TROUBLING TIMES, UNDOING THE FUTURE
Karen Barad, the Futures Lecture Series, Denmark
2016, 36 min 10 sec
The indeterminacy of time-being at the core of quantum theory troubles the scalar distinction between the world of subatomic particles and that of social phenomena such as colonialism, capitalism, militarism, racism, nationalism and environmental destruction – all of which are entangled with nuclear and particle physics research. Quantum physics is a material-discursive practice with direct ties to the military-industrial complex, and while it gave birth to the atomic age, quantum physics disrupts classical Newtonian physics (which has its own troubled legacy in the service of war, colonialism, capitalist expansion, and empire building), including its foundational notions of space, time, and matter. In this talk, we will take up quantum physics’ immanent deconstructive dynamics, consider ways in which quantum physics troubles modernist conceptions of time, and ask whether quantum temporalities might offer radical political imaginaries for cohabiting this planet more justly by undoing the future.