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Potentiality – future and present promises | 18.01.2022

Potentiality can be perceived as a special form of how the present and the future are connected. As the “not yet” the potential carries the promise of future fulfilment within it. It seems to have the force to point beyond itself towards a time where it might be fully unfolded. Thus, it is at the same time the promise of a concrete future and its anticipation. The workshop seeks to analyze this temporal structure inherent in potentiality, asking for its epistemological, aesthetical, sociological, and economical impact. How can we explain the increasing attractivity of the idea of potentially in modern societies and in the dynamics of capitalism? How does potentiality link together economical concepts like “workforce” and aesthetic concepts like creativity? What does it mean to build one’s life narrative around the idea of potentiality and can potentiality be described as a new social regime (as has been argued by Denis Hänzi 2014) or a new form of subjectivation that substitutes the modern idea of the future as opening up possibilities? How does the identification and definition of potentiality affect decisions, actions and practices concerning the futures?