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Memories of the Future

On Countervision


Edited By Stephen Wilson and Deborah Jaffé

What is a memory of the future? Is it a myth, a fiction of a severed arm, a post-human debate or a broken time machine? In an increasingly insecure future-world there is an urgency to consider and debate these questions. Memories of the Future: On Countervision addresses these concerns by speculating on the connections between memory and futurity in fields such as counter-histories, women’s studies, science fiction, art and design, technology, philosophy and politics. This book reveals how these subjects regenerate at the intersections of vision, counter-cultural production and the former present. The volume links the re-imaginings of memory into the present with topics such as the fever dream allegory of the adolescent social experience, soft technologies of future dress, reinventions of monetary exchange, rekindled subjectivities of school days, and technics and human progression. These countervisions argue against the homogenizing status quo of the present in order to challenge the customs, traditions and conventions of the past and propositions of the future.


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Firstly, we want to thank those who have contributed to this book, espe- cially all the authors and artists who have given their time and dedication to make it possible. We are grateful to the following institutions: Chelsea College of Art, CCW Research Graduate School, University of the Arts, London; The Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory, Institute of Modern Language Research, University of London; Columbia University, The Department of Anthropology, New York; The Frick Art Reference Library, New York; The British Library, London; The Wiener Library, London; Chetham’s Library, Manchester; Jess Nevins at Lone Star College-Tomball, thank you for making a steam arm possible; Pace Gallery; Katie Paterson, Ingleby Gallery; and Josh Blackwell, Kate MacGarry Gallery. Finally, thanks must go to Laurel Plapp and her team at Peter Lang for their support.

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