In a world that draws our attention to the present moment, both facts and stories are now subject to fluctuations, whether fictional or virtual. What if we started inventing the truths we desired, to the detriment of genuine facts? What kind of worlds would this create?

Uchronia | What if? offers a collection of online works that create uncommon, digital versions of the world and of history. They create speculative futures, revisiting history by exploring new approaches to political and social impasses; exploiting a dystopian internet and alternative networks; confronting multiple experiences of time, both human and machine-based.

Speculative Future(s)

Contemplating history and the past often leads us to reflect on the future, a time that contains all our hopes and fears of what could be. While we have little control over past events, the future seems fertile ground for predictions of all kinds: some feasible, some not, some desirable and some tragic. These speculative futures allow us to rectify inequalities and examine disasters while trying to overcome them in the present. Fiction acts as a final refuge.

Dystopian Internet

Dystopian Internet is the nightmare of a Web gone rogue, where the ideal of a new ethos has been trampled on. Narratives about the Internet abound. Most are positive, even utopian. The Internet brings about a new form of society: open, transparent, egalitarian. Its counterpart is completely antithetical. A dystopian view of the Web presents it as a dark and shady frontier — an untamed space full of violence and crime. Sometimes even the Internet of Things, with its possibility of complete interconnectedness, can seem menacing in its capacity to make us lose control over our lives.

Time Play

The concept of uchronia can also be understood as something outside of time or a negation of diachronic time. In the digital context, it is a synthesis of temporal experiences in which the spectator’s viewing time merges with the story and the device. The works presented in this section are like games defying the conventions of temporality. They have a vast range, starting from a universe to be explored in a limited time frame to an eternal present where history plays on repeat.

CREDITS
CURATED BY LAB NT2: GINA CORTOPASSI, BERTRAND GERVAIS, JOANNE LALONDE & LISA TRONCA
MEDIA DESIGN: SYLVAIN AUBÉ, KIENAN STEWART & ROBIN VARENAS
PROOFREADER: FRANCES POPE & LUKE DERAICHE

UCHRONIA | WHAT IF ? IS PART OF THE HYPERPAVILION,
CURATED BY PHILIPPE RISS-SCHMIDT DURING THE 57TH VENICE BIENNALE, 2017.