- 1 January 2014 - 31 December 2015
Which community do you engage with most; your neighbourhood or your Facebook network? New technologies are forcing us to revise our view of the world and our position within it. Human Futures is a project centred around a series of artist residency exchanges between cultural partners in Europe and Canada, that offers a glimpse of what the future community might look like. The artists engage with local communities and concerns, and invite citizens to participate in shared encounters. The aim is to open up new, international platforms for dialogue and explore the future of sharing within the Cognitive Space, Digital Space, Living Space and Urban Space.
For more more information on the artist please visit
Darsha Hewitt & Sam Meech
As an international collaboration between cultural partners in Liverpool, Aarhus, Berlin, Vienna and Montreal, Human Futures: Shared Memories and Visions seeks to incite a process of reevaluation in how we conceive our surroundings. Across the host cities, a series of newly commissioned cultural projects will invite citizens to participate in shared encounters; each offering a renewed conception of our environments and confronting the accelerating potential for communication and collaboration.
With the escalating potentials of technology requiring new considerations of our ability to comprehend and engage with different spaces in our daily lives, this project sets out to forecast and interrogate the future terrains that will shape our experiences.
It is in comprehension of the changing ‘shape’ of space that we can affirm our relationship with, and affinity to our surroundings; and recognise the abilities for community building and collective action now being offered to us.
It is the artists’ function to support this recognition, creating dynamic platforms for a shared conception of space; and evaluating the implications that these new ways of thinking have for our view of the world and our position within it. Formats for presenting these artistic outcomes will include a Marketplace in Aarhus, a Projection Parcours in Montreal, an Exposition in Liverpool and a Human Futures Toolkit, which will provide strategies for stimulating creative sharing and collective identities for the future development of our cities.
For more info, please visit the Human Futures website.
This project is structured as a series of eight artist residencies, each hosted by a partner organisation. At FACT, we have been workined with Sam Meech and Darsha Hewitt.
The resulting work will form the Human Futures exhibition, which will take place at FACT from 6 - 25 November 2015.
Participating organisations are:
FACT, Liverpool, UK
MUTEK, Montreal, Canada
National Film Board of Canada, Montreal, Canada
PIT/CAVI af Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
Elektra, Montreal, Canada
Media Architecture Institute, Vienna, Austria
Public Art Lab, Berlin, Germany
Quartier des spectacles, Montreal, Canada
With the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union
Cognitive Space (Liverpool / Montreal)
Cognitive Space can be regarded as our inner landscape, where we store our memories and experience which help us create a meaning of our sensory apprehension of the world. In turn, the external world is reflected through the lens of our subjective experiences, and our innerspace and outerspace are hence creating each other reciprocally through cognition.
By its nature, Cognitive Space is a subjective arena. However, the goal of culture can be seen as the creation of shared encounters that manifests a transformed and collective conception of reality, as individuals become unified through participating in the mutual formation of memory and vision. Engaging citizens and artists in such a way, FACT will explore the recesses of Cognitive Space; offering new platforms for expanded perception and the forging of collective identities. Read more here.
Artists in residence
Sam Meech (United Kingdom)
Sam Meech is an artist and videosmith. Born in Huddersfield in 1981, he studied at Liverpool John Moores University (BA Multimedia Arts), and lives and works in the North West. Frequently collaborating with others, Sam explores the role of analogue technologies in a digital landscape, and the potential to fuse the two in production and performance.
Darsha Hewitt (Canada)
Darsha Hewitt is a Canadian artist that makes electromechanical sound installations, drawings, videos and experimental performances with handmade audio electronics. Her artwork grows out of a curiosity for the physics of electricity and an interest in demystifying the invisible systems embedded throughout domestic technology. Her studio practice draws heavily on the techniques and processes of experimentation of early 20th century radiocraft culture.
Living Space (Vienna / Montreal)
Within the Human Futures project, the Media Architecture Institute (MAI) will explore the communal spaces and concepts in Vienna through artistic and cultural practices thus expanding the architectural and urban discussion into a cultural discourse. As playground for its artistic interventions, MAI will focus on ‘Aspern Seestadt’, a new city centre in the east of Vienna, which is currently being realised on a former airport and where 20,000 people will live and another 20,000 people will work. The whole development process being scheduled at over two decades, it is one of the largest city development projects in Europe.
Tackling the concrete example of Aspern Seestadt, the Human Futures project in Vienna will develop artistic interventions that raise awareness for the values of shared neighborhoods and developing tools and media for communication for the residents.
