"Reclaiming the Future"
May 24-26, 2019 | Toshi Center & Tokyo Garden Terrace Kioicho, Tokyo
Love as an Algorithm
Keynote Presentation: Gloria Montero
While cognitive scientist Steven Pinker keeps assuring us that prosperity, safety, peace and even happiness are on the rise worldwide, other scientists and philosophers as diverse as Stephen Hawking, Timothy Morton and Yuval Noah Harari warn us that the world as we have known it, and even ourselves, are on the verge of a devastating change. Climate catastrophe might well lead to global destruction, while artificial intelligence and biological engineering threaten to make human beings redundant. Extinction, we are told, is the norm, survival the exception. Living amidst the devastating possibilities which in this age of acceleration could prove remarkably close, have we humans already been subject to a mutation: a growing fear translated into a generalized disregard for the other, a refusal to pay attention and accept responsibility if it threatens our own comfort, even a developing propensity for hate? As conscious beings with the ability to distinguish between cause and effect, means and ends, we are witnesses to what goes on in our world. While many of the practical and ethical decisions vis a vis the immediate future need to be made with knowledge and power beyond that of the ordinary citizen, my personal conviction is that Love presents each and every one of us with a clear and vital algorithm for our endurance. Love in its most comprehensive connotation as a recognition of our profound interrelatedness – humans, animals, plants, the earth itself, the stars – every single element in the universe. True awareness of this extraordinary interconnection demands an attentiveness to what is going on, exacts not only an active concern for the other but an outright respect for our differences, along with the ineluctable conviction that only by sharing responsibility can we hope to survive. As we are thrust headlong into the pending Anthropocene, Love might well be our one viable path to a future.
Gloria Montero - Novelist, Playwright & Poet
Novelist, playwright and poet Gloria Montero grew up in a family of Spanish immigrants in Australia’s North Queensland. After studies in theatre and music, she began to work in radio and theatre, and then moved to Canada where she continued her career as an actress, singer, writer, broadcaster, scriptwriter and TV interviewer.
Co-founder of the Centre for Spanish-Speaking Peoples in Toronto (1972), she served as its Director until 1976. Following the success of her oral history The Immigrants (1973) she was invited to act as Consultant on Immigrant Women to the Multicultural Department of the Secretary of State, Government of Canada.
She organised the international conferences "Amnistia" (1970) and "Solidaridad" (1974) in Toronto to support and make known the democratic Spain that was developing in the last years of the Franco dictatorship, and in 1976 at Bethune College, York University, "Spain 1936-76: The Social and Cultural Aftermath of the Spanish Civil War".
With her husband, filmmaker David Fulton, she set up Montero-Fulton Productions to produce documentary films on social, cultural and ecological themes. Their film, Crisis in the Rain, on the effects of acid rain, won the Gold Camera Award American Film Festival 1982. Montero was consultant-interviewer on Dreams and Nightmares (A-O Productions, California) about Spain under Franco, a film that won international awards in Florence, Moscow, Leipzig and at the American Film Festival 1975.
Among her many radio documentaries for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation are: The Music of Spain – a series of 18 hours which presented Spanish music within a social and historical framework; Segovia: the man and his music — a 2-hour special (Signature); Women and the Law (Ideas); Foreign Aid: Hand-out or Rip-Off (Ideas).
Since 1978 Montero has been living in Barcelona, where she has continued to write and publish novels such as The Villa Marini, All Those Wars and Punto de Fuga. Her poem Les Cambres was printed with a portfolio of prints by artist Kouji Ochiai (Contratalla 1983). A cycle of prose poems, Letters to Janez Somewhere in Ex-Yugoslavia, provided the basis for collaboration with painter Pere Salinas in a highly successful exhibition at Barcelona's Galería Eude (1995).
She won the 2003 NH Premio de Relato for Ménage à Trois, the first time the Prize was awarded for a short story in English.
Well known among her theatre work is the award-winning Frida K., which has toured Canada, played New York and Mexico and has been mounted in productions in Spain, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden and Latvia.
Photo by Pilar Aymerich.
Keynote Presentation (2019) | Love as an Algorithm