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Memories of the Future

On Countervision

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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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Part I: Memories of the Future: On Countervision

Extract

’ introduces the com- plexities of this book and the notions of a new future and a no future. By looking at the subject of memory, events, tellings and exchanges, a global field of dissatisfaction is described. Malcolm Quinn repurposes various narratives on the theme of time travel and a desire for future satisfaction. This is conducted by the social organization of satisfaction in the future, as an element towards a powerful countervision. In relation to his chapter, ‘The Plot against the Future’, time eventually construes that no future is not an option. Alberto Abruzzese then moves between a single advent/event: from modern fiction to the latest seriality; means instead of ends; and the revolt of technics against human progress. A question arises from this chapter in an incomplete answer to what the future is: ideas are running out; seriality is consumed; technics and secularity become a mode of normativity. Malcolm Quinn 1 The Plot against the Future If we are asked to think about a time machine, we might imagine an object that looks different to all the other objects in the world, like the bizarre vehicle described by H. G. Wells, something ‘squat, ugly and askew, a thing of brass, ebony, ivory and glimmering quartz’,1 which takes Wells’s time traveller out of his Victorian drawing room on a leather saddle and then sends him back to it again. In this chapter, I introduce another kind of time machine, which rather than being a different kind of object...

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