Shapership, a "Utopia in Action

Making a hole in the jungle of our representations to create the Erotica of the Future

From the Nostalgia to the Erotica of the Future

Shapership is the Art of Shaping the Futures. A vital capacity to "shift" perspectives and “craft” Reality, making radically different Futures visible, desirable and actionable.

At the core, it is a creative way to look at what is AND what could be , perfectly aware that "The Eye only sees what the Mind is ready to understand".

As a way of being, Shapership invites to adopt the “Altitude Attitude” and to open the “Soul Compass” (an integrity of being).

As a way of doing, Shapership derives its power from the articulation of three very simple elements

  1. Creative resistance: The Big No. See and resist the status quo, escape Plato's cave and make assumptions visible.
  2. The Transformative Vison: The Big Yes. This is the "I have a Dream"; we call it the Fosbury Flop of the Mind to make radically different Futures visible and desirable.
  3. Anticipative Experimentation: the creative "How". which is about Co-shaping new realities or "jamming together on desire".
Here is an extract from our Book

Thinking “radical” and creating the “Erotica of the Future”

The Shapership Attitude is radical - A “Big No”, a “Big Yes” - in the sense of “back to roots”, going to the essence. It is about thinking Big and Radical. It implies more than just “creating Future possibilities”. It is about taking a stand for “radically different future possibilities”, based on completely different worldviews and values.

For Shapership, the story of the Future is not an “improved” or corrected version of the Present. The Transformative Vision creates a “perturbation of the Present” because it is a thought of radical difference. It is a BIG YES to a radically new version of what could be. “A new model that makes the existing model obsolete”. Instead of trying to “solve the problem”, the Shapership attitude leads to invent ways to “dissolve it”.

Shapership implies to “open new paths towards the Future”, to “pioneer something”, “to dream an impossible dream”, to “open new trails in the jungle of representations”. In short, to shift what people believe is possible in a field that resonates with their Hopes and Aspirations.

The Essence of Shapership is the kind of Hope and Desire it generates. The kind of Future Shapers bring to see because they saw it! A Shaper actually is what we might call an “I Opener”, an “Eye Opener’”, an “Eye Hopener” and even a “High Hopener”.

Because of its radicality, the Transformative Vision has the power of a Utopia.

How? One of Edgard Morin's thoughts that we (Aline and Jean-Louis) carry in our heart since a long time is the following:

“Utopia is at the same time what can change reality and what is incapable of changing it.Realism is at the same time lucid and blind.”

It implies that Utopia, as a thought of the “impossible” and of radical difference - other place, other time, other space - can have an effect on Reality - although we have to agree on the meaning of this word.

What best describes the strength of the utopian experience is an expression that comes from Habermas: The Future as a disturbance of the Present. [1]It creates a crack in the “imaginary”.

Utopia can be seen as the possibility of a radical break with a predicted and colonised Future, as opposed to the belief in an impossible change.

Utopian Imagination opens up new possibilities - or more precisely, it opens up the possibility of new possibilities, - radically different - and therefore, because it takes us out of this inability to imagine a different Future, it also takes us out of the possible “confinement” in a Present assigned to a fixed identity.

A Transformative Vision has the same power to change Reality. Because it arouses desire.

There is a “Desire Called Utopia.”[2] It is the Desire for the Future.

A Transformative Vision offers a “representation” of the Future which allows others to see it, to believe in it and to aspire to it. Even to stand for it. Something may call us towards that Future. Something within us creates the Desire to move forward. That’s what we have called the "Eros" of the Future.

For me, the question is not whether we are sure that the future will be better, the question is whether the advent of a new barbarism is possible. This is the story of the struggle between those who are for union, democracy, brotherhood and those who are for destruction and dislocation, the forces of Eros against those of Thanatos. I chose Eros. Let's take sides with the good forces because, no matter what happens, in this way we will maintain small oases, islands of resistance. Small lanterns light up in the night, I'm not saying that everything will light up, but it's a good sign.[3]

Opening “radically” different Futures, the Transformative Vision has a utopian impulse in the sense that Ernst Bloch posits that a utopian impulse governs all that, in life, is turned towards the Future.

