A Party for Speculation, Now

Book launch and Reception Wed 18 Feb 2015 6.30PM-8.00PM The New School
Theresa Lang Community and Student Center
55 West 13th Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY
Free admission and music, refreshments, remarks and fortunes told!
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What needs to change in our understanding of reality for reality to change? The entanglement of cause and effect, affirmation and disavowal, and past and future is the premise of this collection of original essays and artwork on speculation.

Join us for a festive celebration of speculation, with book editors, contributors and designers, all gathering to examine the speculative moment in their own field and how it connects to others. Among the confirmed speakers are Arjun Appadurai, Kenan Halabi, Prem Krishnamurthy, Carin Kuoni, Gary Lincoff, Josiah McElheny, Lize Mogel and Vyjayanthi Rao.

"The line between the present and the near future has all but collapsed, and Speculation, Now revels in this space, envisioning a world on the cusp. This wildly diverse book makes the case for a broader definition of applied speculation, not one limited to calculated risk or dreamy conjuring (though it represents both those extremes), but a process that represents an engaged way of understanding the present: through the active desire to change it."
–Emmet Byrne, Walker Art Center

"Speculation, Now holds up a critical mirror to the speculative practices that pervade contemporary life only to come away with a generative theory supported by a glossary. In the book's course, speculative practices emerge not as edges but as engines of artistic, scholarly, and economic creation, with the glossary framing core concepts for a speculative renewal: from Credit and Risk to Shadow Worlds and Witchcraft. The voices are many and the disciplinary perspectives kaleidoscopic."
–Jeffrey Schnapp, Harvard University


Transdisciplinary by design and concept, Speculation, Now gathers the voices of artists, architects, designers, economists, scientists, and scholars of otherness who reflect on the speculative moment in their fields. Theoretical premises and anecdotal accounts, artistic interventions and ethnographic fieldwork are brought together in a productive blurring of categories and frameworks. Original texts and visual contributions commissioned for the book literally "bend away" from known methodologies, initiating adjustments that are open-ended and, in traditional terms, unverifiable. Therein lies the subversive and critical potential of speculation.

Loosely modeled on the visual and textual richness of the Vera List Center book Considering Forgiveness, Speculation, Now collects texts around topics such as the imaginary, notions of time and temporality, space and spatiality, and aspects of the economy. Among the contributors are art critic Holland Cotter; anthropologists Arjun Appadurai, Filip De Boeck, Stefania Pandolfo; architects Laura Kurgan and Srdjan Jovanović Weiss; scientist Gary Lincoff; economists Darrick Hamilton and Satya Pemmaraju; philosopher Boris Groys; and artists Hans Haacke, Lize Mogel, Robert Sember, and Walid Raad. The editor of the book is anthropologist Vyjayanthi Venuturupalli Rao, with curators Prem Krishnamurthy and Carin Kuoni.

Book Basics
Editors: Vyjayanthi Venuturupalli Rao, with Prem Krishnamurthy and Carin Kuoni
Publisher: Duke University Press, in association with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, The New School
Design: Project Projects, New York
Publication date: 2014

Main Contributors

Arjun Appadurai
Filip De Boeck
Boris Groys
Hans Haacke
Darrick Hamilton
Prem Krishnamurthy
Carin Kuoni
Laura Kurgan
Lin + Lam
Gary Lincoff
Lize Mogel
Christina Moon
Stefania Pandolfo
Satya Pemmaraju
Mary Poovey
Walid Raad
Vyjayanthi Venuturupalli Rao
Robert Sember
Sherene Shostak
Srdjan Jovanović Weiss


Glossary Contributors
Risk / Mirroring / The Paradox of Beginnings / Exception / Infrastructure / Ruin / Prototype / Maybe / Models / Failure / Meta-history / Neglect / Verification / Magic / Investment / Insurance / Toxic Debt / Hallucination / Contemporaneity / Shadowworld / etc.


Benjamin Aranda
Judith Barry
Katherine Carl
Céline Condorelli
Holland Cotter
Elizabeth Ellsworth & Jamie Kruse
Özge Ersoy
Reem Fadda
Luke Fowler
Peter Geschiere
Kenan Halabi
Orit Halpern
Graham Harman
Larissa Harris
Victoria Hattam
Jamer Hunt
Angie Keefer & Lucy Skaer
Joachim Koester
Elka Krajewska
Nicolas Langlitz
Marysia Lewandowska
Josiah McElheny
Brian McGrath
Metahaven
Sarah Oppenheimer
Trevor Paglen
Dushko Petrovich
David Reinfurt
Amie Siegel
Beth Stryker
Iddo Tavory
Chen Tamir
Elizabeth Thomas
Hakan Topal
Byron Tucker
Nader Vossoughian
Aleksandra Wagner
McKenzie Wark




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