Dystopian Optimism

posted in: Research

Our future imagination suffers from an impasse between technological optimism and dystopian visions of the end of humankind. ‘Dystopian Optimism’ counters globally interconnected precariousness as the condition of our time. It recognizes dystopia as a societal reality and proposes to complement it with optimism: a fiction that enables one to project a different future on oneself or the world. Embedded in the fields of contemporary audiovisual arts and art history, Dystopian Optimism functions as a compass to navigate an iconological map of imaginaries around ecological issues.

This PhD research centres around a slow voyage to and around Taiwan as a test‐case for future world imaginations. Aside of a dissertation disclosing the concept of Dystopian Optimism and the iconology (profound image interpretation) of ecological imageries, this artistic research consists of a continuous videographic journal that results in a series of films.

Supervisor: dr. Wendy Morris (LUCA)
Co-supervisor: prof. Hilde Van Gelder (KU Leuven)
Duration: 2019-2023
Follow Joeri Verbesselt:
Joeri Verbesselt (°1990) investigates how to connect ecological activism with future imagination. His work can result in various forms: writings, films and performances. Joeri published several essays and one short story. Currently, he is developing the film 'Motherships' and the performance project 'Tableau Vivant'. From November 2019 onwards, his research will be clustered in a PhD in the arts on Dystopian Optimism.
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