THE FUTURE IS CODED is selected for Ars Electronica FutureLab, Linz Austria 2021.
THE FUTURE IS CODED refers to a future that's already present here and now but remains somehow inaccessible to us. It's an old philosophical idea that past, present and future exists simultaneously. If the future exists, it could be accessed like a space or a room.
In Chris Marker's science fiction film La Jetée 1962 we hear the voice-over saying: "The future was better protected than the past. After more, painful tries, he (the protagonist) eventually caught some waves of the world to come."
In THE FUTURE IS CODED we reflect upon how exactly this future is better protected?
Since ancient history we've tried accessing the future through mediators. Noise and randomness (chance) are worldwide used to access the future in so called divination techniques. Noise mediates via articulating hidden layers to our conscious mind.
The future is like a wall of noise. We carve our path through time, sifting meaning from noise.
Shoshana Zuboff writes in her book Surveillance Capitalism about big data companies that harvest rich predictive data in the waste materials of our online behavior. The rich data they're after are in the extra data, in the noise. They use them to forecast our future behavior.
The NOISESCAPES I create are screens of noise depicting settings for a possible future.The work is about discovering and experiencing a particular set-up built from layers of noise.
At Ars Electronica FutureLab we will form a small group and work around the theme THE FUTURE IS CODED, by discussing samples from speculative fiction. We develop raw forms and raw ideas, we write raw text in writing games. This will serve us too in speculating on how to access the future.