Who are we as the world around us changes? At the intersection of our subjective lives and our collective worlds lie profound dichotomies. And at the threshold of aesthetics and science, culture and politics, symbolic infrastructures versus solid urban forms there are still a host of territories to explore as well. All in a continuous yet contested relationship; traveling beyond that fragile, stubborn and siloing quality of language, concepts, fields, disciplines, bordered cities, individual bodies. But what possibilities can be found in the gaps, in that in-between, often turbulent and symbiotic territory where our truths and our fantasies clash and merge? At the border of fiction…

At one end lies fake news, alternate facts, profound and systemic biases, a human mass without individual agency. At the other end lies a more malleable reality, entangling us in invisible, unique and mysterious ways – in ways that once perceived and interiorized might allow us become more imaginative in how we live with each other, how we belong to each other.

Join the session with Gabriella Gómez-Mont, the former Chief Creative Officer of Mexico City, where she founded and directed Laboratorio para la Ciudad (‘Laboratory of the City’) the experimental and creative think tank for the Mexico City government, reporting to the Mayor. She has also worked as a journalist, documentary filmmaker, visual artist and experimental curator.  She is now in the process of launching Experimentalista: a novel type of urban+creative studio, already working with several Mayors, cities and organizations across the world.

Related Untitled Agenda Themes:  REIMAGINING human     

Featured Image: Gabriella Gomez-Mont at TEDGlobal 2013 in Edinburgh, Scotland. June 12-15, 2013. Photo: James Duncan Davidson
Image: Gabriella Gómez-Mont, live.worldbank.org

Centerpiece is the screening of the audio-visual art-piece. This part is non interactive. For high immersion, headphones, a darkened room and a comfortable seating position are recommended. Before the screening, we will start the session with an introduction to give some context about the used materials and featured artists / authors. After the screening we will engage in a conversation about central ideas from the artpiece.

Innovation Von Gestern, or Yesterday’s Innovation, is a multi-layer live Collage about mobility, information society and the decline of industrialism in West Germany. The performance is based on a generative audio visual engine, which creates an emergent and self writing performance out of visual, sound and text input. Musical fragments and progress-critical texts are fed into the engine along with video sequences of remains of the industrial age and vast structures. With that input a strange and Immersive narrative showing how the belief in progress and individual mobility has  shaped landscapes and the crumbling cityscapes of today. The hopes and fears of people on the brink of a new era, about the skepticism and positivism of the past. An ambivalent Aesthetic for tomorrow’s world between utopia and dystopia.

The overall concept and execution of this performance is by Max Göttner and Miriam Gronau from Hyperreal. Göttner works as a creative coder and electronic engineer in the fields of media arts and rethinks the future of mobility in the VW group Future Center. Gronau works as an actor and voice artist in progressive political performances and business coaching.

Gottfried Hamburger [ Music ] was an unknown pioneer of electronic music from the West German industrial town of Remscheid. He worked as a communication technology engineer from the 60s to the 90s. His music was never released and consists of small home studio experiments, which can be seen as comments on the post industrial era and the upcoming information society.

Jürgen Dahl [ Text ] was an author and journalist from the West German town of Moers. He wrote texts about gardening as well as environmental and scientific topics. There is a strong progress and a tech-skeptical tone to his work. Living from 1929-2001 he was a coeval of Gottfried Hamburger.

Images : Max Göttner (c)

Related UNTITLED Agenda Tracks : REIMAGINING cities

This was a session at Untitled Festival 2020.
As much of the Western world reckons with the contemporary realities of colonial legacies, this session invites participants to experimentally reimagine how the transformation of incumbent societal structures may profoundly impact historically marginalized individuals.

Reimagining an anti-colonial and anti-racist society includes understanding that the resources at the center of society today are resources that have been taken from individuals who have been oppressed. How can those resources now help the marginalized? The key focus of this session would be exploring how these very resources can be taken from the center to help, engage and mobilize the margins instead of always focusing on the center.

Furthermore, we will explore how these resources can be re-allocated in a way that does not take away so much energy from those who have been historically marginalized and oppressed. Given the ongoing pandemic and environmental issues we need to create safer, brave spaces that allow for innovation, healing and strengthening of communities that have been systematically under resourced and marginalized.

As a City Dramaturg at The Brussels City Theater, Tundé Adefioye will bring his artistic insights into this experimental session. Participants will be challenged to consider how to build new societies not based on colonial bureaucracies and how people can be truly served equally in a post-colonial world.

In addition to being a city dramaturg at KVS in Belgium, Tundé Adefioye is a founder of the Urban Woorden, a non-profit that uses poetry as a tool for youth engagement. Over the years Tundé has led and participated in numerous creative events across Europe, especially working with local communities to create spaces for diverse demographics to express themselves, empower themselves, and to feel inspired to be the best version of themselves. He has also given several lectures and speeches, notably including: a series of 6 guest lectures for the Luca Leuven School of Art, a keynote speech at the 2018 IETM plenary meeting in Porto Portugal, and a keynote at the Wales Arts International conference.

