The Conversation Series: An Introduction

Look around you and observe the built reality and all that the contemporary has to offer. Whether with disappointment or pride, we often measure where we are by where we have come from. Paradoxically we are swayed to identify with the past and at the same time are absorbed by our future. We renounce the reality of our time.

However we choose to judge it, the contemporary is still a part of history: it is history in the making. Turning away from it and declaring oneself against the present is a declaration of indifference; this new history must be understood on its own terms. It must be acknowledged, studied and understood without prejudice. There must be an attempt to take-stock of the contemporary.

Taking-stock is an effort to bring up close for inspection the failures and triumphs of the contemporary and interrogate without exception. It is to ask questions and seek answers; what conditions shape and motivate the contemporary? Are there patterns or habits of the contemporary that can be distilled from this process of understanding? And how then can the contemporary be aligned onto a new trajectory? 

This is why the Conversation Series started – to serve as a medium for these questions, to address people from different fields of knowledge and invite them to bring their own observations to the table, to collectively make sense of the contemporary. The Conversation Series is a starting point for collaboration and engagement beyond the confines of academia and the limitations of professional practice.

The Conversation Series is set up as part of the research process and not an “exhibition” of knowledge; invited guests are there to engage with and direct the on-going research, to open up new trajectories for the work and, because the event is documented, reinterpret it in the future. 

The conversation series is a starting point.