13 November - 15 November 2020

Indeterminate Futures / The Future of Indeterminacy


Contact: Debbie Ree

Here to help you with any queries about your visit to Dundee.

Indeterminate Futures / The Future of Indeterminacy Conference Banner

Indeterminate Futures / The Future of Indeterminacy

Transdisciplinary Conference 
13 - 15 November 2020, University of Dundee, Scotland

Keynotes: Karen Barad, Franco Berardi & Xin Wei Sha


Extended Submission Deadline :

20 May 2020 for panel proposals,
1 June 2020 for individual presentations

Call for Papers

The future is no longer seen as open.  It’s seen as precarious on the one hand, and technologically over-determined on the other. Economic uncertainty, the rise of the risk society, the culture of fear and neoliberal necropolitics are seen as a serious threat. The risk society attributes all hazards to human decisions; the culture of fear cultivates the tendency to catastrophise; neoliberal necropolitics welds technology to the exploitation of natural and social reserves in an irreversible way. Amidst the general climate of ‘instrumentarianism’ (Zuboff 2019), paradoxes like ‘the cancelled future’ (Berardi 2014) or ‘automated deregulation’ (Steyerl 2019) are synonymous with permanent crisis, disorder, and the 'end of free will' (Han 2017).

Indeterminacy – often associated with but not identical to unknowability and liminality – doesn’t merely defy the ‘order-disorder’, ‘certainty-uncertainty’ binary creating a ‘both-and’ and ‘neither-nor’ space in which a cat can be both dead and alive, as in Schrödinger’s experiment. Indeterminacy is a self-perpetuating dynamic of change with no spatial or temporal constancy – a vibrant multiplicity of parallel potentialities and realities. Initially derived from Bohr’s quantum indeterminacy, Gödel's undecidability, and Stengers and Prirogine's non-linear dynamics, indeterminacy upsets stable structures and ossified power regimes which is why it was embraced as a liberating epistemic force by many 20th century artists and theorists: Jarry, Boulez, Cage, Ichinayagi, Situationists International, Xenakis, Fluxus, Knowbotic Research, Derrida, Guattari, Hayles, Varela and Latour, to mention but a few.

In the digital age, in accelerated, informational capitalism, the situation is very different. First, permanent change is the rule. Second, art, culture, and (bio)politics are no longer separate; they are fused in the infosphere. Consisting of datification, algorithmic predetermination, cultural production, symbolic and affective regimes, the infosphere has modified the language of thought and action. It has also modified the structure of reality. The aim of this transdisciplinary conference is to evaluate the current and future epistemic and ontological potential of spatio-temporal, cultural-mnemonic and socio-political forms of indeterminacy.

We invite proposals for 20 min papers, provocations, creative contributions, re-enactments of scientific experiments and proposals for curated panels from the fields of art, media (theory), physics, mathematics, philosophy, cultural studies, memory studies, digital humanities, and anthropology.  CLICK HERE FOR A FULL CALL FOR PAPERS AND LIST OF POSSIBLE TOPICS

Keep up to date with the official guidance about travel from the Scottish Government


This conference is hosted by the AHRC-funded project The Future of Indeterminacy: Datification, Memory, Biopolitics.

A limited number of bursaries will be available for PhD researchers. If you would like to be considered please send a 4-page CV + 500 w description of your research to n.lushetich@dundee.ac.uk

Contact Us

For conference enquiries email n.lushetich@dundee.ac.uk

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Organising Committee

Natasha Lushetich, University of Dundee
Debbie Ree, Dundee & Angus Convention Bureau