avenirology: (un)known (un)knowns
“…because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know”. - Donald Rumsfeld
From academic investigations of 'risk society' by Ulrich Beck and Anthony Giddens to 'black swans' speculations of Naseem Taleb, the subject of risk assessment in analysis of futures is omnipresent across disciplines, what makes its problematics universal. In 2015, the Institute published the first blueprint - 'Introduction of Avenirology: [blueprint] into Metamodern Futures', where we argue for necessity of diversified view of multiple subjectivities on possible futures. The term avenir, developed from Jacques Derrida notion of difference between ‘l’avenir’ and ‘le futur’ as an antonym of risk, stands for a potentiality with a potency to manifest itself and impact possible in futures.
Avenirology is a paradigm for approaching the unknown in prospective and neutral, rather than current introspective and negative way. It is challenging the orthodox thinking about unexplored from the conservative perspective of unconditional defence of stability, status quo as well as risk aversion.
Heterodox political, economic, cultural, technological, environmental, cosmological, post-human, et cetera manifestations of both risks and avenirs will never be complete, demanding therefore holistic approaches. Resilience as a key element in further development of socio-political relations and systems - humanistic living versus animalistic biological survival - is in the centre of this inquiry. Beyond-nation state political architecture, artificial general intelligence, post-Internet media culture are among many subjects that we explore in the projects under the umbrella of this theoretical paradigm.