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Futures of Capitalism: Radical Democracy and the Financial Imagination

How do the workings of financial markets shape our social reality, and how can practices of speculation and distortion become tools of radical democratic imagination?

Futures of Capitalism: Radical Democracy and the Financial Imagination

How do the workings of financial markets shape our social reality, and how can practices of speculation and distortion become tools of radical democratic imagination?

ABOUT

In the era of financialized capitalism—where human and societal values are routinely articulated in monetary terms—markets influence how we come to understand the world around us, how we form social relations, and how we imagine our futures. Yet despite its omnipresence, finance remains bewilderingly opaque. Its almost mystical power of configuring the future eludes understanding.

The Futures of Capitalism program seeks to develop a new language for analyzing, critiquing, and reforming the complex configurations through which finance exerts its influence. Bringing together scholars and artists representing diverse fields of research and practice, our work will be organized around three interconnected streams, each reflecting a core tenet of capitalist dynamics: technology, society, and politics.

The program will build a repository of financialized practices of imagining, simulating, and configuring the future, to inspire creative and progressive interventions into our collective present. We will chart the outlines of the new subject emerging through these practices: Homo Speculans.

Rather than merely succumbing to the alchemy of markets, this new subject yields its power of imagination to forge unexpected connections and new forms of politics, which engage the distorting forces of finance in dynamic ways.

Our research will draw out practical implications from this novel framing to create more inclusive solidarities in the face of financialization. Our core questions are:

  • How do financial markets produce the cosmologies, myths, and fictions of “post-truth” capitalism?
  • What forms of community and resistance emerge out of the glitches, distortions, and “unknowing” practices of financialized culture?
  • How can a critical theory of financialized reality foster new spaces of imagination, counter-speculation, and democratic action?
  • How can our diagnostic understanding of speculation and distortion contribute to concrete pathways for positive social change?
CURATORIAL NOTE
CURATORIAL NOTE

Miti Ruangkritya, ”Untitled”, from Space Shift series, Bangkok, 2011.

Art

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