Saturday 04.06.16, 17:00
Future of the Word. Day Three (Lectures)

Forum on the development and changing of language in the modern world, digital technology in book publishing, trends in literature and new ways of exchanging information in Russia and UK 

Together with Strelka institute for media, architecture and design, British Council is hosting a 3 day ‘Future of The Word’ forum. The forum will be dedicated to the change that language is undergoing in the modern world, to the influence of digital technology on book publishing, trends in literature and new ways of information exchange in Russia and UK.

16.00 Tongue Caught in the Web — a lecture by Irina Levontina 

17.00 What makes a story successful? — a lecture by Naomi Alderman

What makes a story successful? Is it financial success, a number of downloads or copies sold? Or is it something deeper — whether it impacts people, becomes unforgettable and creates a world that we don’t want to leave? In her lecture, Naomi Alderman will talk about fan art and fan fiction as one of the indicators of story’s success.

Naomi Aldreman is a writer, tv presenter and a designer of video games. She is one of the creators of Zombies, Run! App, which has become a popular copied base for fanfic games. In November 2016 new Alderman’s book will be published by Penguin. It is a fantastic novel set in a world where women possess powers of controlling electricity with their mind.

18.00 New Meaning of Old Words — a lecture by Lawrence Scott

Digital revolution has not only added new words into our language, but influenced the meaning of old ones, too. These changes reflect the culture and politics of the Internet era. Dark gothic images that stand behind the vocabulary of social networks (Facebook-stalking, troll, ghost-tweeter and MySpace suicide) indicate our anxiety caused by the anonymity of online communication. Lawrence Scott will explain how virtual reality programs the language based on its own priorities and values. Scott is the author of ‘The Four-Dimensional Human: Ways of Being in the Digital World’. His essays and critical writings have been published in The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times Literary Supplement and The London Review of Books.

19.00 ‘Communications’ Research Institute presents the result of 2 days laboratory work

‘Communications’ Research Institute is a laboratory of ideas that united 30 prominent experts: linguists, writers, thinkers, publishers, media and IT specialists. The theme of their work this time is ‘The Future of the Word’: its perspective, problems and solutions. It’s the 19th time that the laboratory takes place, and the second time with the help of British Council. Previous times the laboratory produced texts, manifests, software prototypes, codes, websites, companies, events and, most importantly, new ideas.

Moderators of the laboratory are James Bridle and Andrey Manirko, curator of the postgraduate certificate programme at Strelka Institute.

20.00 ‘Future of The Word’ Forum closing

House of Wisdom, Library of Babylon — a lecture by James Bridle

Technology is often considered the enemy of literature, thus forgetting that the digital world, from computer code to the Internet, consists of words. While we’re creating a new language to communicate with computers, paperback books move to digital space. British artist and writer James Bridle will talk about the development of literature, the history and future of books.


Works of Bridle are featured in galleries and art institutes all over the world. He has written about literature, culture and online communities for Wired, Domus, Cabinet, Atlantic, New Statesman, Guardian and Observer.