common ground for a group of artists that all share interest in the concerns of the project and aims to establish a context for the development of new works.
Theo Atrokpo from Benin will give a performance lecture where he will give insight into the world of Vodun with an introduction into its rituals, charms and performative objects. During this intimate evening event, Theo Atrokpo will present the objects used and worn at Vodun ceremonies like raffia, beads, sceptres, bells or the apklè. He will also present some medical magic ingredients like atakun, which has medicinal and esoteric virtues: its chewed seeds will incite the spoken words. Besides this he will introduce some incantations and Vodun chants.
(Due to limited seats available please reserve before the 20th of November)
Maxime Bondu his practice involves speculation based on confirmed data in the present, past or anticipated in the future. Made of reconstructions and simulacra, Bondu's work is an invitation to grasp this element of relentless uncertainty, which is part and parcel of our reality. During his stay Maxime will be working on a new project in progress in collaboration with Simon Ripoll-Hurier.
fluent invited 'Uncertainty Scenarios' to contribute to 'Techniques to make you doubt', a two-day seminar that aims to create a collective experiment that investigates ways through which humans have tried to speculate, predict and anticipate the future, as well as its potential relationships with socio-political and ecological current issues. Collectively we will reflect on methodologies used to predict the future, strategic thinking, planning and risk management, divination and spiritual forecasts in relation to cultural management and current curatorial and artistic practices.
Contributors: Sonia Fernández Pan, Sabel Gavaldon, Hanna Laura Kaljo, João Laia, Fran Meana, Enough Room for Space, Borbala Soos, Jochen Volz and Benjamin Weil.
The second LUNÄ Talk in Drenthe this year takes place at ASTRON. On the table lies the question of how science, philosophy and religion relate to each other, focusing on topics such as ‘deep evolution’, the (re)writing of history and speculative future developments in astronomy, SETI research, anthropology, philosophy and religion. Among the guests: Professor Michael Garrett, Professor Anthropology Peter Pels, visual artist Daniela de Paulis, philosopher of religion and theologian Taede A. Smedes, artist Marjolijn Dijkman.
We’re very pleased to announce that Enough Room for Space is involved as one of the advisors for the first theme of Prophecies by the Art Department: Phase 1 of Node Center in Berlin. The advisors for this project are Etzel Cardeña, Marjolijn Dijkman (Enough Room for Space) and Rasheedah Phillips. They will be meeting together to guide the general direction of Prophecies by lending their expertise to brainstorm ideas, review the open call and share recommendations for potential topics that could be covered within the theme of Prophecies. In this project Node Center will explore how artistic approaches to predictions of the future have shaped us today. Here, they’re looking at art in a broad sense, crossing science fiction, popular culture, film and music as well as, of course, visual art.
Maxime Bondu his practice involves speculation based on confirmed data in the present, past or anticipated in the future. Made of reconstructions and simulacra, Bondu's work is an invitation to grasp this element of relentless uncertainty, which is part and parcel of our reality.
Uncertainty Scenarios - Session #2 hosted an informal presentation of Maya van Leemput introducing the work of Agence Future (AF). The goal of AF is to support foresight and futures exploration in Flanders, Belgium, Europe and the world and to involve a diverse public in foresight activities. AF pursues projects, activities, research, events, communication, education, creation, production, experiment and publication on the subject of (images of the) futures.
This LUNÄ Talk discusses the question of how science and fiction relate to each other, focusing on topics such as immortality, robotics, extraterrestrial life and the imagination of these themes in the arts. On this special full moon evening after a Super Blood Moon Eclipse, all the guests will be seated at LUNÄ, a replica of the oval table which was used by the Lunar Society in Birmingham in the 18th century. With: Anke Bangma, Dirk van Delft, Marjolijn Dijkman, George van Hal, Jaap van de Herik, Maarten Lamers, Peter Pels, Dorien Zandbergen.
Talk with Marjolijn Dijkman and Mark von Schlegell (writer and critic, Cologne). Followed by a music set compiled by Marjolijn Dijkman and Amelie Bouvier from the Uncertainty Scenarios Playlist. This playlist is a growing compilation of great songs from different periods of time relating to the future, ranging from deeply pessimistic to highly optimistic.
Presentation and discussion of Jean Katambayi's work 'Trotation', a Utopian but very tangible attempt to introduce global equality by implementing a third spin to the earths rotation, which has just been bought by the Friends of the M HKA museum in Antwerp. He will also bring his enchanting sketchbook and talk about his preoccupation with the energy flows of the world and our future with in.
These LUNÄ talks are developed by Marjolijn Dijkman in collaboration with fig-2. LUNÄ is based on the Lunar Society of Birmingham, which was formed from a group of amateur experimenters, tradesmen and artisans who met and made friends in the Midlands in the 1760s. At fig-2, LUNÄ will specifically focus on the notion of the future investigating modes in which the idea of future is seeded in our society today.
With: Ramon Amaro, Rebecca Bligh, Stephen Boyd Davis, Owen Cotton-Barrat, Caroline Edwards, Mark Fisher, Jay Griffiths, Cathy Haynes, Ken Hollings, Magda Osman, Emily Penn, Mary Margaret Rinebold, Philip Sheldrake, Murray Shanahan, Maarten Speekenbrink, Jamie Ward and many others.
For The Fair Deal, ERforS has established a partnership with Galeri NON from Istanbul and the artists Goldin + Senneby. During the fair, the work M&A is introduced, but it will only be activated when sold. If that happens, a certain percentage of the revenue is used to speculate on the stock market using a “Merger Prediction Strategy”, specially developed for this project by a New York-based investment banker to identify early signs of mergers and acquisitions. Simultaneously, and by means of the generated profit an actor is hired to rehearse a scripted speculative scene relating to the “Merger Prediction Strategy”. The rehearsals will continue as long as the trading budget lasts.
During this first public event of Uncertainty Scenarios, the involved artists will introduce existing and works in progress. The evening will contain a series of presentations by the artists alongside a temporary installation in the exhibition space.
Participants: Maxime Bondu, Amélie Bouvier, Marjolijn Dijkman, Myriam Mihindou and Maarten Vanden Eynde
Online: The Uncertainty Scenarios Playlist, a growing compilation of songs relating to the future, part of the Uncertainty Scenarios Survey
Uncertainty Scenarios is a collective experimental research project that will explore the ways people throughout history have tried to speculate, predict and anticipate the future and different attitudes that go along with this.
Initiated by: Marjolijn Dijkman and Amélie Bouvier
The History of Tomorrow contains a short sci-fi story staged in the near future. The story is set around the Van Abbemuseum and describes a situation in the future where the gravitation on earth is slowly disappearing. The main character is closely connected to the museum and its collection plays an important part in the story.