X-Centric Futures – Debate #2
Discussion and musical performance around the book Green Mass: The Ecological Theology of St. Hildegard of Bingen, with the presence of Peter Schuback, Márcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback and Michael Marder.
Green Mass is a meditation on — and with — twelfth century Christian mystic and polymath Saint Hildegard of Bingen. Attending to Hildegard’s vegetal vision, which greens theological tradition and imbues plant life with spirit, philosopher Michael Marder uncovers a verdant mode of thinking. In a conversation with Márcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback, resonating with music by Peter Schuback, he will stage a fresh encounter between present-day and premodern concerns, ecology and theology, philosophy and mysticism, the material and the spiritual, in word and sound.
Hildegard’s lush notion of viriditas, the vegetal power of creation, is emblematic of her deeply entwined understanding of physical reality and spiritual elevation. From blossoming flora to burning desert, Schuback and Marder play with the symphonic multiplicity of meanings in her thought, listening to the resonances between the ardency of holy fire and the aridity of a world aflame. Across Hildegard’s cosmos, we hear the anarchic proliferation of her ecological theology, in which both God and greening are circular, without beginning or end.
This event will take place within the scope of the activities of the X-Centric Futures research seminar (CultureLab/IFILNOVA), coordinated by Giovanbattista Tusa, and was developed in collaboration with Centro Cultural Carpintarias de São Lázaro.
This collaborative effort aims to change the generally installed perception that the future is an inescapable and threatening age of social disruption and ecological catastrophes.
It seeks to develop rigorous critical practices and create an open platform for a dialogue between different perspectives in the redefinition of thinking in a planetary age.
Throughout the program of debates we start from the assumption that there is no humanity to come, but rather a multitude of different humanities with different futures and different pasts, whose exploration implies the development of new theoretical and practical frameworks and categories.
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The fundamental assumption for our investigations is that there is no humanity to come, but rather a multitude of different humanities with different futures, as well as with different pasts, whose exploration implies the development of new theoretical frameworks and categories.
The X-Centric Futures’ research seeks to develop rigorous critical practices that move beyond academic interdisciplinarity. A hub for the creation and the clustering of transnational networks of artists, thinkers, scholars from different backgrounds, the Critical Futures’ key areas of research go from critical marxisms to postcolonial studies, to visual and sensorial cultures and feminisms, as well as ecologies and aesthetics. All these different perspectives concur in the redefinition of critical thinking in a planetary age.
The main objectives of the X-Centric Futures research are:
– To design and promote innovative programs that integrate emerging theories with a planetary perspective using new political frameworks and thinking categories.
– Help individuals and communities think through the implications of change and facilitate visioning processes for long-range planning and action.
– To promote the growth of research projects on social movements and social protests, ecologies, visual studies, political constellations, and future x-centric communities.
Research and dissemination activities include the ADVANCED PROGRAMME IN X-CENTRIC FUTURE STUDIES, a series of public seminars and workshops that will take place in both presential and remote format, giving the chance to people distributed in different locations to connect and join the discussions, and a student-led reading group in Lisbon. This phase of the research seminar will start in October 2021 and will run until June 2022.
At the end of the biennial period (2021-2023) Giovanbattista Tusa and Bartholomew Ryan will edit a collection of essays with the title “X-Centric Futures”, which will present the different interventions, reflections and praxis that emerged during the process of research.