Century – a Proposal

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Future Media/Art Manifesto is at the core of Tribute 2018, and includes the exhibition SHANSHUI: a Cosmotechnics, and Century: a Proposal. The School of Intermedia Art at CAA curated Future Media/Art Manifesto, which took place at the Rhine Palace and at the Palace University of Strasbourg. More than just a written manifesto, this project is intended to be a five year long series of research and art events


On December 2 we invited important thinkers and artists of our time to stand at certain and significant moments in history (like 1917, 1919, 1945, 1968, 1989, 2001…..), to discuss the most urgent and as yet unpronounced future proposals. Guest speakers: Anselm Franke, Bernard Steigler, Chang Tsongzung, Chen Chiehjen, Daniel Buren, Gao Shiming, Geert Lovink, Yuk Hui, Jean-Luc Nancy, Samir Amin,  Siegfried Zielinski, and Uwe Fleckner


The idea behind Century- a Proposal is to create a future in the making. We asked our guest speakers to reiterate the stories of the past in order to reflect on them not only as individual historical events, but as calls and anticipations. Century- a Proposal aims to look back at the unfinished, unrealized historical opportunities of the past hundred years as a means of reviving the energy and momentum of these events, giving possibility back to history.


50 years ago, the Aula was the setting for one of the first student movements that would later inspire the 1968 Paris riots. On December 2, we returned this setting with an international panel of speakers who reflected and comment on the unrealized potential in significant past moments of history, using these moments as starting points for the urgent, and as yet unknown future.

90 years later, we revisit Strasbourg not only to commemorate the past, but to gather together the momentum of the previous century and take off again down the road to our future.

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Century: a Proposal, was produced under the art direction of Yao Dajuin, who supervised the creation of the video installations which accompanied speeches given by twelve speakers. Dajuin is also behind the sound art for this event. The creation through audio-visual elements of an intellectual sound theater was intended to transform the role of the speakers from that of ordinary seminar attendees to art activists in a platonic symposium. The event lasted 180 minutes.


Each of the twelve speakers focused on one year in the past 100 years as a starting point, and many of the speeches touched on a similar topic: complex technology’s transformation of the world. In 2017, all media has become so pervasive in its personal, economic, aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical, and social consequences that it leaves no part of us untouched, unaltered. The boundaries between life, media, and consumer culture have merged into a single entity. Even human relationships have come to be defined by keeping up appearances on social media.


Advanced technology is the pinnacle of modern’s society’s capitalistic production. Advanced technologies, such as smart phones, have become seamlessly interwoven with all aspects of our everyday lives, from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep. We invited this panel of speakers to help us understand the 100 years of history that led to this moment in human development. This moment where mass media in all its particular manifestations, news, advertising, and entertainment, is the dominant model of life. This moment in history where through technology the media has become absolutely pervasive and unavoidable. Popular cultural and society have become a one-way discourse, rather than a conversation. Century- a Proposal, was the attempt to bring back the Socratic tradition of the “great conversation” to the 21 rst century, so that re-appropriating new technologies, we can offer diverse proposals for the future.

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Very few exhibitions are on the scale of Tribute 2018, most tend to be modest and localized in their aims. Tribute 2018 is on the cutting edge of exhibitions intended to reshape social, cultural, and political relations in a globalized world. As Gao Shiming put it so well, Tribute 2018 attempts not only to give possibility back to history, but to anticipate a new future in the making. The art exhibition has transcended its former role as a repository for the heritage of the past, and is now a place to create mutual understanding within an increasingly complex world, so that armed with the weapons of “future media”, we can move forward.

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1、1917/萨米尔·阿明(Samir Amin)/「1917年十月革命引发世界大变革」(The October 1917 Revolution started off the transformation of the world)

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2、1924/高士明 (Gao Shiming)/「序曲」(Prelude)

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3、1938/傅无为(Uwe Fleckner)/「前卫艺术的转折」(Peripeteia of the Avant-gardes)

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4、1945/伯纳德·斯蒂格勒(Bernard Stiegler)/「借助马克思的《德国意识形态》以及生物学家阿弗雷德·洛特卡的理论来为生物圈和联合国诊症疗伤 」(Panser la dynamique biosphérique et les Nations Unies avec L’idéologie allemande et Alfred Lotka)

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5、1954/安森·弗兰克(Anselm Franke)/「消极普世主义」(Negative Universalism)

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6、1968/西格弗里德·齐林斯基(Siegfried Zielinski)/「中国的文化大革命」(Chinese Cultural Revolution)

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7、1984/陈界仁 CHEN Chieh-jen/「當我們在討論如何建造天堂時,其實也同時在討論如何建造地獄」(When We Speak About Building Utopia, We Must Also Speak About Building Dystopia)

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8、1989/张颂仁 CHANG Tsong-zung/「冷戰與後殖民」(The Cold-War and Post-Colonialism)

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9、2001/丹尼尔·布伦(Daniel Buren)/「关于2001年」(On the Year 2001)

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10、2011/基尔特·洛文克(Geert Lovink)/「从脸书革命到占领:反抗全球金融霸权的失败起义」(From Facebook Revolution to Occupy: Failed Revolts against the Global Financial Regime)

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11、2017/许煜 HUI Yuk/「现在」(Now)

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12、1966以降/让-吕克·南希(Jean-Luc Nancy)/「1968-2018非事件」(The non-event 1968-2018)

Artistic Director and Sound Art Design:

Yao Dajuin

Team Members:

MA Nan, SU Chengcheng, Alexandra Jiang Ashley, WANG Yini, YE Wei, WU Fanrui, YAO Yuandongfang, WANG Zi’an, WANG Xi, LI Chaolin, LI Hongxiang, MA Yuanchi, MEI Yuezi


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