UTOPIA - Conference
Konferenz-Ausstellung / 01.06.2018
Exhibition and discussion about the various ways in which we imagine alternative futures.
01.06.2018, 16:00 Uhr
Segment 7 (Passage), Am Speicher XI 8, 28217 Bremen
In 1964, with television, space travel, and supersonic speed, all utopian dreams had actually come true — this observation made Adorno conclude: “One could perhaps say in general that the fulfillment of utopia consists largely only in a repetition of the continually same ‘today.’” To which Ernst Bloch, the author of ‚The Principle of Hope’ immediately replied: “I believe utopia cannot be removed from the world in spite of everything..“ He would argue that utopian thinking allows us to observe the current state of things from the distance that makes critique and thinking about alternative futures possible.
Today, utopia is relevant and necessary; we recognize it, not as a goal, but as a critical instrument for exposing the limitations of current discourses on technological, economical, political and social developments.
Including the reflection on the innovations of the Second World War (the Tupperware®, bikinis, drive-in cinemas, window conditioners, satellites, built-in kitchens), the conference particularly delves into the history of urban and architectural utopias from the sixties and seventies. They have the potential not just to connect spatial with performative practices, through projects developed by Constant (New Babylon), Archigram (Instant City), Ant Farm (Media Burn), Francis Gabe (Self-Cleaning House), Alison and Peter Smithson (House of the Future) etc., they also provide a vision for alternative ways of sharing the city and other collective spaces.
The conference will discuss interpretations and show projections of these theoretical and practical approaches in regards to present times. It aims to share the ongoing discussions of the Ūtopia class that has started this semester.
— Asli Serbest
Klara Mayer-Rothbarth, Elizaveta Kovalenko, Malte Sonnenschein, Foelke Wagner, Luca Voß, Karl Rummel, Kim Brüning, Kseniia Stavrova, Cem Ates, Michelle Iyekepolor, Linda Oelmann, Katrin Vossmann, Saskia Juliane, Martha Inés Brenner, Fiete Lauschke, Lorraine Liedert, Karan Vohra, Izabella Dobielewska, Nathalie Gebert, Lukas Stöver, Saskia Kummle, Daryna Demianchuk
Utopia project is a collaboration with Pirkko Husemann, Schwankhalle Bremen
„You can roll out steel – any length. You can blow up a balloon – any size. You can mould plastic – any shape. Blokes that built the Forth Bridge – they didn’t worry.“ Archigram, First Issue of Archigram Magazine, 1961
“Wherever you go, you will be a polis” Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, 1958
“Feminist inventor created the world's first 'self-cleaning house' because she was sick of housework: [Frances Gabe] built a 'giant dishwasher' home that washed and dried itself using 68 devices” Daily Mail (2017) on Frances Gabe, Self Cleaning House, 1984
"In combination with salt, this liquid will give the sea a flavour of the kind of lemonade known as aigresel.” Charles Fourier, 1808
“The „rolling kitchen“ contains everything necessary to serve complete meal anywhere at all in „cave-like“ doorless house. […] A short-wave transmitter with push buttons controls all electronic equipment. We’re sure you’ll be interested to know that the shower stall has jets of warm air for drying and the sunken bathtub rinses itself with detergent. No bathtub rings left for Mother. […]” Modern Mechanix on Alison and Peter Smithson, House of the Future, 1956
“Automation is coming. More and more, machines do our work for us. There is going to be yet more time left over, yet more human energy unconsumed. The problem which faces us is far more than that of the ‘increased leisure’ to which our politicians and educators so innocently refer. This is to underesti- mate the future. The fact is that as machines take over more of the drudgery, work and leisure are increasingly irrelevant concepts. The distinction between them breaks down.” Gordon Park, Fun Palace, 1964
“They say it is love. We say it is unwaged work. They call it frigidity. We call it absenteeism. Every miscarriage is a work accident. Homosexuality and heterosexuality are both working conditions…but homosexuality is workers’ control of production, not the end of work.
More smiles? More money. Nothing will be so powerful in destroying the healing virtues of a smile.
Neuroses, suicides, desexualization: occupational diseases of the housewife." Silvia Federici, Wages Against Housework, 1975