SPECULATIONS ON CONVIVIALITY
The global financial crisis of 2008 made speculation a common term in popular parlance. However, as a practice associated with imagination and projection, speculation has a long and varied history throughout modern times. At different moments in modern history, speculation has been yoked to utopian schemes as well as been blamed for the dystopian outcomes of plans or schemes gone awry. It has been associated with futurology and teleologies of progress as well as with imaginaries of risk, danger, suspicion and doubt. As a concept, speculation covers a wide range of practices and technologies of calculating possible outcomes, divining known and “unknown unknowns” in decision making processes and in the production of value - economic, social, moral, political and aesthetic. My talk will explore speculation in this polyvalent and expansive sense, drawing on examples from urban fieldwork in Mumbai and other cities with residents, planners, activists and artists. These place-based studies help to locate the transversal reach of speculation as a concept, introducing multiple social and subjective contexts in which speculation is deployed as a practice and a means to multiple ends and desired outcomes that affect collectivity and conviviality deeply in the contemporary world.
Vyjayanthi Venuturupalli Rao is an anthropologist, writer and curator. An ethnographer of urban life in India and elsewhere, she also writes regularly about art and the role of creativity in urban life. Her work explores speculation, design and architecture and her practice combines ethnographic fieldwork with mapping, film-making and other forms of visual research.
Vyjayanthi is the author of numerous articles and the co-editor of two books, Speculation Now: Essays and Artworks (Duke University Press, 2015) and Occupy All Streets: Olympic Urbanism and Contested Futures in Rio de Janeiro (UR Books, 2016).
She is a senior contributing editor of the journal Public Culture and a member of the artist collective Samooha, exploring the speculative and creative practices of autonomous urbanism across the globe. She teaches at the Spitzer School of Architecture at The City College of New York and is part of the curatorial team of the Lisbon Triennale of Architecture, 2022.
Universidade Católica Portuguesa
- Palma de Cima
- 1649-023 Lisboa , Portugal Lisbon