From 2017-2019, Tundé wrote, co-coordinated and implemented for the innovative EU Creative Europe project MindUrStep. In 2019, he made his directorial debut with Contact Theater Manchester, with the piece ‘Old Tools> New Masters ≠ New Futures’.  He sits on the editorial board of the VUB Poincaré book on Migration and Racism [2019-2020].

Related Untitled Agenda themes : Reimagining power, Reimagining human

Photo: Hugo Lefèvre (c)


Bodytalk research team Simo Vassinen, Maria F. Scaroni, and Roope Mokka, investigates the crossing points and possible new unions of futures research with dance and physicality – with a specific zoom into rave and club culture. The team’s underlining idea is that the repetitive physical release conducted alone to monotonous, high tempo music in a shared space that we know from raves and clubs can offer new perspectives and mindshifts for digesting societal realities and imagining better futures also in other contexts.

Dissolving the ego, one dance at a time, alone together. 

The shared educational-professional-hobby-activist background of the Helsinki/Berlin-based Bodytalk team combines e.g. futures research, contemporary dance, performance, co-creation, methods of participation and empowerment, workshop moderation, techno music and club culture, journalism, event management and political philosophy. Simo Vassinen (DE/FI) has a combined background of futures research, journalism, translation, dance, performance and choreography. Maria F. Scaroni (DE/IT) is a dance artist, initiator and teacher of experimental dance and physical practices, and space-holder for raving, bodywork and community caregiving. Roope Mokka (FI) is one of the founders of Demos Helsinki, futures researcher and urbanist with a parallel storyline in underground culture and community-driven artistic projects. The three members also share a long-lasting affair with dancing and club culture. 

Bodytalk is supported by The Finnish Cultural and Academic Institutes’ Together Alone project. #togetheralonefi #instituutit

Related UNTITLED Agenda Tracks: Reimagining Human

Photo: Socially distant Technodrift in Berlin, April 2020, Maria F. Scaroni

Associate creates an experimental and poetic digital documentation from the various discussions that take place within the Untitled events. Associate is at the same time an independent artwork and experimental documentation of the festival and the online events. 

The recorded discussions in Untitled meetings and festival events are processed through a machine learning algorithm. This process picks up parts of sentences and individual words that accumulate and mix in the ever increasing database. The algorithm forms new connections between various textual elements based on machine learning models that analyse the context and statistical properties of individual words and phrases.

The machine learning model aims to bring light to emerging and new connections between textual nodes, and reflect on various alternative meanings and paths derived from the language used within Untitled discussions.

Images: Otso Havanto / Associate.

Privacy and anonymisation of data is a core function of the artwork. All the conversations recorded in Untitled events that are used for Associate, are processed in a way that it is impossible to identify an individual speaker.

The first version of the artwork is displayed online on its own website. This version creates new textual interpretation clusters and poetic variations from the Untitled discussions, ultimately aiming to foster the creation of Untitled’s own unique discourse engine. 

Associate uses a statistical machine learning model that has been trained by the Common Crawl dataset, and by the OntoNotes source material from the University of Pennsylvania. The work accumulates ever expanding textual material from the Untitled discussions and produces novel statistical vectors between the various meanings of words and concepts. Over time the work trains a model that is unique to the language used by the Untitled community and platform.

The artwork aims to encourage us to use big data as a tool and resource for the various communities, movements, and other non-commercial organizations, that aim to create a more just and fair future society for all.

The artwork can be found on the following link: associate.associates

Cover of Imaginary Crisis paper

We are in the midst of a very urgent, real, global and deadly crisis. But as the Covid-19 crisis hopefully comes slowly under control, we ought to attend to a very different kind of crisis, and one which is scarcely visible: the deteriorating state of our shared social imagination. That is the subject of Geoff Mulgan’s new paper.

Professor Geoff Mulgan, a pivotal person in the story of starting Untitled, claims that the world faces a deficit of social imagination. We find it easy to imagine apocalypse and disaster; or to imagine new generations of technology. But we find it much harder than in the past to imagine a better society a generation or more into the future.

Some fields are good at thinking far into the future – business invests heavily in visions of future smart homes, smart cities or health. Fiction is adept at exploring the future boundaries of humans and technology. Mainstream culture finds it easy to imagine apocalypses – what would happen if temperatures rose 4 or 5 degrees or AI enslaved humans or even worse pandemics became the norm?

But we struggle to imagine positive alternatives: what our care or education systems, welfare, workplaces, democracy or neighbourhoods might be like in 30-40 years. And we appear to be worse at doing this than in the past.

There are many possible reasons for this decline; loss of confidence in progress and grand narratives; declining imaginative capacity; slowing down of innovation. Key institutions – universities, political parties and think tanks – have for different reasons vacated this space. The decline of imagination matters because societies need a wide range of ideas and options to help them adjust, particularly to big challenges like climate change and ageing.

Making sense of social imagination

Social imagination has a long and fascinating history, from utopias to political programmes, model communities to generative ideas and fictions which fuelled our ability to understand and then shape human progress.

There are many methods available which can be used to stimulate imagination – sparking creativity or cultivating estrangement from dominant beliefs. The most interesting social imagination is often dialectical in that it simultaneously goes with, and against, the grain of historical trends.

