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Critic Alexander Podbornov, who created the film program (with the support by Kevin Wu), is working with questions posed by curator Xiaoyu Weng in the exhibition For A Multitude of Futures. The resulting series of screenings also refuses the future of integrity and coherence, like the main project of the Biennial. Science fiction is an important tool of self-cognition for contemporary society, and blockbusters like The Martian or Interstellar usually provide answers to pressing questions of our time. But science fiction created outside large Hollywood studios and not included in a worldwide distribution exists in the experimental space and does not seek to give the viewers any specific directives and answers to all questions. Rather, it challenges the current state of affairs and creates productive perplexity.
Read more about the program in this text by Alexander Podbornov.
The series of films in the program refuses the future seen as a progressive embodiment of scientific and technological progress. This future has no clear direction. Nor is it “science fiction capital” (term suggested by Mark Fisher), which structures our present in accordance with the futurological expectations of neoliberalism. The future presented in these films is a territory of confusion and uncertainty. The world is in formless ruins, and only depressive hedonism (Sins of the Fleshapoids), archaic destructive rituals (Slow Action, Fantastic Planet), and the search for salvation through experiments with memory (The Jetty / La Jetée) remain for people. The future intrudes into everyday life through inexplicable bodily mutations (Adventures of Electric Rod Boy), the worst features of our time become a caricature of the world we know (The Big Mess). Well-thought projects of the future are replaced by a mosaic picture of “the sound and the fury,” oversaturated with information (Tribulation 99: Alien Anomalies Under America). These are not dystopias: no matter how gloomy the texts of Zamyatin, Eggers, and Orwell may be, they still leave hope for calmness and that everything will be different for us. Films compiled in this program refuse the clarity of the future and leave room for intriguing and very personal thoughts.