[This is an edited transcript of my talk ‘On Critical Activism and Fungal Revolts’, presented at the Tentacular Festival, November 2019, curated by José Luis de Vicente and Julia Kaginsky.)

Photograph courtesy of weaponsandwarfare.com

This is a painting of ‘The Revolt’’, or ‘The Mutiny of 1857’ as my Indian history books would say. One hundred fifty years ago it seems such events were so unheard of in that part of the world, that you could have a revolt and simply call it THE REVOLT.

So what happened? The year was 1857, and the British were rapidly, and harrowingly, colonising India. On 29th March an…


Jon Ardern (JA), Co-Founder and Director of Superflux speaks with
Kristin Alford (KA), Director of the Museum of Discovery, Adelaide (MOD) about their film ‘Trigger Warning’.

WHY WAGING PEACE?

JA: Why did MOD decide to curate an exhibition called ‘Waging Peace’?

KA: Our exhibitions are designed for 15–25 year olds, so we like topics that contain tension or prompt discussions that might keep you talking until 2am.

I’ve personally been interested in ideas about peace since undertaking my Masters in strategic foresight over 10 years ago. My eldest was then in a Reggio Emilia kindergarten and one project was to design peace…


Whilst researching Better Care Systems for a project we are currently working on with Doteveryone, I came across the work of economist and feminist Nancy Folbre. Nancy has worked extensively in the space of “caring labour” and her work articulates this immeasurable labour, often done by women, and how difficult it is to imagine alternative economic visions for such forms of labour. In one of her essays, Nancy acknowledges that whilst ‘economists are kind of engineers of the utopian, our job is to take care of the nuts and bolts of that alternative economic system; I think we depend on…


The release of Google’s AI principles last week are promising. It is hard to imagine how these principles will be baked into the DNA of the company and how their implementation will play out in terms of company decision making and strategy, as they balance these against profit margins. But I am sure they are on it.

Rachel Coldicutt, CEO of Doteveryone raised some important questions about the principles. Her suggestion is that Google must say who their AI applications will benefit, and who they will harm. This is a strong moral position for a company to take, but these…


Over at Superflux, our work investigating potential and plausible futures, involves extensively scanning for trends and signals from which we trace and extrapolate into the future. Both qualitative and quantitative data play an important role. In doing such work, we have observed how data is often used as evidence, and seen as definitive. Historical and contemporary datasets are often used as evidence for a mandate for future change, especially in some of the work we have undertaken with governments and policy makers. …


A while back I roamed the streets of India with tiny Mars probes, speaking to strangers about space missions, aliens, climate change and nationalism. It was the start of a thrilling adventure exploring the history and future of India’s space program within the context of global geopolitics, militarization and cultural imperialism. From astronauts to afronauts, from cosmonauts to vyomanauts, how can deep space exploration inspire us to create more democratic future visions?

Here’s the video of my talk at Webstock in February 2016, where I shared some of my adventures around the Mangalyaan probe, space explorations and plural futures.

And…


My friend Deb Chachra wrote a great piece ‘Why I am not a Maker’ in the Atlantic last year, about the problems with taking on the identity of a “maker”, especially in tech culture, as it assumes intrinsic superiority to other forms of repair, fixing and especially, care-giving. Around the same time, friend and collaborator Tim Maughan wrote about his journeys through Chinese factories, a deeply moving piece on the conditions and lives of the people who actually make most of the things we use. …


I was invited to deliver the keynote at NEXT Conference held on September 24th-25th 2015 in Hamburg, Germany. A busy mix of agency, marketing and business executives, it was an audience outside of our usual network. And so, it became an opportunity for Jon and me to present our thinking, our company and the research areas we want to work in, to a new audience. The original talk was more like a performance, with a stream of videos and animations as visual stimulus, which you view here.

This is Prof Ranjan. On a Sunday few weeks ago he posted one…

Anab Jain

Designer, Filmmaker, Futurist / Co-founder @Superflux, London / Professor, Design Investigations, University of Applied Arts, Vienna.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store