Publics@IIHS: Staging the Future
“Staging the Future: A history of the technological present”
Contemporary debates on social and economic life are rife with questions on how technology will shape the future. Where the internet’s presence once revolutionised how we connected with apps and smartphones, tomorrow it will be the robotic charm and anxieties of automation. Will technology free us from the drudgery of hard labour or will it end work and life as we know it?
Futures and their predictions require a retelling of the history of the present. This is especially true of how technology is fundamentally altering work and cities. So far, data scientists, academics and policymakers have had significant currency over technological forecasts. To tell the story of how technology impacts our everyday lives in the city, however, we must look to more creative mediums: the richness and diversity of theatre, science fiction, and comics can help us explore technological futures through free and unencumbered imaginations.
Join us for a dramatised reading of excerpts from Algorithms, a theatrical performance, accompanied by a conversation on the role of theatre, science fiction and comics in uncovering the present to decipher urban futures. The event will be held on 22 October 2018 at 6.30pm at the IIHS Bengaluru City Campus.
About the performance
Algorithms is a theatrical performance that deep dives into the platforms of Uber, Ola and BookmyBai to unpack the present history of tech. Platforms have been identified by governments and international agencies as contemporary signposts of the way tech will alter the future of work. The play complicates imaginaries of the future of work using the ideas of employment, work, control, choice and individualism through the eyes of platform drivers whose everydayness is mediated by caste, class, and regional ascribed identities as much as by apps. It foregrounds the ways people navigate work in Indian cities, giving voice and action to the majority of urban residents whose stories are tacit and hidden to policymakers. In doing so, it unpacks the history of the present by foreground the complexity of context, mechanisms of interaction, and how the social is embedded in body and space.
Algorithms is a Hindi, Kannada, and English play suitable for those 16 years and older which will be performed at Ranga Shankara, from 16 to 18 October 2018. The play is written and directed by Chanakya Vyas, Indian Ensemble.
Discussants for the talk:
- Chanakya Vyas, playwright, and Director of Algorithms & Artistic
Director of Indian Ensemble;
- Padmini Ray Murray, Expert in Digital Humanities in India
- Aditi Surie, Sociologist at IIHS
For those who cannot make it, you can watch the live discussion here:
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