Echo Chamber (Belgium)
Josh O'Neill (USA)
Francesc Ruiz (Spain)
Aarthi Parthasarathy (India)
Guillaume Dumora (France)
Conceptual and post-digital comics are situated outside the traditional scope of regular literary and artistic practices involving text and images. They are not only located at the crossroads of different media. They move beyond disciplinary, formal and compartmental media terminology such as “graphic novel”, “visual poetry” or “artist books”. Futures of Comics examines how comics are undergoing historic mutations in the midst of increasingly financialized, globalized technological affordances and proposes to map the social, economic, racial and gendered forces that shape the industry’s commercial, communication and production routines.
The rainforest of pulp production, the printer’s studio, the blog’s readers column and the industrial landfill are not only the loci of new technologies of inscription. They are integral elements of a material language- a language that actively shapes the medium by activating its substrate as sites whose attributes are unfixed. The works discussed in Futures of Comics weave their own particular affective lineage, bouncing their signal to present, past and future works that might or might not be described as art. Futures of Comics and its invited international guests, examine the materiality of this language and challenge the readers to experientially navigate contemporary comics’ different meaning signified trajectories.
Ilan Manouach (Athens, 1980) is a musician, a book publisher and a multidisciplinary artist with a specific interest in conceptual and post-digital comics. He currently holds a PhD researcher position at the Aalto University in Helsinki (adv. Craig Dworkin) where he examines the intersections of contemporary comics, art and poetry. His work claims for the importance of comics as a materially self-reflexive medium, unaffiliated to any general art history. He has more than twenty published bookworks under his belt, solo exhibitions to important festivals, museums and galleries worldwide, and his work features in the Ubuweb archive. He is mostly known for Shapereader, a tactile system of communication for the visually impaired. Since 2019, he is the Program Director of the event Futures of Comics.
Echo Chamber is a small-scale not-for-profit organization established under Belgian law. It is based in Brussels with the mission to produce, promote and document unconventional artistic practices in contemporary comics.