The 9th World Futurological Congress, 2016–2018: Man the Pumps!

The 9th World Futurological Congress, 2016–2018: Man the Pumps!

9th Futurological Congress

Blue whale skeleton resting on Icelandic black sands. Photo: Julieta Aranda.

December 21, 2015

9th World Futurological Congress
2016–2018 (we expect difficulties)

The Eighth World Futurological Congress was held in Costa Rica. To tell the truth, I never would have gone to Nounas if it hadn’t been for Professor Tarantoga, who gave me clearly to understand that this was expected of me. He also said pointedly that space travel nowadays was an escape from the problems of Earth. That is, one took off for the stars in the hope that the worst would happen and be done with in one’s absence. And indeed I couldn’t deny that more than once I had peered anxiously out the porthole—especially when returning from a long voyage—to see whether or not our planet resembled a burnt potato. So I didn’t argue the point with Tarantoga, but only remarked that, really, I wasn’t much of an expert on futurology. His reply was that hardly anyone knows a thing about pumping, and yet we don’t stand idly by when we hear the cry of ‘Man the pumps!’”

–excerpt from: The Futurological Congress (from the memoirs of Ijon Tichy)
Published in Polish in 1971, English translation 1974

The 9th Futurological Congress is

–A journey with familiar spirits.

–A temporary reality with a nomadic appearance that as a whole is not bound to a certain place or time.

–A testing ground for ideas, searching for glimpses of utopia and an aesthetics of possibilities. 

–A wide-open playground for imagination and future scenarios in old, new and adapted forms of speculation.

–Exposing tensions between notions of utopia, today’s reality, and histories past. We prefer to see these three notions as circular time loops, rather than accepting that the future is only that which is ahead of us.

–Interrogating the mechanisms of control, command and obedience over peoples, bodies, and nature in the name of an ideology—even if it is disguised as an utopia.

–Exploring how historical material reaches the present and turns into the future, and which changes it undergoes in this very process when it becomes part of the mental landscape.

–An open, rhizomatic structure; a growing and living archive in motion; a future database storing the proceedings of the 9th Futurological Congress, but also fictional accounts, and all manners of dreams.

–Intrinsically collaborative, looking for partners and supporters, and attempting to integrate all fields that contemplate ideas from and about the future.

–Held together/documented/archived/developed both online and physically over a period of two years. will become an online place for debate and exchange, considering the experiences and commenting on them, proposing and thinking all the time. Narration is supposed to sneak in, too, sometimes via the back door.

Some of the themes to be explored in the 9th Futurological Congress are:

The future of….
Animals, Apple, Art, Borders, Collectivity, Conversation, Craft, Difference, Domination, Drugs, Energy, Fiction, Food, Gender, Geography, Hegemony, History, Images, Labor, Language, Love, Nature, Money, Memory, Past, Play, Politics, Race, Resourcefulness, Science, Stupidity, Theatre, Travel, Uncertainty, War, Weather, Writing

The chairpersons of the 9th Futurological Congress are:
Julieta Aranda
Paolo Chiasera
Mareike Dittmer

Director at large
Ijon Tichy

With the invaluable participation of:
Karen Archey, Lorenzo Benedetti, Michael Bracewell, Benjamin Bratton, Ory Dessau, Susanne vonFalkenhausen, Paul Feigelfeld, Natasha Ginwala, Francesco Gori, Raphael Gygax, Ed Keller, Adam Kleinman, Chus Martínez, Antonia Majaca, Daniel Muzyczuk, Pedro Neves Marques, Paulina Olowska, Filipa Ramos, Vivian Sky Rehberg, Rory Rowan, Mohammad Salemy, Noemi Smolik, Marcus Steinweg, Jennifer Teets, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Anton Vidokle, and Joanna Warsza

(amongst many other that will come on board over the next two years)

Hoping very much that you too will become part of the future,

Ijon Tichy

For further information about the 9th Futurological Congress, and to receive our newsletter, please visit: or write us at info [​at​]

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December 21, 2015

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