To fuel social imagination we need to engage the many institutions that could be supporting it, but don’t now: research funders; foundations; universities and governments. And we need to remember the promise of reviving shared social imagination: that communities can once again become heroes in their own history rather than only observers.

So what can be done to address this gap? This is a huge task, involving many people, organisations and methods. In his fresh paper, Geoff Mulgan sets out thoughts on the what, the how and the who.

Spark your social imagination and download the full paper or watch Geoff introduce it at the first ever Untitled Imaginary Society meet up.  


When we built the UNTITLED alliance, we were asking people to reimagine what a fundamentally different society could look like. At the time that was a big ask. Today it seems like one of the most pressing questions in the world.

Amidst near zero visibility some patterns are emerging. One of the most intriguing is the idea of leaping forward, instead of bouncing back. As a response to the pandemic we are launching Untitled immediately and open-sourcing our methods. In this we need your help.

To quickly respond to the increased need for reimagining the global agenda we will step up our game now by:

  • Launching Untitled imaginary Society where we will  further develop tools and practices for social imagination to be open sourced and shared.
  • Setting up two both online and offline events for reimagining society and setting the agenda of the most crucial experiments:  from April – June we shall be hosting bi-monthly online forums to discuss key issues around social imagination, 11-12 June we shall set out The Agenda for coming year via online forums, and in 17-18 September we shall have our in-person Untitled Festival!
  • Seeking new funding for initiating transformative experiments and developing open source methods for reimagining the society
  • Setting up a portfolio of the most crucial experiments to be undertaken in the next ten years to create the next normal.

In his Prison Notebooks, Antonio Gramsci wrote: “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” The sentence has resurfaced from obscurity to truism in a matter of years.

Gramsci wrote the now popular sentence in Mussolini’s prison. The immense scientific, technological and philosophical changes of the early 20th century had led to an intertwined and seemingly endless crisis in politics and economy.

The run amok capitalism was challenged by fascism and communism with fatal consequences.

Instead of linear progress, Gramsci argued, the world had entered an era of no-rule, an interregnum, an era between eras where there is no unifying narrative, no hegemonic discourse, no one ideological order but confusion that political ”monsters” could exploit.

Yes. Sounds familiar.

Once again it feels like the old era is dead and the new one cannot be born. It is as if someone pressed ”pause” in the development streaming service.

What is stopping us from pressing play again?

In our view it is not the lack of resources, knowledge, goals or even motivation, but our inability to imagine a different way of living together and lack of courage to experiment with what we imagine.

We are richer than ever. Technology diffusion is at a historical high. Consequently, amazing tools, products and services produced at next to zero cost. Many of the world’s biggest countries and companies have signed ambitious sustainability goals. Ordinary people from all walks of life people are increasingly motivated by what they can give, not what they can take. Environmental consciousness is at an all-time high, climate change is at the top of societal concerns in many countries.

Still: Emissions keep rising. Authoritarian power keeps growing. Anxiety keeps spreading. Something does not add up here.

What if our real enemy is not – populism, crony capitalism, authoritarian communism, monopolies, social media, filter bubbles, climate deniers and delayers, greed, lack of empathy, car dependency, patriarchy, fake news, stress, anxiety and depression – but our own limited capacity to imagine and experiment, dream up and create.

It seems as if we have forbidden ourselves from envisioning a new era that could be about more than just survival or limiting the risks. We are failing time after time with what it is to imagine a world that is genuinely better.

You can see why it’s happening. In the era of linear progress we adopted a technocratic perspective. We filled our minds with benchmarks, best practices, targets, goals, roadmaps, data and key performance indicators. We assumed that, if we just do the same thing as before but in a better, more efficient, agile, lean and sustainable fashion, our civilisation will not collapse. This worked for so many decades it was sure to work again! The system that lifted billions out of poverty and put networked supercomputers in their hands, would surely take away the intertwined crisis in politics, earth systems, social mobility and mental health!

We keep failing to see the difference between what is and what can be.

We are not prisoners of Mussolini, but of our own success. We halved poverty and increased the number of girls enrolled in schools to the same level as boys in a few decades, thanks to our focus on doing the same thing faster. However, this very same technocratic attitude has now become our prison. It is now preventing us from understanding the scale of the societal transformation we are in and the speed with which it comes at us.

  • If the crisis we’re in could be solved by spreadsheets and benchmarks alone, it would already be solved. 
  • If the crisis we’re in could be solved by technical solutions and greed alone, it would already be solved. 
  • If the crisis we’re in could be solved by good will and positive thinking alone, it would already be solved. 
  • If the crisis we’re in could be solved by education and future generations alone, it would already be solved. 
  • If the crisis we’re in could be solved by state intervention and regulation alone, it would already be solved. 


Our lack of imagination prevents us from seeing the obvious. This is why the current conversation is not about how to transform the world for better, but about how to save the old world from dying.

At UNTITLED we dream new and better dreams. We dream them together. What they are, we do not know yet.

This is why we are UNTITLED.