In a recent conversation with curator Kabelo Malatsie, she mentioned a number of artists who engage with science fiction, including Jackie Karuti, Nolan Oswald Dennis, and Bogosi Sekhukhuni. We were particularly intrigued by Malatsie’s notion of immediate science fiction: a way of thinking about the future that neither takes place in foreign galaxies nor in a distant future but that embeds fiction and speculation into everyday reality – here and now.
Science fiction, to put it differently, that is more concerned with the next minutes rather than with the next millennium; that takes place in our cities and neighborhoods rather than in spaceships and on other planets; finally, at least according to our interpretation, science fiction that is primarily interested in existing practices, methods, and instruments of science and not in pondering their potential developments.
These considerations form the starting point of our next focus topic immediacy, which we also understand as a continuation of our recent focus on fabulating. In the coming weeks we will devote ourselves to artists who engage with different forms of immediacy in their work. By immediacy we mean the art of approximation: of coming up close to an object or idea in order to get to the bottom of them, to initiate changes, and to discover new perspectives. We understand immediacy as a form of perception that is capable of restoring the future potential of our present and everyday lives; as an aesthetic and cognitive practice that allows us to encounter our environment in a practical way and with the intention of change.
The conversation between V/A author Philipp Hindahl and Lauren Boyle, co-founder of the New York art collective DIS, marks the first contribution to this new thematic focus. We were particularly interested in the group’s latest video work, Everything but the World, which simultaneously projects the living and working forms of our time into the prehistoric past and a speculative, post-apocalyptic future. This article will be published next week.