Inviting Future Generations into Present Negotiations +Making A Film About Emptiness

Inviting Future Generations into Present Negotiations +Making A Film About Emptiness

April 13, 2021

Free Online Event


This discussion will focus on the ongoing projects from the Future Generations Desk and the Grey Areas Desk.

How can we invite future generations in present negotiations to influence current decision-making processes? How can we make the future present and allow the silenced to be heard? The Future Generations desk investigates the potential of creative practices in promoting long-term thinking and inviting future perspectives -human and nonhuman, born and unborn- in envisioning sustainable futures. Experimenting with the notion of art as a means to reorient modes of understanding and deliberating, Madelyn Capozzi and Joëlle Dubé are in the final stages of assembling a guide of simulations and relational mediums that have the capacity to radically transform our approaches to co-creating futures.

Following an initial exploration of strategies for gaining access to vacant spaces and underused buildings, the Grey Areas Creative Researchers Salma El Hankouri and Andres Salas, delve further into the meaning of vacancy and space in times of COVID. The docu-fiction A Film About Emptiness provides a framework for engaging on the transient nature of empty space. Through the visions of social activists, municipal officials, lawyers, artists, scientists and academics, the film presents space as an indispensable resource for society, where emptiness embodies the potential of becoming.

Madelyn Capozzi is a graduate of Concordia’s BFA in Design. She is interested in how humans relate to the world and each other, how our modes of relating intersect with prevailing philosophies and institutions, and how such macro-structures shape, limit, or facilitate autonomous action. With Joëlle Dubé at the Future Generations Desk, Madelyn explores the potential of creative experiments for fostering long-term and relational thinking in democratic discourse. As a Shock Value Fellow for the Anti-Speculation Desk, she challenges the dominance of financial value by proposing rent-free living as an instrument for alternative economic practice. In her creative engagements, she strives to center self-determination and ecological wellbeing.

Currently pursuing a PhD in Humanities at Concordia University, Joëlle Dubé is researching the intersectional temporalities of intergenerational (in)justices and digital art. More precisely, she is interested in developing a more generous form of empathy, one that would have a broader temporal reach and that could extend further in the future so as to include future life (both human and more-than-human). Positing relationality at the very center of her theoretical and conceptual preoccupations, her aim is to investigate ways of rearticulating the relationship between the currently living and life-to-come. Her approach to art and matter rests at the crossroads of philosophy and art history.

Iسلمىam a Ph.D. candidate in the interdisciplinary humanities at Concordia University. My doctoral research focuses on the manifestations of Indigeneity in Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal, including issues of identity and decolonial praxis. I am interested in the ways Indigenous cultural revival and sovereignty transpire through the arts, and how contemporary urbanity structures Indigenous-settler relations from a non-white/settler/global Indigenous perspective. As an affiliate at CIÉRA (Centre interuniversitaire d'études et de recherche autochtones), I currently investigate themes tied to urban ethnography and global Indigenous studies. I hold a master’s degree in human rights and international law with a focus on Latin American studies, and a bachelor's degree in International Relations from Swansea University (Wales), Britain.

Andrés Salasis a Humanities PhD student at Concordia University working at the intersection of mining, critical infrastructure and alternative epistemologies. Andrés is a visual artist from Colombia, living and working in Montreal. He is actively committed to the communities where he has worked and lived, developing artistic projects that explore local dynamics but deal with global problems. He was recently awarded with a doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


The Office of Rules and Norms (ORN) is an arts-based transdisciplinary collective that engages with regulations, the rule of law and cultural norms. These engagements reveal, comprehend, play with, subvert, and transcend current ways of understanding and acting in relation to regulatory forces in order to make room for more equitable alternatives. In its attempts to query legal and behavioral urban infrastructures, the ORN specifically deploys art and design practice, culture, and methods along three axes:
Art as Subversion | Intervening in grey areas of regulation
Art as Pedagogy | Making public various forces and forms of influence
Art as Decision-Making | Reorienting modes of knowing and deliberating