Assembling sustainable futures – Anticipatory practices and imaginations in art education
The future does not just exist. We refer to it through diverse practices, assembling it as an experience in the now. The way we conceive of the future, experience it in the present, and thus also generate it socially, is the result of complex processes of production. However, historical meanings are involved in these processes as well. Based on contemporary practices in art education, I explore powerful configurations of the future in the present: knowledge, material, person and future determine each other interdependently in these processes. Imaginations of future in art education are characterized by the emphasis on their explorative and opening character. Occasionally, especially as regards a universal understanding of sustainability, they also predefine and fixate futures. This eventually leads to a restriction of ways of life in future. Thus, I argue, it is necessary for research and practice, to analyze one’s own involvement in these assembling processes and in the historical meanings associated. In consequence, I propose an understanding of sustainability that is more appropriate to the open, explorative future practices of art education; one which reckons uncertainty and multiplicity, and thereby continuously reinvents itself, reinvents resources, and current as well as future ways of life.
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