Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Catastrophe Time! How do we live in a world that we’re actively unmaking?

31 January 2024, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Catastrophe Time bookcover

The Centre for Capitalism Studies is pleased to present this multi-media event, film screening and discussion with Gary Zhexi Zhang, Klara Kofen and Bahar Noorizadeh.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

All | UCL staff | UCL students






Institute of Advanced Studies


Lecture Theatre G22
North-West Wing (to the left as you enter UCL from Gower St)
UCL, Gower Street, London
United Kingdom

Amidst the weird temporalities of finance, technology and climate, reality and fiction shimmer through one another. Catastrophe Time! takes a journey through the strange weather of the present with artists, writers, physicists, economists, catastrophe modellers and financial astrologers. Through their interventions, participants pay attention to the conditions of speculative knowledge on an increasingly volatile planet. Traversing a gray zone between rigorous research and operative science fictions, they question how practices of speculation may transform, undermine, and at times exceed, the worlds they set out to model.

Please register at https://ucl-css-catastrophe.eventbrite.co.uk

Read more about the book, Catastrophe Time, edited by Gary Zhexi Zhang (Strange Attractor Press, 2023): 

The UCL Centre for Capitalism Studies is a world-leading centre for critical interdisciplinary research into the past, present, and future of capitalism. It brings together UCL faculty and students studying how markets, finance and economic institutions shape our everyday life, structure societies’ capacity to change, and are contested and remade across time and space.

About the Speakers

Gary Zhexi Zhang

Artist and writer

Gary Zhexi Zhang is an artist and writer whose work explores connections between cosmology, technology and economy. He was born in Suzhou and works in London.

More about Gary Zhexi Zhang

Klara Kofen


Klara Kofen writes libretti, directs, makes costumes (mostly using paper), has a penchant for ‘pataphysics’, and originally wanted to become a historian of the European Enlightenment. She is from Germany, studied at Glasgow and Oxford and is about to start the MA in Opera Making at Guildhall. She is the co-Artistic Director of Waste Paper Opera Company.

Bahar Noorizadeh


Bahar Noorizadeh looks at the relationship between art and capitalism. In her practice as an artist, writer and filmmaker, she examines the conflictual and contradictory notions of imagination and speculation as they suffuse one another. Her research investigates the histories of economics, cybernetic socialism, and activist strategies against the financialization of life and the living space, asking what redistributive historical justice looks like for the present.

More about Bahar Noorizadeh