Artists in residence
Tobias Ebsen (Denmark)
Tobias Ebsen is a designer, artist and creative technologist working with digital media installations. He has produced and collaborated on a large number of projects, exploring the intersections of digital technology, art, and public spaces. His works have mainly focused on the architectural and material potentials of technology, where interaction and perception is situated and embedded in a physical context.
Daniel Iregui (Canada)
Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Daniel Iregui currently lives and produces all his work from Montréal, Canada. Art director made programmer, Daniel creates artistic interactive experiences on devices and in public spaces where design is as important as technology. He is very intrigued by the infinite and random combinations that are produced when a system is opened to the public for them to transform it.
Networked Space (Aarhus / Montreal)
Wireless networks are everywhere in the urban realm, yet connectivity increasingly operates in the tensions between corporateowned telecommunications infrastructures and communityowned networks. This tension is especially important to acknowledge when cities (like Aarhus), are promoting ‘smartness’, open data, and increased participation in the development of municipal services. In relation to citizen’s experience of public wifi connections, and the fantasy of alwayson global connectivity, this project aims to draw attention to the geopolitics of urban networks through artistic experimentation. Ultimately, this project aims to provide a sociotechnical infrastructure for the public to actively participate in such networks in quite different ways than current infrastructures allow.
Artists in residence
Bengt Sjölén & Weise 7 (Germany)
Bengt Sjölén is an independent software and hardware designer, hacker and artist based in Stockholm and Berlin, and with roots in the home computer demo scene. Current and continuous experimentation spans programmatic generation of design, function, hardware and code, electromagnetic investigations, networking technologies, reverse engineering, molecular life sciences, architecture, visualizations and visuals, sound and self modifying code.
Weise 7 is an art studio based in Berlin run by both international technicians and artists. Members of the team are Julian Oliver (NZ), Gordan Savicic (AT), Bengt Sjölén (SE) and Danja Vasiliev (RU). See also the related Critical Engineering Manifesto.
Sébastien Pierre (Canada)
Sébastien Pierre is a software engineer and designer who helps make data visualization a useful tool for businesses and organizations to better understand their environment and improve their communication. Sébastien is actively involved in the local opendata community, working on how to use data visualization to help improve society and achieve better transparency.
Urban Space (Berlin / Montreal)
The public sphere is created by citizens who step out of their private framework and interact with others. The city needs to offer a platform for that interaction, so that individuals can get together and communicate in the public space. What do these communication platforms look like in times when the public and digital environments merge and the borders between the private and the public become increasingly blurred? Recognising Urban Media Facades as agora for communication in the public space, our environments are transformed into databases that we can touch and walk upon (Augmented Reality). Sensor networks and public data sources map our movements and interactions and provide enhanced experience beyond (or in addition to) the physical reality. Creating not only awareness but also understanding of the current evolution in our urban environments, the Urban Media Facades scenarios support the idea of the public space as a platform for creativity, visibility and exchange of culture, created in a process of constructive criticism and reflection against the backdrop of increasing commercialization.
Public Art Lab and its topic of ‘Urban media facades as agora for communication in the public space’ will contribute to bring the overall visions and memories of the citizens back to the urban context by developing a concept of high visibility and participation for the Projection Parcours at the Quartier des spectacles in Montreal, in collaboration with all Human Futures artists and partner cities.
Artists in residence
Aram Bartholl (Germany)
Aram Bartholl’s work creates an interplay between internet, culture and reality. The versatile communication channels are taken for granted these days, but how do they influence us? According to the paradigm change of media research Bartholl not just asks what man is doing with the media, but what media does with man. The tension between public and private, online and offline, technology infatuation and everyday life creates the core of his producing. In public interventions and public installations Bartholl examines which and how parts of the digital world can reach back into reality.
Michel de Broin (Canada)
Michel de Broin’s work ranges from assemblage to video and photography. His multifaceted production deals with energy flows, entropic devolution, and the forms of visual, spatial and technological paradox that derive from these forces. Most of his works are retooled everyday appliances, found objects that disclose an ironic reutilization not only of the mechanic universe but also of tropes of Conceptual Art and Minimalism, which in his hands take on a critical dimension. Although universally recognizable, their new behaviour defies their functions and uses. Crafting unforeseen relationships between waste, productivity, risk and consumption, De Broin defamiliarizes established modes of signification in everyday technical environments.
Visitors will be invited to participate in shared encounters: each offering a renewed conception of our environments. Please visit the Human Futures website to find out how you can get involved at the different locations.