The end of infinity
The fundamental idea of infinity no longer seems so self-evident. For a long time, we saw economic growth as the definition of progress, and the desire for more was our collective obsession. But we now realise that the lifespan of the earth and its natural resources is limited. The balance between economy and ecology and between prosperity and well-being also seems to have been lost. At the same time, we are living longer and longer. As part of the cloud, our physical existence has expanded to the digital world. We may not even need our physical bodies anymore. Transhumanists are trying to break through the natural limits of human existence; we could even live forever if it were up to them. Is infinite life really possible through the use of new technologies?
“It’s easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism” is a well-known statement by the cultural philosopher Mark Fisher. While Fisher was sceptical about the possibility of finding suitable alternatives to capitalism, STRP wonders if maybe we can envision any alternative visions of the future. Can we live together in a world that isn't just about the growth of capital but also our relationship with nature and each other? STRP isn't envisioning a world that goes back to basics. We believe in a world in which we can use other philosophies and new technologies to radically rethink humanity's relationship with nature. We question the future with the knowledge of the past in the world of today. STRP offers alternatives with its programmes to the dominant stories about growth and infinity that we hear in our current society.
There is also a political dimension to the need for an alternative. In the dead-end capitalist system, opportunism wins out over idealism. However, we can not go on like this because there is no planet B. Today's young people have to live in this world, a world that is breaking down. That's why it's so important to build a long-term political vision that incorporates the interests of future generations. STRP is looking for new strategies and inspiration to build not a destructive but a constructive world.
How do we deal with the end of infinity; do we leave the physical world behind, or do we enter into a radical new connection with it? What strategies can we devise to break our addiction to material growth? How can technological progress bring connection instead of abandonment? In search of answers to these questions, STRP 2022 sketches imaginative scenarios for our future with artists, the public and thinkers from a critical yet optimistic perspective. To infinity and beyond!