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Memories of the Future

On Countervision


Edited By Stephen Wilson and Deborah Jaffé

What is a memory of the future? Is it a myth, a fiction of a severed arm, a post-human debate or a broken time machine? In an increasingly insecure future-world there is an urgency to consider and debate these questions. Memories of the Future: On Countervision addresses these concerns by speculating on the connections between memory and futurity in fields such as counter-histories, women’s studies, science fiction, art and design, technology, philosophy and politics. This book reveals how these subjects regenerate at the intersections of vision, counter-cultural production and the former present. The volume links the re-imaginings of memory into the present with topics such as the fever dream allegory of the adolescent social experience, soft technologies of future dress, reinventions of monetary exchange, rekindled subjectivities of school days, and technics and human progression. These countervisions argue against the homogenizing status quo of the present in order to challenge the customs, traditions and conventions of the past and propositions of the future.

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10 Seizing the Future: The Futurists and Future-oriented Contemporary Works (Ilaria Puri Purini)


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10 Seizing the Future: The Futurists and Future-oriented Contemporary Works

With the proliferation of future-orientated biennales and exhibitions like: All the World’s Futures, the 2015 Venice Biennale; The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed, the Sydney Biennale in 2016; and the Victoria & Albert Museum’s forthcoming exhibition Future Design, I am conscious of how the word future is much used as a conceptual framework in contemporary art exhibitions. As a term, the future is broad enough to contain the present state of things, precise in indicating a particular timeframe, while also particularly apt at never attaining its temporal dimension. Apart from the production of exhibitions, there have been a number of contemporary artists who have chosen to work on the topic of the future in various ways. From futuristic utopias of the early twentieth century, dealing with space and time, to technological dystopias of cyborgs and avatars, to current predictions; artists have always explored the manifold varieties of what the future might be.

Referring to the future might be a helpful device when speculating on present expectations while also anticipating future divergences. And yet, suggesting a time that is yet to come is not only an escamotage to work within a broad topic but also a way to develop visions of the future outside and beyond paradigms of utopia and dystopia; and this chapter will analyse the different ways that artists have indeed seized...

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