CultureLab • Seminar

X-Centric Futures

The X-Centric Futures research seminar, coordinated by Giovanbattista Tusa, aims to extend critical thought in the humanities and social sciences and to develop rigorous critical practices that move beyond academic interdisciplinarity. The mission of the program is to deepen different perspectives that concur in the redefinition of critical thinking in a planetary age, and to explore art practices that challenge well-established assumptions of research and the methodologies used for analysis by privileging critical approaches to thinking that have generally not yet entered into academic discussions.

We believe that there is a philosophical vacuum on the subject of futurity other than that imagined as a data visualisation leading to decision-making by corporate, administrative or political bodies. To some extent, it is as if philosophy has abdicated its function and delegated to corporate global think tanks the responsibility for formulating viable paths for the transformation of our present. To explore X-centric, divergent futures means for us to experiment with time, space, and politics. It means to complicate our time with invisible, insurgent, multiple temporalities that fissure the material layers of our history, to reframe global historical narratives that incorporate decolonising processes and climate justice, nurturing ourselves as a community, creating wishful images inhabited by unseen, dissident realities that are coming into being.

Research and dissemination activities have included The X-Centric Futures Monthly Debates Program, a series of public seminars organized by Giovanbattista Tusa and Bartholomew Ryan which took place in 2022 at the Cultural Centre Carpintarias de São Lázaro, featuring the art collective Claire Fontaine on Magical Materialism; the musical performance Green Mass: The Ecological Theology of St. Hildegard of Bingen by Michael Marder, Peter Schuback, and Márcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback; the presentation of Uriel Orlow’s Imbizo Ka Mafavuke; and the screening and discussion of Bahar Noorizadeh’s After Scarcity and The Red City of the Planet Capitalism.

In 2023 the ADVANCED PROGRAMME IN X-CENTRIC FUTURE STUDIES will combine the research seminar with workshops (in presential and remote format)and a student-led reading group in Lisbon to promote the growth of research and artistic projects on emerging social movements, future political constellations, and x-centric communities.