Precarious futures

PGR Studio Conference, Birmingham City University

Organised by Anna Neale Widdison, Harrison Charles, Jacqueline Taylor, Pierre d’Alancaisez, Regina Seiwald, Victoria Benito Rodrigues.

In 2002, Donald Rumsfeld famously divided the world into known knowns (the things we know we know), the known unknowns (the things we know we don’t know), and the unknown unknowns (the things we do not (yet) know that we don’t know). For him, the latter is where the most interesting, yet difficult, events take place. Away from Rumsfeld’s contentious turn-of-the-century politics, his statement arguably encapsulates the precarious state(s) of knowledge and being in a world littered with current and future unknowns more than ever.

Known knowns, known unknowns, unknown knowns and unknown unknowns are all precarious states but also vital aspects of the research process. This one-day conference seeks to interrogate, provoke, explore, unpick, expose the various nuances of precarity, the (un)known and the complexities of how these states manifest and are conceptualised in arts, design, media research. Precarious Futures invites a range of responses to these ‘difficult’ events and states as a platform to expose and articulate their potential, vitality and challenges that bring into question disciplines, paradigms, and methods.

(un)known Unknown unknown

How might we frame and/or utilise precarity and the (un)known in our research? Can we give these concepts a language and what forms do they take?

How might research(ers) adapt to this precarious landscape and account for the yet (un)known (un)knowns?

How might we disrupt precarity and the con/divergence of the known and unknown?

What does a state of uncertainty mean for disciplines?

How might this work methodologically, epistemologically and conceptually? What are the implications for our futures in and outside of research?

Opening remarks
Kirsten Forkert.

Making the Unknown (Un)known Known
Chaired by Regina Seiwald.
Presentations by Rachael O‘Donovan, Harry Nona Wild, Jade Miners.

Precarious Theories and Politics
Chaired by Pierre d‘Alancaisez.
Presentations by Chander Shekhar, Simran Dhingra, Vincent Obia.

Negotiating Integrity and (Pre)carity
Chaired by Harrison Charles.
Presentations by Martin Drury, Claire Maguire, Rachael Hughson-Gill.

Precarious Researchers
Chaired by Regina Seiwald.
Panel with Craig Hamilton, Iain Taylor, Jacqueline Taylor.

Visualising Precarious Art(s)
Chaired by Jacqueline Taylor.
Presentations by Erin Finley, Luis Sandes,  Elyse Longair, Pedro Cravinho.

Precarious Technologies
Chaired by Harrison Charles.
Presentations by Jevi Peters, Eva Frapiccini, Minjee Jeon.

Closing Remarks
Pierre d’Alancaisez and Jacqueline Taylor.