7 July
Science Fiction Reading Group
19:00, Zoom

“The Word for World is Forest”

Boris Klyushnikov’s reading group dedicated to science fiction and named after Ursula K. Le Guin’s novella The Word for World is Forest will be launched at Garage Digital. The reading group has been strategically reconfigured due to the severe situation around coronavirus.

Today, we can witness how culture pushes our imagination toward panic unity and the unity of panic without any consistency. Apparently, it all has been “predicted” in films and TV shows, as “it is easier to imagine an end to the world than an end to capitalism”. We can add that “an end to the world” is generally the easiest of things to envision: just sit on a bench and wait for the first anxious thoughts—the “bad” objects—to creep up. But genuine science fiction is far from its imaginary double in culture and follows a different mission. Rather than feeding the hegemonic imaginary, it detaches from the sole way to dream up worlds. With the release of Neal Stevenson’s novel Seveneves, for instance, science fiction offered a vision of a “post-catastrophic” world suggesting that apocalypse may not be the end. Science fiction is a critical theory, a critical position in relation to imagination. This is why our seminar will feature a selection of works that can be used to reconsider the theme of pandemic and quarantine. These talks will allow us to share our anxieties—but also to develop a critical approach to panic automatism.

Moderator — Boris Klyushnikov.


March 24. 19:00
Greg Egan. Quarantine. Video
March 31. 19:00
Greg Egan. Quarantine. Video
April 7. 19:00
Neal Stephenson. Seveneves.
April 14. 19:00
Neal Stephenson. Seveneves
April 28. 19:00
Neal Stephenson. Seveneves
May 5. 19:00
James Graham Ballard
The Intensive Care Unit
May 19. 19:00
James Graham Ballard
The Drowned World
May 26. 19:00
James Graham Ballard
The Crystal World
June 2. 19:00
James Graham Ballard
The Burning World
June 30. 19:00
Margaret Atwood
Oryx and Crake
July 7. 19:00
Margaret Atwood
The Year of the Flood

The opening reading group will be held online via Zoom and will introduce the novel Quarantine by Greg Egan.

Participation is free for advance registration.

Photo: Left: Pink Ladies, 2014. Courtesy the artist and Cheim & Read, New York. Right: Pink Lady (For Asha), 2013. Courtesy the artist; Cheim & Read, New York; And Locks Gallery, Philadelphia. © Lynda Benglis / Licensed by Vaga, New York, Ny. Photograph by Jerry L. Thompson.

Boris Klyushnikov

Curator and theorist of contemporary art, teacher at Moscow’s Rodchenko Art School and BAZA Institute of Contemporary Art (Moscow). He has worked at National Center for Contemporary Art (Moscow) and taught at the Department of Cinema and Contemporary Art of the Russian State University for the Humanities (Moscow). Klyushnikov organized a laboratory of art criticism at Winzavod Center of Contemporary Art (Moscow).
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