Issue 349: "2031"

Flash Art Italia

June 3, 2020
June 3, 2020

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In their in-depth conversation that opens this issue, Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland, and Hans Ulrich Obrist theorize a new ego, the “Extreme Self”—the latest iteration of the “extreme present” that they foresaw in their 2015 publication The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present. More than ever before, we look to definitions in order to survive. We need them to make sense of and to navigate this unprecedented time. There are no predictions for the future, only suggestions (Zygmunt Bauman calls the future an “event,” therefore unimaginable by its very nature).

This special issue of Flash Art is titled “2031”—a number, a decade, a goal. We feel a new urgency to consider different visions, imaginary scenarios, achievable utopias, commonalities, and a cogent new role for contemporary art and culture—a new production of meaning that rethinks the perverse mechanisms of display and the art market while challenging the roles of artists and thinkers.

We are still living in an “extreme present,” but we anticipate a radical, nonlinear future. Josh Kline—here in dialogue with Eli Diner for this issue’s cover story—has anticipated this collapse, which we are witnessing from our digital window. Hundreds of pages would be needed to list the millions of unemployed and the resulting inequalities that propagate, contagion after contagion.

These pages are a set of visions. Emanuele Coccia rethinks astrology and reflects on the new role of the city and the museum in the future; Stefano Boeri speaks on biodiversity, cities, and models for living. Teresa Castro, in dialogue with Formafantasma, explores eco-feminism in animistic cinema; Angela Rui looks to the ocean as a means of producing meaning in the visual arts. Pier Luigi Sacco wonders if art can still dwell on issues such as “social injustice, violence, and abuse without taking on any commitment or responsibility toward victims,” thus falling into the trap of neoliberal logic.

This issue explores the potential for visual art to intersect with science, economics, biology, and society. And, most importantly, to act as a conduit between Man and Nature.

Also in this issue: a new column, “SCOLIO,” by Leonardo Caffo; a consideration of a new form of corporeality by Maria Luisa Frisa in dialogue with Maria Grazia Chiuri; and a profile of Alessandro Michele by Mariuccia Casadio.

Starting from this issue, in addition to print format (available here) both Italian and International edition of Flash Art will be available for purchase in digital format. Get your full digital copy here!