July 18, 2012 - Raven Row - THE REAL TRUTH: A WORLD’S FAIR
July 18, 2012


Weekends 28–29 July; 4–5, 11–12, 18–19 August 2012

3pm: Exhibition open. Food will be served
5–7pm: Lecture/Performance (see below)
7–9pm: Exhibition open. Food and drink will be served

11–6pm: Exhibition open, with screenings of previous lectures/performances

These events are free. No booking required.
Expanded seating area

Raven Row

56 Artillery Lane

 E1 7LS 
T +44 (0)20 7377 4300


A project by Suzanne Treister at Raven Row over four weekends featuring four keynote speeches within a specially designed theatre: a global futurist, a U.S. Security Agency insider, an anarcho-primitivist, and the international expert on world’s fairs… Alongside an exhibition including three unique libraries, two video lounges, and designs for a virtual world’s fair.

Since London’s Great Exhibition of 1851, world’s fairs have provided a space for nations to represent themselves. They are potent signs of the fantasies, politics, and technologies of their times and aspirations for the future. THE REAL TRUTH A WORLD’S FAIR exposes aspects of the present and proposes ways into the future.

A contextual introduction will be provided by Robert W. Rydell’s in-depth analysis of the politics and histories of world’s fairs, to be followed by lectures/performances from three visionary speakers: John Zerzan, Jim Channon, and Richard Thieme, who actively devote their lives to ideas, visions, and projects for the future of the planet.

During the weekends Raven Row’s upstairs galleries will house three libraries: A Military/Intelligence Recruitment Library, Fifth Estate Anarchist Magazine 1965–2012, and Jon Bewley’s ‘Conspiracy Theory’ Library. Historical artefacts from world’s fairs, designs for a virtual world’s fair, and memorabilia provided by each speaker will also be displayed. Screenings in the video lounges will include Strange Culture by Lynn Hershman Leeson (2007) and Das Netz by Lutz Dammbeck (2003).

THE REAL TRUTH A WORLD’S FAIR will provide audiences with extraordinary food for thought and action.

Suzanne Treister is a London-based artist. Her most recent project, ‘HEXEN 2.0,’ was shown this year at the Science Museum, London, travelling to Hartware MedienKunstverein, Dortmund; D21, Leipzig; Secession, Vienna; and P.P.O.W, New York.

Saturday, 28 July, 5pm
Robert Rydell
Crystal Palaces, Crystal Balls, and Crystal-Clear Illusions of Progress: From World’s Fairs to the World Wide Web
Robert Rydell is Professor of History and Director of the Montana Humanities Institute at Montana State University. He has written books that examine the power of the world’s fairs to define the modern world, especially to lend legitimacy to America’s growing imperial ambitions after the Civil War. Rydell 
demonstrates ways that international exhibitions reveal intersections between the cultural politics of race, class, and gender and afford important insights into the complexities of globalisation.

Saturday, 4 August, 5pm
John Zerzan
The Murderous Idolatry of the Future: Anarcho-Primitivism and the End of Technology
John Zerzan was active in the Sixties in San Francisco and Berkeley. A leading participant in the contemporary anarchist resurgence, Zerzan’s political project calls for the destruction of technology. He draws the distinction between tools that stay under the control of the user and technological systems that draw the user into their control. His critical ideas have challenged symbolic thought, mathematics, art, and the concept of time. Zerzan has published in the Detroit magazine Fifth Estate and his books include Elements of Refusal (1988, 1999), Against Civilization (1999), and Future Primitive Revisited (2012).

Saturday, 11 August, 4pm
Monica Ross
Recital from Memory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Saturday, 11 August, 5pm
Jim Channon
Go Planet! A Strategic Visionary Story and Art for the Next Military Century!
Jim Channon, a former Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army, is a futurologist and military theorist. As a professional soldier, he commanded five combat units, with two years in Vietnam, and in 1978 created the First Earth Battalion Field Manual for non-lethal warfare. In his work as social architect, philosopher, and futurist he remains a key adviser to military think tanks and specialises in ‘Natural Security’ and ‘Global Reconstruction.’ He has created designs for a global village, a district, several bioregions, and the planet connected with a webocracy, ‘imagining the Army’s full potential as an instrument for the future.’ Jim Channon’s history was explored in Jon Ronson’s book, The Men Who Stare at Goats (2004).

Saturday, 18 August, 5pm
Richard Thieme
A Wilderness of Mirrors: Conspiracy Theories and the Necessary Counter-Intelligence of Everyday Life
Richard Thieme speaks professionally about the challenges posed by new technologies and the future, and how we might reinvent ourselves to meet them. Clients range from GE and Microsoft to the National Security Agency, FBI, U.S. Secret Service, and U.S. Department of the Treasury. Formerly an Episcopalian minister, Thieme has also spoken for sixteen years at the Black Hat Briefings on intelligence and corporate security, and at Def Con, an annual computer hacker convention. Thieme’s books include: Islands in the Clickstream (2004), Mind Games, A Collection of Nineteen Stories of Brave New Worlds and Alternate Realities (2010).

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