21 radical visions of tomorrow presented in Berlin

The projects on display during the three-day festival “Driving the Human” combine science, technology, art and design to imagine a sustainable and collective future.

“Years ago, the French students in the May-June uprising of 1968 expressed this sharp contrast of alternatives magnificently in their slogan: ‘Be practical! Do the impossible!’ To this demand, the generation that faces the next century can add the more solemn injunction: If we don't do the impossible, we shall be faced with the unthinkable!”, writes Murray Bookchin in Ecology of Freedom. The book is one of the main reference works for social ecology, a radical philosophy that proposes a profound rethinking of society starting from the environmental question and the critique of the hierarchical system.

In continuity with Bookchin's thinking, the "Driving the Human" festival proposed 21 visions for eco-social renewal. For three days, the Radialsystem cultural centre in Berlin was animated by projects of the most diverse format: immersive experiences, performances, projections, interactive installations, material experiments, workshops, readings and walks.

Performance curated by Eliana Otta, author of the project Virtual Sanctuary for Fertilizing Mourning. Driving the Human, Berlin, 2021

The aim of the initiative is to explore the various intersections between technology and nature, between humans and the different intelligences inhabiting the planet, between material culture, political issues and new narratives. The extremely heterogeneous mix of these approaches reinforces the perspective that collaboration and interdependence are essential for life and survival on our planet.

Thanks to "Driving the Human" we realise how complex it is to achieve real diversity in an exhibition: not only in terms of format but above all cultural diversity. Exhibitions of this kind usually impose a Western gaze, often due to the laziness of the curators, who select works close to them or that they already know. This is not the case, however: the projects well represent different global contexts: from Peru to Ghana, from India to Sweden.

The exhibition-event in Berlin is only an intermediate step in a three-year process that will end in 2022 (also at Radialsystem) with a final exhibition featuring a selection of 7 of the 21 projects, which will meanwhile have received support to continue the development of the project throughout the year. "Driving the Human" is not just an exhibition of works from all over the world, but a tool to strengthen practices and create new alliances. The initiative aimed to bring designers together with each other and with journalists, curators and experts of various kinds, as well as with the public.

Driving the Human: 21 Visions for Eco-social Renewal
Radialsystem, Berlin
Opening dates:
15-17 October 2021
Promoted by:
acatech, National Academy of Science and Engineering; Forecast; Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design; ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe
Matthew C. Wilson, Iris Qu, Vienne Chan + Katja Meier, Initiative for Applied Melancholy, Yasmine Abbas + DK Osseo-Asare, Chris Salter + Erik Adigard + Alexandre Quessy, Andra Pop-Jurj + Lena Geerts Danau, Eylül Şenses, Anne-Sofie Belling + Bea Delgado Corrales + Romy Kaiser + Paula Nerlich, Vincent Rumahloine + Mang Dian, Jingru (Cyan) Cheng + Chen Zhan, Nonhuman Nonsense, Andrea de Chirico, Clara Acioli, James Bridle, Juan Pablo García Sossa, Hyeseon Jeong, ASCUS Art & Science in collaboration with Ray Interactive, Eliana Otta, AHORA, Akwasi Bediako Afrane

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