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Strelka Mag open call

, Deadlines

Submit your essay, project, or film that explores the new urban conditions and socio-political dimensions formed by emerging technologies.

As Strelka Institute marks its 10th anniversary and concludes The New Normal speculative urbanism think-tank this year, we are transforming the English version of Strelka Mag into an open publishing platform for experimental, interdisciplinary research focused on new urban conditions.

In the age of hyper interdependence and planetary-scale computation coupled with uncertainties of the Anthropocene, there is an acute need to find new ways of mapping and navigating the global complexity.

We seek to explore this new condition from the perspective of emerging technologies, as well as at the non-technical level of articulating collective purpose and building solidarities.

In its inaugural open call, Strelka Mag invites writers and researchers to explore how speculating about possible futures might enable collective action in the present. We look at different scales: from the micro-level of indigenous communities to supranational infrastructural politics and platform economies. We also invite you to investigate both the emancipatory and oppressive sides of technology and broaden the discussion with non-Western, post-colonial, feminist, and post-human perspectives.

The open call welcomes contributors from across a wide spectrum of disciplines – architects, designers, artists, writers, philosophers, economists, programmers, etc.

We particularly encourage submissions that focus on the complexity of urban conditions in Russia and look into how past Russian futurisms (literary, cinematic, scientific, social, etc.) might yet shape urbanism in Russia and elsewhere.

Submit your essays, projects, or films that touch upon one of the following three thematic strands:

 

AI at Urban Scale

Lidar vision from The New Normal 2017 Russian field trip

As synthetic sensing and intelligence gradually permeate cities, we are interested in the new urban conditions formed by machine learning. We look at how we sense the city and how the city senses us, and itself, and how each one “makes sense” of the other. What are the futures promised by algorithmic governance and machine vision? And how can we speculate beyond the binary of utopia vs. dystopia, the sleek smart city vs. the Orwellian surveillance state?

 

Landscapes of automation

Automated steel pipe rolling mill in Chelyabinsk

We also look at the emergence of a new architectural typology, one that caters to the machine and shifts away from the human. Assembly lines, data centers, automated ports, and warehouses are becoming less dependent on us and are turning into spaces where humans and robots are kept safe from one another, creating “human exclusion zones.” What are the challenges posed by this post-anthropocentric condition? How should we design, study, and engage with this complex new typology?

 

Alliances for the Post-Anthropocene

Footage from the Geocinema project (The New Normal 2018)

Anthropogenic climate change, increasing resource disparity, and the rise of ethno-nationalism demand articulation of a collective purpose, and finding new ways of cross-communal action.

Enacting social transformation in the face of shared crises requires coalitions of distributed communities and entities that often don’t have common cosmologies or experiences, and don’t resemble each other. How do we build alliances that are not bound by familiarity? How do we obtain traction and political mobility, and plan in the face of future risks and indeterminacy? And how do we find a means of survival in the face of the threats posed by the Anthropocene?

We encourage researchers to shift the perspective of human-centrism and challenge the notions of Western universality, seeking to explore the assemblages of human and non-human polyphonic interactions on the planetary scale.

Send us a short pitch (up to 250 words) and a brief bio by May 10.

Applicants will be contacted within two weeks of submission.

Selected participants will receive an honorarium of €100.

Submit your proposal at: opencall@strelka.com

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