In a globalised society, how do people organise around what we have left, and who gets to be in charge? What is a community, and how can they come together to have ownership over their urban environment? In the face of dystopic visions of the future, where is the place for optimism to be society’s untapped resource?

Hosted by Dan Vernon

14.05 – Sarah Kember
14.30 – Madeline Ashby
15.00 – Assemble (Mathew Leung)
15.30 – Q&A

Assemble are a collective based in London who work across the fields of art, architecture and design. They began working together in 2010 and are comprised of 18 members. Assemble’s working practice seeks to address the typical disconnection between the public and the process by which places are made. Assemble champion a working practice that is interdependent and collaborative, seeking to actively involve the public as both participant and collaborator in the on-going realization of the work. Most recently, Assemble won 2015 Turner Prize for Granby Four Streets. Founding member Mathew Leung will be speaking on behalf of Assemble.

Madeline Ashby is a science fiction writer, futurist, speaker, and immigrant living in Toronto. She has written narrative scenarios and science fiction prototypes for organizations like Intel Labs, the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, Nesta, Data & Society, and others. Her short fiction has appeared in Nature, FLURB, Tesseracts, Imaginarium, and Escape Pod. Her other essays and criticism have appeared at BoingBoing, io9, WorldChanging, Creators Project, Arcfinity, and

Sarah Kember is Professor of New Technologies of Communication at Goldsmiths, University of London. Recent publications include: a feminist critique of smart media iMedia. The gendering of objects, environments and smart materials (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) and a co-authored monograph Life After New Media: Mediation as a Vital Process (The MIT Press, 2012). Previous publications include: Virtual Anxiety. Photography, New Technologies and Subjectivity (Manchester University Press, 1998); Cyberfeminism and Artificial Life (Routledge, 2003); the co-edited volume Inventive Life. Towards the New Vitalism (Sage, 2006); an edited open access ebook Astrobiology and the Search for Life on Mars (Open Humanities Press, 2011) and a novel The Optical Effects of Lightning (Wild Wolf Publishing, 2011). Sarah co-edits the journal Feminist Theory, is co-PI of an RCUK funded project on digital publishing (CREATe) and Director of Goldsmiths Press. Currently working on a book on future media, Sarah is also in the process of writing her second novel.