The Jemand Society is an initiative exploring the topics of utopias and dystopias through hybrid artistic projects. Created by the Goethe-Institut USA and Canada in collaboration with Rosy DX, the Jemand Society aims to engage audiences in imagining, speculating and, possibly, taking action towards possible desirable futures. Inspired by the idea of the author Bertha von Suttner of approaching our times while looking from a fictitious future, the project is led by a select group of contemporary artists. As a group and together with you, they form an artistic circle: The Jemand Society. The name derives from the pseudonym Jemand (from German, meaning “someone”) under which von Suttner published her book ‘Das Maschinenalter’ in 1889. She knew all too well the prejudices against female authors and wished to disguise her gender, so her books would be read and taken seriously. Like her, the members of the Jemand Society give us a glimpse into the present through the lenses of the future by asking questions such as:
What actions of today will shape our shared futures?
How will our time be remembered in the relics of futures’ past?
Can gender norms and beauty standards be destabilized through technology?
Are the narratives of economics written in our DNA?
Can humans unfold as new sensory beings?
The project experiments with hybrid applications of the artists’ responses and explores both digital and analog facets of engagement. The spaces of the Goethe-Instituts and their partners are used for on-site presentations of the projects in Montreal, Toronto, Washington DC and San Francisco. The Jemand Society website serves as the digital headquarters, connecting the artistic works in the digital sphere.