• Sat 07 12 2019 / 12 – 6 pm •
Actionable Speculations

Concept by MI YOU

How can we make speculations practicable? Embracing this alleged contradiction, this workshop will draw on the reflections accumulated in the exhibition Sci-(no)-Fi and tap into the potential of ‘actionable speculations’ with transdisciplinary practitioners working at the intersection of art, society and industry. Behind these processes are a reconsideration and negotiation for different organizational models and value systems, driven by social artistic curiosities that correspond with the theme of the exhibition. The workshop aims to open up a space where practitioners, students and theorists from different fields can discuss and understand speculation as a fruitful starting place for action.

The workshop will begin with an introduction to the exhibition by curator Mi You which will give a first glimpse into ‘actionable speculations’. From there Diakron will initiate speculation on the role of the arts in technological innovation. The starting point of this part of the workshop will be Diakron’s ongoing project Primer, a platform for artistic and organizational development housed in the global water technology company Aquaporin. The group will then move into speculative territories developed with Danish artist Louis Scherfig and ask the question: how can artistic practices have an impact on technological and scientific development in a future shaped by climate change and technological acceleration? The discussion will center on key issues such as disciplinary isolation, innovation infrastructures, the environmental fitness of development processes and the deep risks undertaken by state actors and long-term organizational set-ups in the creation of novel technologies.

The second part of the workshop will focus on the role of platforms in distributing shared services in cities (such as Uber and Airbnb) while they also capitalize on and profit from the commons without contributing much to society. This session will be led by Christian Gärtner, who explains the urgency to rethink the role of these platforms, drawing on years of experience mediating innovations in multisectoral and multi-stakeholder projects. Overall cost-benefit relations that overcome traditional sector-specific definitions and include the use of public goods (like streets or public space) create new ‘push and pull’ strategies in incentivizing and disincentivizing certain ‘behaviours’. These new platforms are held by specific groups (e.g. Wohnungsbaugenossenschaften, Quartiere, Wissenscommunities) and informed by their goals, and distribute transactions that perpetually transform these goals in action. Gärtner will present his work on the IBA Heidelberg and PHV village, where he tries to introduce these ideas into the DNA – the regulatory framework, infrastructure, typologies, asset allocation, and financial tools – of the city of the future.

The workshop is part of the exhibition Sci-(no)-Fi.

The number of participants is limited; the participation is free of charge.
Register for the workshop at

Language: English
Venue: Academyspace, Herwarthstraße 3, 50672 Cologne