Jerwood FVU

The Future Symposium

22 June 2013
CCA, Glasgow

To accompany the exhibition Tomorrow Never Knows: Ed Atkins and Naheed Raza, this day-long conference casts a weather eye over the wider topic of ‘the future’ and wonders how our contemporary conception of it might differ from other stand-out moments in the not-too-distant past.

There is an expression – one that has rapidly lapsed into cliché – that ‘the future is not what it used to be’. And, indeed, many of the cultural phenomena that are increasingly touted as the waves or the faces of tomorrow often seem to have a well-worn, familiar ring – as exemplified by the recent pre-eminence of ‘retro’, and a corresponding nostalgia for ‘futures lost’. While all this may indicate that popular culture may be experiencing a terminal phase, going through the long-drawn-out encores of its own ‘end of history’, there are also contrasting signs that futurity itself might be staging a bit of a comeback; maybe coming round again as a predictable, or overdue, cultural reflex, but maybe also as a symptom of a tangible change in the air. If this were to be the case, what are the cultural and technological forces that are giving it shape, and what are the creative impulses that might give it new impetus?

To speculate on this, music writers and cultural commentators Simon Reynolds and Paul Morley are joined by artists and critics Olia Lialina and James Bridle, plus other contributors for a day of discussion and screenings.

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