“Tomorrow Never Dies” – message to collect in a hundred years.
The presentation of time capsule and its content: September 8th, 2011, at. 6.30 p.m.
Centennial Hall: capsule
Design Gallery (2-4 Świdnicka Street): exhibition + Katarzyna Krakowiak's audio program broadcast live in the hour of opening
The point of departure for the conceptual work on the exhibition was the notion of “promise”, both in the context of politics, whose mechanisms are largely based on making promises, as well as in the context of social engineering, which employs various forms of promises in shaping and managing social moods.
The original inspiration for the work on the shape of the Congress presentation was the 1964 New York World’s Fair. The enormous exhibition showcased all the newest technological advances, and above all design and engineering concepts that were to revolutionise the world. These included the promise of widely available, free electricity and holidays on the Moon sometime in the early 21st century. The work on the development of artificial intelligence was to alter social relations and generate new means of production, resulting in the liberation of mankind and making humans free from the constraints of work.
Critics of the Fair emphasised that the concepts presented in the exhibition by corporations invited to participate in the project were to become an elaborate, invisible tool of Cold War politics and a means of financing it, while the free time that an American (Barbrook: “It was almost unthinkable that the future might not be American”) gained thanks to the convincing vision of automated future was to turn out to be a reward for the symbolic silence on the subject of the arms race strategy. The popularity of corporate exhibition pavilions, including that of IBM (design: Ray and Charles Eames), found its reflection in the dramatic acceleration of the process of computerization and automation of human work, which eventually led to the creation of the Internet. McLuhanism, which dominated contemporary discourses, assumed technological determinism and celebrated technological advancement as a tool for social emancipation.
But can we agree, from the perspective of the beginning of the 21st century (the promised “tomorrow”), that the technological revolution that we have been witnessing for several decades was followed by a social revolution? Barbrook: “For some reason, utopia had been delayed”.
“Tomorrow Never Dies” is an exhibition prepared especially for the European Culture Congress. Its tricky title refers to the strategy of “arranging” the future, according to which “tomorrow” is within our capabilities, stems from our more or less conscious actions, and finally, is a distinct fantasy, and at the same time a diagnosis of our present worries and aspirations. World exhibitions, just like other pop culture productions that create the evocative visual landscape of the 20th century, have established our vision of the future. It is reduced to a “beta version” of the present, which is improved by technology, a futuristic costume (shape) and the elimination of current civilisation problems. Meanwhile, even though we’ve been dreaming about the exact same “future” for several decades, significant changes have already taken place in the presence. Let us then use the “fluid time”, which, according to Richard Barbrook, separates us from the utopian “tomorrow”, to reflect upon what is happening or could happen before our eyes.
The exhibition will comprise art and design objects created and submitted by selected authors. After the conclusion of the Congress, the object collection will be closed in a time capsule for a period of one hundred years, as a testament of the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century. Sensing economic crises, a technological collapse, as well as the current DIY tendency, we decided to speak the analogue language. To the future century, we will hand down our faith in mechanics, the original preparation of the topic, as well as our recognition of the fluidity of needs (including the symbolic ones) and of the conventionality of theoretical models.
The authors of the works which will be stored in the capsule over the next century: Richard Barbrook, Sebastian Buczek,Hubert Czerepok, Mariana Castillo Deball, Jaroslaw Hulbój, Paweł Jarodzki, Paweł Jasiewicz, Szymon Kobylarz, Wojciech Kocołowski, Katarzyna Krakowiak, Jerzy Kosałka, Maciek Lizak, Robert Mleczko, Bartosz Mucha, Dominika Olszowy, Robert Rumas, Kama Sokolnicka, Thomson & Craighead, Marek Wasilewski, Adam Witkowski, Piotr Wyrzykowski, Martin Zet. Guest starring: Sebastian Cichocki. Pyxis exhibition: BLACK BRIEFCASE and in it: Elena Gallen, Lubomir Grzelak, Beata Wilczek, Fanny Schlichter, Ewa Żuchnik.
In the last words of his book “Imaginary Futures: From Thinking Machines to the Global Village”, Richard Barbrook says: “Freed from the preordained futures of McLuhanism, this emancipatory achievement can provide inspiration for new anticipations of the shape of things to come (…) Rather than disciplining the present, these new futurist visions can be open-ended and flexible (…) Our utopias provide the direction for the path of human progress. Let’s be hopeful and courageous (…).”*
* all quotes come from Richard Barbrook’s “Imaginary Futures: From Thinking Machines to the Global Village”, London, Pluto, 2007
An openining of the exhibition will take place at Design Gallery - BWA Wrocław on September 8, at 6.30 pm.
Time capsule will be located nearby the Centennial Hall.