World Without Us

Date: 9 May 2019

Venue: Cinema Zuid (FOMU) - Waalse Kaai 47 - 2000 Antwerpen

Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

PhD candidate: Geert Goiris

Principal investigator: Luc Pauwels, Johan Pas

Short description: PhD defence Geert Goiris - Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts

World Without Us is a practice based Phd in visual art.

Rather than stemming from a defined hypothesis or research question, it should be understood as a visualization experiment anticipating a world without humans. 

These excercises in imagination take shape in three interconnected presentations: two consecutive exhibitions and a publication.

The exhibitions wants to pronounce the perceptional shift caused by current anxieties about the future of our planet.
Fundamental changes in our ecosystem and the rise of artificial intelligences are modifying the world as we know it. The future of humankind will be a very different one. How does this affect our psychological state of mind, our imagined futures  and premonitions? In this ‘age of uncertainty’ the individual is overpowered by alarmist, conflicting information. Are we suffering from epochalism, the belief that our current era is unique in human history because it represents a disruptive break with the past? Or are we actually at a tipping point between self-preservation and self-destruction? Some of these images foreshadow what is left when humans have vacated the scene.
Still and moving photographic images are on view: framed prints, monumental wallpaper prints, analogue slide projections and a video installation.
The images are exhibited in a scenography designed in close collaboration with architect Kris Kimpe.  

The book accentuates the spatial character of my recent work by presenting a number of installation views of the exhibitions in Antwerp and Bologna. Next to this documentation, a sequence of photographs and an extensive interview with Steven Humblet is presented in the book to further investigate the narrative potential of still images in distinctive spaces and temporalities: the exhibition space, the book space and in time-based media such as video-installations and analogue slide projections.

During this Phd research I continued to develop a practice where fragmentation and different modes of narrativity are activated to evoke a possible, but unwanted future.


World without Us
Exhibition De Lange Zaal - Royal Academy for Fine Arts Antwerpen November 15th – December 20th 2018

Terraforming Fantasies
Exhibition Palazzo De’ Toschi – Bologna January 29th- February 28th 2019

World Without Us, Monographic Publication
Roma Publications, Amsterdam
Release date: May 9th 2019

  • Photographs, video installation and analogue slide projection: Geert Goiris
  • Interview, text editing: Steven Humblet
  • Additional text editing: Robert Enoch
  • Exhibition scenography: Kris Kimpe
  • Video Editing and colour grading: Xavier Dockx
  • Soundscape: Frederik Meulyzer
  • Graphic design exhibition leaflet: Bas Rogiers
  • Graphic design publication: Roger Willems


Contact email: aria@uantwerpen.be

Link: https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/research-groups/aria/research/current-phd-projects/