Friday, 1 May 2009

Slow Futurism

The economic crisis coupled with swine flu has brought upon a feverish quest for real-time information.  Mankind has been fully immersed in the moment, but, this moment is hanging and waiting for "the future".  Here right now, with rapt attention, we want to know.  All the tools for this state are in place, with a global information system at our disposal.  Tomorrow never comes.

This state of prediction of now for later is endemic of our culture.  It is counterbalanced by the "Slow" movement of past and present and thoughts of the future for "now".  But even this slow now promises a better future.  As an aside, this is nothing new.  Various religions have historically offered perspectives on our relationship with the state of now.  Now has always been a participatory endeavor.  In this month's issue of Frieze Magazine, Jonathan Griffin offers an analysis of cultural perspectives on "The Future" and proposes it is time to "resurrect the lost art of looking forward".  This essay, entitled "Future Conditional" points out the current lack of children's reading material which is futuristic in essence.

Futuristic tendencies often arise when old boundaries are erased.  The man on the moon was a shaping force for the cultural products of our youth.  For our children, the internet is not a new frontier, but, a given part of everyday reality.  Instead of new spaces, our children are faced with fatalistic concerns about the lack of new boundaries.  The global boundless nature of our culture has given birth to fears about globalism, global warming, global pandemics.  So, a retreat from the notion of new spaces providing new opportunities is underway and the shaping of the concept of the word "future" is being redrawn.

The future has shifted back to the "now".  Conceptually, this does not have to be problematic or purely nostalgic.  The "now" is and always has been immensely creative.  Think, make, do and march forward.  Real-time is your tool.

1 comment:

Alterfuturist said...

All about Slow Futurism and the Slow Future Manifesto
here >>>