Speculation, Now.

Publication Edited by Vyjayanthi Venturupalli Rao
with Prem Krishnamurthy and Carin Kuoni
Published by Duke University Press, in association with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, The New School.
Designed by Project Projects.
272 pages, color throughout, index & glossary, $29.95
Speculation, Now: Essays and Artwork
Edited by Vyjayanthi Venuturupalli Rao,
with Prem Krishnamurthy and Carin Kuoni
With an Afterword by Arjun Appadurai

What needs to change in our understanding of reality for reality to change? In the face of radical uncertainty, an awareness that things could be otherwise is beginning to organize common frameworks for action and debate. Interdisciplinary in design and concept, Speculation, Now illuminates unexpected convergences between images, concepts, and language. Artwork is interspersed among essays that approach speculation and progressive change from surprising perspectives. A radical cartographer asks whether "the speculative" can be represented on a map. An ethnographer investigates religious possession in Islam to contemplate states between the divine and the seemingly human. A financial technologist queries understandings of speculation in financial markets. A multimedia artist and activist considers the relation between social change and assumptions about the conditions to be changed, and an architect posits purposeful neglect as political strategy. The book includes an extensive glossary with more than twenty short entries in which scholars contemplate such speculation-related notions as insurance, hallucination, prophecy, the paradox of beginnings, and states of half-knowledge. The book's artful, nonlinear design mirrors and reinforces the notion of contingency that animates it. By embracing speculation substantively, stylistically, seriously, and playfully, Speculation, Now reveals its subversive and critical potential.

Artists and Essayists
Arjun Appadurai, William Darity Jr., Filip De Boeck, Boris Groys, Hans Haacke, Darrick Hamilton, Laura Kurgan, Lin + Lam, Gary Lincoff, Lize Mogel, Christina Moon, Stefania Pandolfo, Satya Pemmaraju, Mary Poovey, Walid Raad, Sherene Schostak, Robert Sember, Srdjan Jovanović Weiss

Advanced Praise for Speculation, Now
"Speculation, Now holds a critical mirror up to the speculative practices that pervade contemporary life only to come away with a generative theory supported by a lexicon. In the book's course, speculative practices emerge not as edges but as engines of artistic, scholarly, and economic creation, with the lexicon 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. But the overall effect is brilliantly choral. Under ever increasing pressure from degrees of complexity and interconnectivity so great that commonplace ideas of sequence and causality routinely fail, speculation is reborn. It casts aside its prior dreams of mastery in the name of strategies of productive drift and play."
–Jeffrey Schnapp, Harvard University

"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

Glossary Contributors
Benjamin Aranda, Judith Barry, Katherine Carl, Celine Condorelli, Holland Cotter, 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, smudge studios, Beth Stryker, Iddo Tavory, Chen Tamir, Elizabeth Thomas, Hakan Topal, Byron Tucker, Nader Vossoughian, Aleksandra Wagner, McKenzie Wark

Published by Duke University Press and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School

Available in bookstores, at online retailers, and directly through Duke University Press at www.dukeupress.edu