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Critical mass: Youth, Public Space and Mindsets

  • Taiga Art Space 20 Dvortsovaya naberezhnaya Sankt-Peterburg, Saint Petersburg, 191186 Russian Federation (map)

‘I believe that children are our future... unless we stop them now!’ Homer Simpson 

The organisation of youth is a strategy for designing the desirable future. Though mediated by the political intention route of self-development, the new generations are meant to become a clay for sculpting societies that are better. What needs to be preserved and what needs to be improved alongside the future skills set is defined by the planners with already defined set of ideological positions. The notions of collaboration, unity and common vision of reality are in the basis of the mission ahistorically. 

However in post-Internet age the traditional forms of mediation, mastered by nation states in 20 century, is challenged by the vast ocean of scattered pastiches of references. Creating ‘public spaces’ in the time of radical privatisation of everything, individualisation of learning and growing illusion of possible absolute autonomy is a gregarious task. The Adornian totality of contemporary society dims the vision of possible futures, shuts out idea of a free time and makes way for the constantly looping march of ‘everlasting present’.

How can youth organisations, based on the traditional idea of physical public space, remain attractive in the hyper-individualised future of possible absolutization of subjective reality of a young beholder? What formats of future generations public spaces can be feasible: pokemon hunting fields? Second Life cities squares? 

Avenir Institute will present the concepts of ‘avenirology’ and ‘everlasting present’, that it has been working on since it’s initiation, as well as some of the projects it has been working on. The Institute Subjective Future Scenarios department’s methodology is the basis for developing the collaboration with one of the St Petersburg youth clubs as a part of the fourth season of The Critical Mass.

Avenir Institute was invited by TOK curatorial collective to lead the art & theory laboratory as collaborative working process with local St. Petersburg youth club. The process will result in presentation of subjective future scenario(s), developed from the application of avenirology as methodological approach, in a form of performance, lecture or exhibition. The process will be based on critical reflection within the socio-political and cultural context.

Earlier Event: September 21
Facing the Future: EU-Russia round tables
Later Event: October 14
Be a Guest in My Possible Future