Exhibition on Futurology in Amsterdam
Weak Signals, Wild Cards – an exhibition and a day of talks and performances.
Opening: 7pm, Friday 26th June 2009
Light refreshments will be served.
Exhibition: 12–6pm, Wed-Sun 27th June–27th July 2009
Talks & performances: 2–8pm, Sunday 28th June 2009
Venue: Shell Kantine, Shell Terrain, Tolhuisweg, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Weak Signals, Wild Cards is a commissioning project and exhibition by the participants of de Appel Curatorial Programme 08/09. Set in Amsterdam Noord, it invites ten artists and a number of speakers from other fields to react to the given plans for the area and conjure a set of alternative futures. The artists have created works for and from their envisioned future contexts, while the speakers will foretell their imagined futures of Amsterdam Noord, from the perspectives of their expertise.
The title of this project uses two terms from futurology. Weak signals form a pattern of phenomena that serves as an indicator of possible future developments. Wild cards refer to events that are difficult to predict but have a high impact. We are not alone in attempting to predict a future: Amsterdam Noord is currently faced with a bevy of visions of its imminent regeneration. The predictions being made revolve dizzyingly around of the ‘Creative City’, which implicates not only artists but an expanded creative subjectivity in its conception of a society made up of self-reliant, resourceful individuals on a constant quest for self-improvement. This combined vision of the future ‘Creative City’ is so strongly anticipated and visualised that one gets the feeling that one could already inhabit the space of this mirage.
Yet the criticality of the current global economic circumstances provides an opportunity to not only to question, but also to remake the foundations being laid. If the conditions on which urban regeneration is based no longer hold fast, it becomes necessary to rethink what other kinds of urban structures, environments, and imagined communities might be possible. What spoken and unspoken social and economic roles are currently presumed to be played by art in the ‘Creative Industries’ and their commissioning processes in city development? In the light of the current economic uncertainty, what other kinds of future communities are possible beyond those envisioned by private property developers? What kind of public artwork would be made for these imagined communities, and under what conditions would it be produced?