Around the Outside #3: Speculative Futures
Featuring Anna May Kirk, Matthew Varnay & Shareeka Helaluddin
Join us for our first nighttime Around the Outside event Speculative Futures, focusing on alternative conceptions of space and time. Positioning portals, voids and black holes as spaces of resistance and potentiality, the evening will feature talks by Matthew Varnay and Shareeka Helaluddin, as well as a new video work by Anna May Kirk and a guided group discussion (and as always, beers and snags).
Around the Outside brings together thinkers and practitioners from the arts, academia, and beyond to share knowledge and engage in critical reflection. Each event is accompanied by a reader for you to dive into on the day or when you get home.
Anna May Kirk
'No Door, No Corridor'
The ‘corridor’ shot is a recurring trope that appears in almost every science fiction film. Consisting of a slow, suspenseful camera pan through an empty corridor, it acts as a liminal space bridging two plot elements. As the character moves into, through and exits the corridor, the film transitions from one plot element, into another. But while the camera lingers in the corridor, the suspenseful possibilities of what potential future lies beyond it is felt in its full excitement and terror. In our current moment in history, we are at the juncture of many possible futures. As we transition through the present, cross-roads towards new ‘utopian’ ways of living in the world are beginning to emerge, but daily occurrences of violence, environmental degradation and discrimination make taking the road to dystopia and destruction seem more likely. In 'No Door, Corridor' the audience is stuck in a super-cut of never ending corridors, signifying being stuck in a perpetual present, blind to what future lies beyond.
Anna May Kirk is an emerging curator, artist, organiser and writer based in Sydney. Currently working with Underbelly Arts, Kirk is the founder of After pARTY, part of the Art & Culture team at FBi Radio, and until recently the Directing Curator of Down / Under Space. Prior to these, Anna May has held roles at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Alaska Projects, UNSW Art & Design and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Her artistic and curatorial projects have been presented at Artbank, The Museum of Contemporary Art, CCAS, Kudos Gallery, BAD festival, In Motion Festival and Desire Lines amongst other galleries, alternate spaces and events.
Matthew Varnay will speculate on the future of the 'human' as a species à la genetic engineering. Comical and quirky but at the same time well-researched into the science of genetics, the discussion will be accompanied by a powerpoint presentation.
Matty Varnay is a 3rd Year Fine Arts (Honours) Student at UNSWAD (formerly COFA) from Sydney.
Shareeka Helaluddin will discuss how often renderings of the future are limited or exclusionary -- dominated by white, male, colonial narratives. Who is erased in these visions? How does this perpetuate continued violence? How to we understand and dismantle contemporary issues from this? I would like to explore the possibility of multiple futures -- and the possibility of creating just, inclusive, self reflexive and loving visions of the future.
Shareeka Helaluddin’s work primarily explores queerness, diaspora, futures, and questions of how to resist -- and heal from -- structures of oppression. Her work is a process of navigating what it is to be and feel liminality, in between cultures. Through experimentation of forms of writing and soundscapes, she hopes to approach these ideas with generosity, thoughtfulness and openness.