Dread is an essential and potentially productive element of the human consciousness, and according to the contributors to this volume, a defining characteristic of the present-day condition humaine. Closely related to anxiety and fear, the concept of dread is associated with the ‘dizziness of freedom’, as proposed by Søren Kierkegaard in 1844. However dark and fatalistic its connotations, through its dialectical coupling of caution and transgression, of paralysis and overdrive, it allows us to imagine the world spectacularly differently, offering glimpses of the ineffable. It is precisely this creative agency that seems ever so valuable in our complex times – an agency that is created by the very forces that, in their politicized guises, wish to suppress or even destroy it. This book is a peripheral exploration of dread and reflects on possible re-articulations of the concept in our times. This publication was autonomously published next to the group exhibition ‘Dread: Fear in the Age of Technological Acceleration’ in De Hallen, Haarlem (2013).
Juha van ’t Zelfde is a Dutch-Finnish DJ, writer and exhibition maker. He is the artistic director of Lighthouse in Brighton. He also is co-founder of Nonfiction, an Amsterdam-based office for cultural innovation.