When you cut into the present, the future leaks out.
William S. Burroughs

The Invisible Generation is an ongoing contemporary art project that appears in different guises in Beijing, Melbourne, Kiev and Shenzhen, inspired by a text by William S. Burroughs with the same title. The venues have been carefully selected due to their specific historical contexts and their perceived trajectories into the future. The project takes its starting point in performative traditions, but focuses on practices and events that cross over into other time-based activities, such as sound, film, video, literature, theatre and workshops. The project offers new situations for art and audience to meet outside of where one expects to meet an art piece or performance. The Invisible Generation allows the artists and audience to investigate how art can become a tool to shift our outlook at reality when it appears with an element of surprise.

The events of The Invisible Generation form a series of time-based interventions and the presented work falls between the boundaries of music, performance, installation, interviews, literature and film and uses the genre gap to penetrate the established codes that govern our perception of reality, opening up space for alternative and imaginative thinking and dialogues between cultures.

The invited artists share the outspoken strategy to create work that puts the visitor in a different position and that provoke new ways to look at the world that surrounds us. The activities also reconnect with the ideas of the carnival, a special time where all social structures are turned on their heads and renegotiated without interruption. Eccentric and unexpected behavior can be a key to unleash new ways to appreciate life and to render details in our everyday visible, something that the artists in the project use in different ways in their interventions in the public space.

In keeping with Burroughs’s spirit, we will explore the potential of the artwork to act as an uncontrollable and creative force, and to spread like a virus in the public space. Affecting, unveiling and expanding our routine perceptions, a subversive virus of this sort can bring us to rediscover the magic in the everyday. The Invisible Generation will be an ongoing and itinerant laboratory, acting on the urban contexts to produce germs of visionary thinking.

The four locations for The Invisible Generation have been carefully selected based on their relationships to history. Beijing is the hub of China’s long and rich past and the hope for a future of expanded global economy. Shenzhen is both a virtually new city and at the same time located in the Pearl River Delta, both the factory of the world and one of the oldest trade centers in human history. Shenzhen is located in close proximity to what was until recently Portuguese Macau and British Hong Kong. Its connection to a colonial past is thus both similar and vastly different from Melbourne where a culture is breeding that both embraces the Aboriginal and creates an independent identity from the English. Kiev has its face turned towards a future which is linked towards Europe and the EU. All four cities embrace change in very different ways and look with great expectations to a bright new future.

Vision Forum is an independent research and production vehicle currently working with artists and curators in a great number of European and Asian countries. For more info visit: The Invisible Generation is funded by Linköpings Universitet, Längmanska kulturfonden, embassies and consulates in Kiev, Melbourne, Guangzhou and Beijing.

The Invisible Generation: a project by William S. Burroughs filtered through time and Daniele Balit and Per Hüttner.