Performative exercise in reflexivity: critique of fetishization of dystopian post-industrialness

“Participation in fantasy of dystopian world of techno-bodies, cyborgs, monsters and such can be seen as reaction of embrace towards these affectively unpleasant imagined realities. With strong belief in this we embark on a mix of performance and discussion which tries to communicate to industrial dystopia enthusiasts what others undergo when experiencing industrial music, art and philosophy.”

Anthropologists Artūrs Pokšans & Kristians Zalāns have outlined their reasoning to their performative exercise:
1) it seems the whole post-industrial movement is, on one hand, fascinated by our perceived trajectory towards unsustainable industrialisation and irreversible changes to our environments and selves, and this is used as a form of escapism into a different and exciting, albeit dim and grim, reality.
2) On the other hand, people are deeply disturbed by this perceived trajectory to the extent of lacking linguistic means and rational thought to comprehend what is going on with us in this reality, and is this imagined dystopian future that which awaits us.
3) Dystopian genre can also be said to have the opposite, ultimately functional purpose: through exploration of these topics we can define more precisely what we see as good and how to keep our human dignity in face of technologies that can take it away from us.

Artūrs Pokšans is anthropology lecturer at Riga University, doctoral candidate of Tartu University.
Kristians Zalāns is anthropologist, specialises in studies of affect, violence and urban power relations.

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