TJ Demos new picture

T. J. Demos
Beyond the End of the World


Celebrated writer T. J. Demos rarely leaves a seat empty at his talks on politics, ecology and art, often attending to decoloniality within nature. His most recent book addresses the occlusions embedded in the academic use of the term Anthropocene’ (human-caused planetary change) in shielding problems as opposed to opening inroads for change made accessible by artists.

This presentation discusses the ongoing research and exhibition project, Beyond the End of the World, directed by T. J. Demos of the Center for Creative Ecologies at University of California, Santa Cruz (beyond​.ucsc​.edu). In the wake of the end of multiple worlds, we already live in a post-apocalyptic present following countless genocides and colonialisms. With reference to diverse traditions of the oppressed, this year-long research project addresses what lies beyond dystopian catastrophism, past and present end-of-world narratives, and how we can imagine and cultivate radical futures of social justice and ecological flourishing.

TJ Demos new picture

T. J. Demos is an award-winning writer and Professor of Visual Culture at University of California, Santa Cruz and Director of its Center for Creative Ecologies. He writes widely about contemporary art, global politics and ecology and is the author, most recently, of Against the Anthropocene: Visual Culture and Environment Today (2017) and Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology (2016). Demos co-curated Rights of Nature: Art and Ecology in the Americas, at Nottingham Contemporary in 2015 and organised Specters: A Ciné-Politics of Haunting, at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid in 2014. He is currently working on a Mellon-funded research, exhibition and book project dedicated to the questions: What comes after the end of the world?’ and How can we cultivate futures of social justice within capitalist ruins?’

T. J. Demos. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Magical Thinking: Towards a Future Worth Living – Conference Day 1

at De Brakke Grond
Sat 22 Feb 10:00 — 12:30

This conference proposes the magical thinking’ – a belief that thoughts and actions can influence the world – as a provocation. In current dystopian scenarios of future life on Earth, from environment to democracy, imagining a future worth living might reduce anxiety that paralyses action, thereby creating an openness to more inclusive thinking. The questions that need answering are: What is a future worth living (and for whom)? Which tactics can get us there? How can one get from climate emergency and catastrophic populism, fuelled by extractive capitalism, to a world of social/​ecological justice and multispecies equality? With focus on artistic research and strategies of visibility and mobilisation through art, this forum wishes to open up critical discussions and propose routes towards a future worth living.

Beyond the Divides

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