The research cluster ‘Fluid Futures’ endorses a pluriform vision on personhood, identity and history. It situates and stimulates makership from a context of global multiplicity.

‘Fluid Futures’ aims to formulate a sorely needed alternative for the negative impact of the singular-atomistic self-image and the oppositional dualism that is articulated in Western cultural history. These restrictive conceptions severely limit the ways we deal with otherness, diversity and reciprocity. Oppositional thinking is manifest in problematic dichotomies, such as nature/culture, real/virtual, fine arts/applied arts-crafts, man/woman, etc., that constitute normative and exclusive hierarchies. Despite the on-going societal deconstruction of these simplistic binary pairs they continue to not only limit our perceptions and polarise our opinions, often on an unconscious level. They also profoundly affect our capacity for self-criticism and self-knowledge, what makes us contributors to the perpetuation of established systems of exclusion and inequality. ‘Fluid Futures’ engages in the creation of new multiple narratives beyond binary, anthropocentric, ethnocentric and hierarchal paradigms that include space for the unclear and the unknown, in search of nuance and complexity, exchange and reciprocity.

Artistic research is oriented to 21st century aesthetics, detached from the often ethnocentric ‘universal’ modernism of the 20th century, and corresponding with our contemporary multiplicity. Guided by the notion ‘Thinking through making’ the project explores the possibilities of pluriform-fluid (co)-makership, which might be intermedial, transcultural and transhistoric. ‘Fluid Futures’ experiments with methods that stimulate synergies between makers through (collective) sensorial-embodied working modes and dialogical methodologies, the use of ethnography in artistic practices, self-reflexive forms of notation and registration, and curatorial trajectories.

‘Fluid Futures’ aims to operate as an interdisciplinary research and meeting platform that brings PhD-researchers in the arts together with diverse makers, artists and researchers. Urged by the need for a pluriform perspective (of the future), artistic research can address various topics, such as:

  • the global (historical, contemporary and future) entanglement of (raw) materials,  media, and technology in textile and other making processes
  • the relationship between pluriform visions of personhood and makership
  • embodied knowledge and bio-centric philosophies of makership
  • sensorial/performative interactions during textile/artistic practices and their ritual, political en socio-cultural dimensions (in the past, present and future)
  • co-creation as a form of dialogical ethnography and experimental space for knowledge construction and transcultural experiences
  • the deconstruction of dominant monolithic histories and perceptions: visualizing complex and marginalised histories and knowledge, and reshaping reducing discourses (e.g in the spheres of gender, colonial history, racism, ageism, ableism, etc).
  • non-linear perspectives on time, performative inquiry, and archival research; artistic strategies that can lead to inclusive multiple narratives in (audio-visual) storytelling / design / experiences.