Part 4: Utopia
Sat 30 Jan 2016, 8.00pm–10.30pm
Photo by Mathieu Briand
Drawing our marathon MRelay to an end, Utopia explores an ideal, imaginary state in which society, politics and culture are perfect. It can often be difficult to face the reality of today’s world, where global climate change is leading to rising sea levels, unprecedented environmental destruction, a widening gap between rich and poor, and countless human rights violations. It’s easy to dream instead of a world in which all societal ills have been solved.
In his 1516 treatise Utopia, Sir Thomas More imagined a fictional island society. But the concept of utopia has evolved to mean any community with a visionary system of political and societal perfection – cities that function to improve their citizens’ daily lives. Some utopian visions focus on design and technology, others on open, untouched landscapes, or new social orders. Can radically avant-garde and cutting-edge design unite us? How do we help solve the world’s problems and society’s dilemmas?
Utopia will be hosted by Michael Williams, director of the Wheeler Centre. Speakers include founding director of Breathe Architecture Jeremy McLeod; curator for the Australian pavilion at the 57th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale 2017 Natalie King; dancer and performer Becky Hilton; strategic adviser, theologian and master of Ormond College Rufus Black; artist and writer Aurelia Guo; landscape architect and managing director of Atelier Ten’s Australian office Paul Stoller; and medical anthropologist Gregory Phillips, who currently consults in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in his role as executive director of Abstarr Consulting.
Pop in for thirty minutes or stay the whole day as our guests pass the host mic from one speaker to the next. It’ll be fast-paced, exhilarating and, best of all, deeply unpredictable.