A Transformative Vision, a radical Big Yes” consists in making holes in Time, Space and Matter to let the light of Hope enter.

But, as Einstein said, “One single ray of light is enough to enlighten a dark room”.

So, that light also makes us see the current “prison” better: it radically transfigures the Present. It is a trace of the Future which sends us messages to change our Present.

The Big Yes is that thought of and emotional and “soulful” stand for a radically different Future, in Time and Space, which brings to light whole sections of Present Reality, as if the Present were the shadow of the Future. Having seen other possibilities with the glasses of the Future makes us see, think and feel about the Present differently.

The Present becomes a place of Resistance. It creates a “devenir révolutionnaire” - the best translation would be “a revolutionary becoming” [4]. It is a desire, a need, a stand to resist the Present. An attitude which is far from being a capitulation to the Present; on the contrary, it is a rattling of chains shaken by men who are freeing themselves from Plato's cave, an intense spiritual preparation for a Future to come.  Provided of course that they are able to hear and BELIEVE that another world is possible instead of seeing it as "an inconvenient Truth".

The result is that, simultaneously, this radical thought creates an attraction for the Future as well as a resistance to the Present.


To paraphrase a play on words made by Gilles Deleuze, a French philosopher, about Samuel Butler's utopian fiction, Erewhon, an anagram of the English word Nowhere, which can be read in two ways [5],

  • We have a vision of an alternative Future we might “aspire” to: NO WHERE (Out of place)
  • Simultaneously, it puts another light on the current Present we might want to “resist” to: NOW HERE!

This is how the Future becomes the cause of The Present. The Future which is “No Where” becomes a place of Desire “Here and now”.

This is how Shapership associates the courage of Lucidity with the force of Imagination.

This is the truly revolutionary aspect of the utopian impulse that Shapership embodies: it is through its creative radicalism that it reinforces the articulation between the Big No and the Big Yes.

  1. the Big NO: the refusal of the Déjà-là, of “the” only good way, the negative photo of an unacceptable Present. The awareness of the things that are absolutely revolting and should not exist
  2. and the big YES: a Beyond, a "Kan sein", as Ernst Bloch said, a "Perhaps that can be" [6], a radically different alternative, oriented towards the fulfilment of historical and collective wishes and which therefore carries the hope of more or less numerous people, in a given historical context. The awareness of what is absolutely desirable and for which we are ready to go through anything.

The “Erotica of the Future” is born from this double stance. It radically impacts the “Theatre of the Mind” and even the “Theatre of the Soul”.

This double attraction may confer the density of Passion - and the power to act collectively towards a “Transformative Vision”. It is a desire embedded in Love, Dignity, Nobility, Beauty, Greatness, Joy, Compassion and Interconnection. All elements that make Life desirable, exciting and full of Hope.

Hope might be the best path forward. It is the counter-story of all the elements which support the “Regression Forces”: Fear, Denial, Despair, Resignation and Cynicism.

“Hope is a dimension of the soul and not an objective assessment of a situation.  Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”[7]

In that sense, Shapership allows us to escape all forms of reasoning in which Reality is "an excuse not to do". Paradoxically, the current “Capitalism Realism” - the inability to imagine a different Future -increases, rather than diminishes, the appeal and usefulness of these “Radical Visions”.

These types of big thoughts make it possible to think about the Rupture with the Present itself rather than the “eternal” desperating “more of the same”.

These “thoughts of the impossible” possess a radical disruptive force: the radicality of the rupture opens the breach towards the Future and sets the transformative imagination in motion.

Only through radical Thinking, only through super-creative Thinking to the point of Thinking the impossible, can we open a side door through which a Transformative Vision can rush in from the side and create the Erotica of the Future.

Does that resonate with you?

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