Lexicon for the Provisional Future(s)

About the Lexicon

A Lexicon for the Provisional Future(s). Is the future to come pre-apocalyptic or are we simply in need of understanding what is going on already – a low cost future. Is it about neo-, slow-, forget- or post-future?

The Lexicon for Provisional Future(s) is a collaborative work process towards a collection of terms and (re-)definitions that imagine the Western Balkans as a vital and important trigger for the possible futures of Europe. With its planned workshops and collectively edited publication, it follows the Lost Highway Expedition (LHE), an exploration of the cultural and urban landscapes of the so-called Western Balkans (WB), and is a part of the larger framework project Europe Lost and Found.

From the 1960s onwards, the impact of future visions on our societies, urban environments and even personal lives has been changing. While the 1960s era was characterized by radical social experiments, the 1980s brought what some see as mere distopias. From the 1990s onward, thinking about the future has gradually disappeared from the general public discourse or became – in Europe – connected to technical implementations of EU unification standards. The Lexicon for Provisional Futures questions – how else can we imagine the future today?

The Lexicon seeks to encompass those terms and concepts that could redefine the European city and its urban culture, with an emphasis on thinking about the future “provisionally”, with less utopianist grandiloquence.

The search for indicators for these futures – and the practices related to it – starts in the Western Balkans, given the fact that the collapse of the institutional framework in the late 1980s and 1990s gave rise to numerous innovative cultural, spatial and economic practices. Evolving in difficult geo-political contexts, these often networked, temporary or self-organised practices have been urged to redirect the prospect of their context based on necessity.

The Lexicon will be developed through entries by contributors throughout the Western Balkans region, and accompanied by series of essays from the editors and a large set of reference materials.  Each entry to the lexicon (from 200-500 words) is a notion/concept related to alternative models for the urban territory (city) and urban culture.

The Lexicon for the Provisional Future(s) is part of Building Lost Highway; and long term project Europe Lost and Found. The Lexicon has been initiated by the Centrala Foundation for Future Cities and co-organised by Skuc Gallery Ljubljana, press to exit project space Skopje. Building Lost Highway is made possible with support from the European Cultural Foundation and the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Cultural Division.

Centrala – Foundation for Future Cities aims at initiating projects for the future urban and cultural development in response to the increasing uncertainty of political, economic and social landscapes. It acts as a platform for multi-disciplinary researches and new forms of expression, with projects and programme’s in which art, architecture and other visual and communicative media are both the sources and the products of its engagement.

contact(s) for Centrala: Ana Dzokic (anadz@ultd.net) / Marc Neelen (marcn@ultd.net) /  Azra Aksamija (azra@mit.edu)

Maashaven Z.Z. 3-5
3081 AE  Rotterdam


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