Realities of Science Fiction

Conferences, Discussions, Projections.

Parc des Ateliers
The Tower
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The symposium Realities of Science Fiction engages with research in different fields to develop some of the latest interpretations of science fiction within contemporary art contexts. Over the course of one weekend, artists, writers, and researchers will address the conditions of emergence of science fictional imaginaries, the traces they leave, and the ways in which they can transform reality.

Starting from the relations between art and science fiction as traced in art history, contributors will then explore diverse artistic practices and forms of writing in the contemporary context. The history of science fiction tends to affirm that, as a critical medium and a multifaceted genre, science fiction can form possible worlds, and thus plays a key role in developing artistic, technological, and sociopolitical horizons, often by deploying new potentials, both human and non-human.

The genre of climate fiction—which is currently gaining increased attention—will be examined among other subjects, while an exploration of René Daumal’s 1952 book Mount Analogue will offer ways of looking at the work of key contemporary artists. Critically acclaimed authors and philosophers such as luvan, Federico Campagna, and Tristan Garcia will discuss their current preoccupations related to science fiction thinking, while other participants will investigate the 1980s scientific experiment Biosphere 2, which will be presented under the prism of its literary influences.

You can book your free ticket to participate in the 2-day symposium on 23 and 24 September.

The symposium will address the conditions of emergence of science-fictional imaginaries, the traces they leave and the ways they can transform reality.

The symposium is an opportunity to discover exhibitions at LUMA Arles that embrace similar visions and integrate futuristic perceptions and science fictional narratives into their processes.


All events take place on level 8 of the Tower, except where noted, and are broadcast live in the Auditorium on level 3 and online at Luma Live.

Saturday, October 23rd - 10:00 am - 7:00 pm

  • 10:00 am: Opening remarks
  • 10:15 am: Reading #1: selected texts on feminisms in science fiction, by Charlotte Houette and Clara Pacotte (artists) followed by presentation of EAAPES, Exploration des Alternatives Arrivantes de Provenance Extra-Solaire [Exploration of Incoming Alternatives from Extra-Solar Provenance]
  • 10:45 am: Shores of entropy. Uses of science fiction by Robert Smithson, by Olivier Schefer (philosopher and writer, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University)
  • 11:30 am: Break

  • 11:45 am: Reading #2, by Charlotte Houette and Clara Pacotte
  • 12:00 pm: Ethnofuturity and the Many Ends of History, by Mahan Moalemi (writer and PhD candidate, Harvard University)
  • 12:30 pm: Sophia Al Maria (artist), in conversation with Mahan Moalemi. Moderated by Martin Guinard
  • 1:00 pm : Lunch break

  • 2:00 pm: Reading #3, by Charlotte Houette and Clara Pacotte
  • 2:15 pm: LETTERS TO THE GOLEM, Between anxiety of change and desire for the future, science fiction as self-invocation, by luvan (author)
  • 3:00 pm: The invention of the future, by Tristan Garcia (writer and philosopher, Jean Moulin University Lyon 3)
  • 3:45 pm: Break

  • 4:00 pm: Reading #4, by Charlotte Houette and Clara Pacotte
  • 4:15 pm: Worlds and Ruins, by Federico Campagna (philosopher)
  • 5:00 pm: Conversation between Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (artist) and Philippe Parreno (artist). Moderated by Vassilis Oikonomopoulos
  • 6:15 pm: The Library is on Fire, introduction by Charles Arsène-Henry (researcher), The Tower, level 3, upon registration
  • 6:15 pm: Book signing, Drum Café, The Tower


Sunday, October 24th - 10:30 am - 4:00 pm

  • 10:30 am: Reading #5, by Charlotte Houette and Clara Pacotte
  • 10:45 am: The Untraceable Trace. From Scientific Chronicles to Political Fictions, by Virginie Tournay (author and researcher, CNRS)
  • 11:15 am: From Cosmic Fiction to Many-World Building, by Jonas Staal (artist)
  • 12:00 am: Break

  • 12:15 pm: René Daumal’s “Mount Analogue”, by Boris Bergmann (writer)
  • 1:15 pm: Lunch break

  • 2:00 pm: The Library is on Fire, introduction by Charles Arsène-Henry (researcher), The Tower, level 3, upon registration
  • 2:30 pm: Spaceship Earth, documentary film directed by Matt Wolf, 2020, 1h55min, VOSTFR (Auditorium) - Subject to availability


The participants

Sophia Al Maria (artist), Boris Bergmann (writer), Fédérico Campagna (philosopher), Tristan Garcia (philosopher and writer), Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (artist), Charlotte Houette and Clara Pacotte (artists), luvan (author), Mahan Moalemi (writer and researcher), Philippe Parreno (artist), Olivier Schefer (philosopher and writer), Jonas Staal (artist)

Conceived by
Vassilis Oikonomopoulos, director of exhibitions and programs,
Martin Guinard, curator in charge of conferences and publications,
Flora Katz, curator
Assisted by
Diana Gzyrian, Production Manager
Claire Charrier, Junior Project Manager

Live Streaming on LUMA LIVE

If you are unable to come to the symposium, we offer you the opportunity to watch the symposium via Live Streaming on our LUMA LIVE platform.




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