Imagining future life at the present time seems to be a very difficult exercise. Especially now, when reality has surpassed all fiction, it is hard to envision a future that is not dystopian. The alteration of bodies, identities, and all kinds of social, economic, and environmental systems characterizes a present in which everything is interconnected. This network of increasingly sensitive and vulnerable relationships and interdependencies forces us to live in a time of constant change and uncertainty.
In recent years, many of the projects produced by the European Media Art Platform (EMAP/EMARE) have lent visibility to these systemic disturbances of the status quo. These works address the marginal areas of a social and cultural fabric that is increasingly damaged, torn, and immersed in a fragile balance. These proposals enable us to sense, and even understand, that the current pandemic must be a consequence, not a cause, of what is occurring.
Based on systems theory applied to biological, social, technological, and cultural spheres, the six interconnected projects in the Vida Futura (Future Life) exhibition propose a variety of connections on different scales and contexts. The first group of artists focuses on the microscopic realities of existence.
The Quimera Rosa collective works with blood and chlorophyll to investigate the connections between human and plant life. Marco Barotti uses microbial cultures, robotic clams, and sensors to make ocean pollution audible. And Robertina Šebjanič and Gjino Šutić use scientific images to show how chemical waste affects fresh water and groundwater.
The second group works on a macro scale. Stefan Laxness uses different digital devices to explore the model of neighboring mountains, analyzing the viability of environmental restoration of the land to promote more sustainable development.
Anna Ridler applies artificial intelligence algorithms so that something apparently as natural as a tulip is altered in shape, texture, and color, depending on the fluctuations of financial markets at the global level.
Disnovation.org, a collective, shows us the new icons, practices and virtual devices that characterize the increasingly polarized and radical scenarios of on-line social and cultural networks.
The works in this exhibition are the result of the EMARE (European Media Art Residence) call issued by the European Media Art Platform (EMAP), aimed at European artists working with new technologies. The program aims to foster collaboration among artists and institutions that use these media.
Curated by: Karin Ohlenschläger