17 June 2013

Author Nina Edge

FACT is an investment of belief in the future. It started out as talk; just an idea, and it grew into an impressive facility for the discussion and display of the cult of technology. Its architecture is dramatic and like many buildings it looks permanent and secure in its future role – engaging people with technology and art.  But in a context of dwindling resources everyone is forced to re-imagine the future and be prepared for change. Political, economic and climate change are already forcing some people out of solid walled structures and into tents. Despite the association of tents with genocide and disasters, other groups enjoy a contrasting luxury rent-a-tent experience, for which a new word “glamping’ has been coined. Tents will continue to be important to both groups, although one group is increasing in number much faster than the other.  Regardless, tents and temporary adaptive structures are going to be big in future architectural practice. Tents are mobile devices. 

New technologies, which FACT artists heralded, are now accessible to everyone allowing production and consumption of culture without permission or selection by curators, editors or other gatekeepers of taste and content.  The Internet is cast open, catching everything in the world, and delivering the tomorrow’s world of our sci-fi dreams. From the dawn of the modern era there’s been widespread belief that robots would help us. No one can see the future, but FACT is evidence that it’s possible to form the future using imagination, and language.

Current futurologists predict we’ll soon be able to have our heating turned on by our smart phones on the way home from work. No-one can reliably predict if we will have work, or be able to afford to have the heating on though. Perhaps the robots can only help us if we can help ourselves. Perhaps now is a good time to project some more ideas and talk into forming the next future. The siri voice recognition robot used in this work can transform voice into text. This surely has cultural, legal and developmental consequences equal to those experienced following the arrival of machine driven movement. Blogging and tweeting could go supersonic.

An English grammar enthusiast recently noted, “Language is how we think”. The implication of voice recognition software is that ideas can flow though into written text at the speed of thought. The question is will this mechanisation of thought make us more effective at producing viable futures.

The future is coming. What do you want it to be like? 

You can see Nina's new installation Ten Intentions at FACT until 15 September as part of the Turning FACT Inside Out exhibition. To contribute your thoughts online or to book a visit from the robot writing service please e-mail 10intetnions@gmail.com