Video – 0:25:46

The Scenario Mode | The Alternative Futures Approach – Modelling the Unthinkable by Sebastian Vehlken

Technosphere × Knowledge
2016, Apr 14, Thu — 2016, Apr 16, Sat

Scenario techniques are mediators of crises. This holds true for historical examples like the Thinking About the Unthinkable (H.Kahn) of atomic warfare or the Limits to Growth (D. Meadows et al), as well as for contemporary discussions about climate change. Scenarios generate “hypotheticalnarratives dealing with the causation, initiation, course and termination of future crises” (B. Bruce-Biggs). Central to such ‘synthetic histories’ (C. Pias) is their specific Eigenzeit, a course open for all sorts of “bizarre actions” (H. Kahn) which links the “broad present” (H.-U. Gumbrecht) to a plurality of possible futures. Instead of proposing a right way into a better future, scenario techniques heighten the awareness for the contingencies, the bifurcations, and the precipices lurking ‘on the way’. My presentation will pick out five historicalscenes which are exemplary for this mode of futurological exploration—down to computer simulations, the ubiquitous ‘scenario-media’ of today.

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