We live in such a unique place. The San Francisco Bay Area is at the center of innovation in so many fields that actively question what the future will look like. There are research labs, think tanks, academic departments, scientific centers, start-ups, biotech companies and social media companies all devoted to the environment, climate change, species diversity, education, gender fluidity, housing equity and much more. People all around us, in their day-to-day lives, are addressing how to (positively, we can hope!) impact the future.
To different degrees, artists and designers deal with some of these same issues, helping people cope with and comprehend the implications of what the future might hold. Dissident Futures, a group show at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, highlights several possible alternative futures, particularly those that question or overturn our conventional expectations, some utopian and some darker. Loosely structured around three thematic strands—the utopian, the speculative, and the pragmatic—the exhibition furthers our understanding of how artists today are addressing the unknown, and in their own way helping us to come to terms with the great age of change we live in. Stop by to take a look at Dissident Futures. The show ends February 2nd.
I have highlighted the surreal video by Peter Coffin, Untitled (Flying Fruit), 2013, (click the link at left to view a low resolution version!), in part because it is so absurd, and in part because I would love to see a world realized where surfaces morph and change to suit our needs and moods. Instead of static walls, we could help to create our own 3-d projections, and this would help to elevate or alter our spirits. This could be a form of therapy, entertainment, or a way to perceptively transform the smallest space into something grand. This would take the technology of the movie Gravity and put it on steroids.
Let’s make 2014 our year to positively impact our collective future…one step at a time.
David Bjørngaard, January 2014