Prof. Holger Briel
Beijing Normal University/Hong Kong Baptist University/United International College, China
Research areas: Journalism, Media Theory and Philosophy, Art History, Development, Heritage Studies
Speech title: Digital Art, Development, and Concepts of Future in China today
Over the last few years, new futurisms have sprung up in a number of guises. All of these go back to Marinetti's Futurism Manifesto as a foil, the belief that a better future is possible through (digital) machines. But this is also where the relationship to Marinetti's ends. If he and many in his group worshipped the power of (war) machineries, the new futurisms takes social and cultural change through digital means as their focus.
Case in point is Sinofuturism (or Red Futurism) which has several goals: First of all, there is the attempt of decentering of European/Western attempts of defining reality for all individuals and nations. Secondly, there is the attempt to "distort and undermine modernity’s signature narrative of development and progress, holding up a mirror to its history of broken promises and thereby challenging its imagined foreclosure of possible futures, […] the project of interrogating the failure of the utopian promises of modernity on both personal and collective registers." (Frangos 2017). This would also include the challenging of urban centres via rural futurisms. (Culp 2018) Lastly, they present concurring models for the future, including AI and post-human projects, as viewed through the lens of divergent cultural media.
Techno-orientalism, as it was called in the past, has also influenced Lawrence Lek when in his 2016 Film Sinofuturism he states: "Sinofuturism is an invisible movement. A spectre already embedded into a trillion industrial products, a billion individuals, and a million veiled narratives. […] It is a science fiction that already exists.”
In my presentation I will examine the state of the art of such a Sinofuturism and combine its direction with social development and the arts.
Prof. Alessandro Bianchi
Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Research areas: Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Art Installation
Speech title: Urban Space as Art Installation
The public space of contemporary cities is confronted with many dimensions, including technological, commercial, artistic and ecological aspects to promote innovation, tourism and the organization of memorable events, a sense of community and resilience versus a changing climate. In the examples proposed, particular attention is paid to the role of art in urban space, as an element of community union in the recognition of symbols capable of harmonizing differences in a common vision. The work of Vito Acconci and Steven Holl is considerable for the attempt to make the relationship between human life and architecture dynamic, acting as an element of mediation. Anish Kapoor, on the other hand, makes us reflect on ourselves in the relationship with the city through the use of mirror surfaces, with distortions and metamorphoses of the urban landscape. Finally, Jose Davila and Krijn De Koning weave a texture, an umbilical cord between urban space and the human dimension, introducing us to a parasitic perception of architecture in the creation of traces superimposed on facades and floors. They are examples of a futuristic integration between urban art and the city, between temporary and permanent installations, in which man becomes the central measure of space in the involvement of the five senses of human perception.
Assoc. Prof. Hafriza Binti Burhanudeen
Faculty of Education, Languages, Psychology and Music, SEGi University and Colleges, Malaysia
Research areas: Sociolinguistics
Speech title: Language and Social Behavior: Voices from the Malay World
The multilingual and multicultural nature of Malaysians has been the focus of many scholars in the field of Southeast Asian sociolinguistics. This keynote endeavors to contribute to the sharing of Malaysian sociolinguistics by discussing the interaction between the language behavior of the dominant ethnic group in Malaysia, the Malays, and their unique language, social and cultural identity. This keynote will strive to provide a descriptive account of the language choices of Malay Malaysians in particular, in the family, friendship and market domains, which can display the fascinating yet complex sociolinguistics of Malay Malaysians. The linguistic and cultural characteristics that emerge from this study will lead to a better understanding of the ethnolinguistic vitality of the Malay Malaysian community.