International Conference - The Experimental Society


7 July, 2010 - 9 July, 2010


Lancaster University



science / politics / economy / publics / religion / music / art
education / design / media / advertising / technology
laboratory / simulating / making / performing / testing / trial
democracy / reflexivity / creativity / event / revolution

The idea of experimentation was at the heart of modernity’s promise of human freedom and self-determination. But is the experiment now too complicit with power to act as a carrier of hope? To close the year-long Experimentality programme, which involved collaborations with the University of Manchester, the Royal Society, FutureEverything and a range of academic and art organisations, participants at this international conference debated different visions of an experimental society in which the emancipatory potential of the experiment could be renewed.

Plenary speakers:

  • David Byrne (University of Durham)
  • Dieter Daniels (Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig)
  • Bülent Diken (Lancaster University)
  • Josephine Green (Social Innovation, Philips Design)
  • Stephanie Koerner (University of Manchester)
  • Michael Krätke (Lancaster University)
  • Scott Lash (Goldsmiths, University of London)
  • John Milbank (University of Nottingham)
  • Helga Nowotny (European Research Council)
  • James Wilsdon (Royal Society)
  • Brian Wynne (Lancaster University)

For more information about the thinking behind the conference, read the conference call.

Parallel sessions:

Everyday experiments; Learning to experiment; Biomedicine, experimentation and bare life; Media, improvisation and place; Self-experimentation; Experimentation and creativity in the arts; Design and experiment; Policy experiments; Experimental subjectivities; Simulation, invention, decision

Artists exhibiting or performing:

Sarah Casey, Rod Dickinson, Lisa Erdman, John Fox, K Bear Koss, John Newling, Jane Rushton, Jen Southern, Neal White

Experimental knowledge lab:

Activist lab exploring resistance and struggle in the experimental society

Experiments End - evening of live art, experimental music and video:

Featuring Philip Jeck , Rodrigo Constanzo, Angela Guyton, Mary Oliver, Lois Klassen, Craig Vear, Claire Marshall, smO, Paul Morris, Matt Walch. More information.


The draft programme is available here.