Here Future
Fiction, Writing, Story Telling, Animation

Here Future was a project established prior to the 2015 DATUM festival to produce several narratives extrapolating current themes in todays society. The narratives were mainly established around new technologies and speculated on potential future consequences in their development. The project was envisaged with two parts; the narratives and a built installation at DATUM to exhibit them. Tom Wing-Evans, Harry Kay, Tom Longley and myself collaborated to produce four distinct stories under the Here Future brief and design a space in which they could be presented.

In 2015, the AURA Observatory in Northern Chile was recognised as the first International Dark Sky Sanctuary in the world, a designation that provided protection for the last remaining dark places on Earth. In 2034, the Lick Observatory in Outer Silicon Valley, California is recognised as the last. The substantial expansion of the high tech region beyond the east foothills has caused massive light pollution, putting ground-based astronomy in jeopardy. Legislative measures have been imposed to extinguish emissions and darken the valley using augmented reality technology originally developed for gaming.

In this story the Tom speculates on the development of wearable tech with virtual and augmented reality, and how in the near future, these technologies may combine to eradicate light pollution from urban areas whilst opening up new design platforms and ways of living.

The noon sun glares through the grass blinds of a concrete ark that sits in the flooded lowlands of the Dhaka industrial area. Ranya’s tongue protrudes from her dark lips; the (relatively) big toe of her right foot hovers a millimetre above the damaged black plastic of the throttle pedal; her pupils are crossed to be fixed on a point just beyond the beads of moisture that hang from the flared nostrils of her nose.

‘Falling Short’ touches on both the rising levels of consumption and a way in which they can be further propagated with  technology and by the people subjected to it. It paints a picture of how technology could be implemented on a individual level to enforce competition, generate data and monitor employees productivity.

‘YOU ARE HERE’ – Tom Longley
It was late summer when Adam decided to time travel; visiting a place from his childhood. He had found a photograph of himself and his father on the beach in front of a whitewashed house. He knew it was in France. He remembered his father talking in an anglo French accent and the confused faces it elicited, but not where he went. Not until he found this photo, on the back his mother’s writing read “days at Mont Saint Michel.”

Self driving technology reveals a previous deception in Tom’s story ‘You are Here’, exploring, and comparing, how new transportation designs may create less interactive journeys. The narrative also begins to allude to how a sense of place can be manipulated by the new technologies and the blind application or use of them.

‘THE LAST / THE FIRST’ – Michael Perkins
Will we, will I, will this be the last? When can one truly say the differentiation occurs? Anaximander’s days continue to increase, it’s uptime professing the days until my job is ultimately undone, superseded. Anaximander makes the maps, I’m here to …

This narrative explores how artificial intelligence and machine learning may circumvent human employment and potentially intervention. ‘The Last / The First’ speculates on what could happen when computer programmes stop following instructions and start making their own. It plays with the idea of computers learning whilst the humans become less conscious of how the machine accomplishes its tasks or what tasks its carrying out.