TalksTalks | ONLINE
Spike Island
Tue 15 Feb 2022
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Live Subtitled by Stagetext
Asian futures, without Asians: An illustrated presentation by Astria Suparak image

Join us for the UK premiere of Asian futures, without Asians, an illustrated presentation by artist and curator Astria Suparak which asks: “What does it mean when so many white filmmakers envision futures inflected by Asian culture, but devoid of actual Asian people?”
Part critical analysis, part reflective essay, and sprinkled throughout with humour, justified anger, and informative details, this one-hour illustrated lecture examines over fifty years of American science fiction cinema through the lens of Asian appropriation and whitewashing. Using a wide interpretation of “Asian” to reflect current and historical geopolitical trends and self-definitions (inclusive of East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, West Asia, Central Asia, North Africa, and the Pacific Islands — the latter two of which are not Asia), this project examines how Asian cultures have been mixed and matched, contrasted or conflated with each other, often creating a fungible “Asianness” in futuristic sci-fi.
This quick-paced performative talk is interspersed with images and clips from dozens of futuristic movies and TV shows, while Suparak delivers anecdotes, trivia, and historical documents from the histories of film, art, architecture, design, fashion, food and martial arts. Suparak discusses the implications of not only borrowing heavily from Asian cultures, but decontextualising and misrepresenting them, while excluding Asian contributors.
Asian futures, without Asians was previously presented at The Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco; ICA LA, Los Angeles; MoMA, New York (all 2021).