Speculation & Fabulation – Critique in the SF mode

13 December 2014–26 May 2015 / Casco HQ

The first series of ReadingRoom runs from December 2014 to May 2015, discussing speculation & fabulation – critique in the SF mode. We looked at the theory and diverse forms of science fiction, reinvesting in imagination and speculation as crucial affective-critical tools for our present.

Session one: Saturday, 13–Sunday, 14 December 2014

This session is part of a “seeance” led by filmmakers Graeme Thomson & Silvia Maglioni on Guattari’s unfilmed sci-fi screenplay Un Amour d’UIQ entitled: UIQ in LOVE_A Love of UIQ: Between Translation and Transduction, held at Casco on 13 and 14 Dec 2014. As one element of the workshop, ReadingRoom close-read parts of Félix Guattari’s Chaosmosis.

The session is sound recorded and fragments of it are recomposed as part of a polyphonic soundwork Maglioni & Thomson installed for their solo exhibition it took forever getting ready to exist: UIQ (the unmaking of) at The Showroom London in Feb–March 2015. The recording is also part of Casco’s exhibition We are the Time Machines (beginning 15 November 2015).

Session two: Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The meeting was linked to artist Melanie Gilligan’s exhibition The Common Sense, a sci-fi mini-series which looks at how minds, bodies, and interpersonal relations are shaped by technological advancements within capitalism. The mini-series is presented sequentially in exhibitions at Casco, Utrecht, De Hallen Haarlem, and De Appel Amsterdam in 2015.

ReadingRoom is preceded by a Guided Tour with Kathrin Thiele and Melanie Gilligan. Our discussion was then based on Octavia Butler’s volume 1 (“Dawn”) of Lillith’s Brood, looking into the role of the sci-fi genre as a form of social critique, in particular its mobilization by feminist authors to portray the possibilities for alternative futures, bodies, and relations.

Session three: Friday, 1 May 2015

We are reading Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector with French feminist Hélène Cixous to explore (non-) human becomings, writing and feminist speculation, discussion the following texts:

  • Clarice Lispector, The Passion According to G.H.
  • Clarice Lispector, The Hour of the Star
  • Hélène Cixous, The hour of the star (in Reading with Clarice Lispector)
  • Hélène Cixous, Clarice Lispector: the Approach (in Coming to Writing and Other Essays)

Session four: Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The last session of this first series of ReadingRoom looks at speculative feminist utopias (with Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor), reading Jeannette Winterson’s The Stone Gods (2007) and parts from Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor’s Postmodern Utopias and Feminist Fictions (2013).

This ReadingRoom is linked up with artist Adelita Husni-Bey’s exhibition at Casco – White Paper – on view in May and June 2015.

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