On my last day in Amsterdam, I attended a 12 hour symposium at Stedelijk Museum titled "Metamodernism - the Return of History".
Structured as a one-day discursive event (from 11:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.), this large-scale symposium invites such internationally renowned speakers as Francis Fukuyama, Camille de Toledo, Nina Power, Michel Bauwens, and Adam Thirlwell to reflect on the discourse of a generation: from the historical fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, moments of global (financial and/or political) crisis in 2008 and 2011, to the present moment we collectively call contemporary.
Looking at the turn of events, what precisely constitutes a historical moment and/or rupture? What defines this generation that was born in the 1980s? The symposium draws on the concept of metamodernism, which seeks to galvanize the questions, experiences, and anxieties of a generation born in the 1980s. But what is this metamodern state of mind precisely?
As the speakers inside the Stedelijk debate these questions and more, actor Shia LaBeouf will embark upon an actual (#meta)marathon around the perimeter of the museum.
It was a very long and intense day with some great speakers. The day started with a key note lecture by Francis Fukuyama. The symposium was then broken into three parts focusing on key years, 2001, 2008, and 2011. The complete programme and list of speakers can be found here.
I was told the talks will be uploaded online, so expect a full review soon.
As for Shia LaBeouf's "(#meta)marathon", I was quite intrigued when I first read about the symposium last month. On the day, we were told he'd be outside Stedelijk from 2pm and we can watch him run or even join him running around the museum.
I had no intention of running, but before travelling to Amsterdam, I was dared by my friend Austyn Allison to give him this note.
All day I kept wondering if this would happen. Towards the end of the night, I told myself it wasn't. But after the syposium ended, we were invited by Hendrik Folkerts (curator at Stedelijk Museum) to continue the conversation over drinks at Stedelijk's bar.
As we were walking out of the symposium, I spotted Shia LaBeouf walking out amongst the crowd. Later on, I spotted him at the bar. So I told myself, it was now or never. I went up to up, tapped him on the shoulder, told him about the dare.
Shia LaBeouf didn't take his shirt off, I didn't have a paper bag, but think I did well with this dare.
I must add Shia LaBeouf was friendly and so polite and all I could think off later that night was the little boy from Holes and how grown up he is today.
Here are some photos of the #metamarahon I took during the breaks.