The Archived Futures Harvest exhibition journeys exploratively through a multitude of possible futures inviting viewers to consider what lives and lifestyles might be like in the near or very distant future. It takes off from the realities of the world as we know it and crawls into the depths of other lands asking what could we be having for breakfast in a hundred years time or what impact will increased life expectancy have on anything from business and risk taking to dating and relationships.
The exhibition prods and questions assumptions about some generic unified Future with a capital F. Visitors are immersed into an artistic confrontation with deterministic views of this assumed Future. There is no Future awaiting us all, it seems to say. The Future is not a destination. Instead, it places the onus of future lives on a combination of human agency and responsibility and, perhaps, serendipity. What remains, therefore, are an infinity of possibilities.
Visitors have free access to an archive of miscellanea of objects and documents allegedly recovered from a time still to come; some found in time capsules, others unearthed from various sites around the world. The exhibition invites visitors to interact with the collection and to propose plausibe – or fantastic - interpretations of some of the treasured objects in the archive which have been causing some seriously fierce contentions within the scientific community.
The prevailing theory about the Cavare Masks, for example, is that they were used during surgery to help the operating team understand the patient's state of being through their own body. Another theory suggests that they were merely ritual masks whilst another suggests that the items were developed as military gear for a biologically engineered soldier class.
Archived Futures Harvest presents an array of such scenarios together with product prototypes that could exist that could exist in a near or far future. All the exhibits are the outcome of a six month process called Presents of the Future which was led by the Austrian organisation Time's Up within the framework of the cultural programme for the 2017 Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The exhibition, which is being held at Studio Solipsis in Rabat (Malta), is at once playful and philosophically engaging and is guaranteed to give visitors of all ages more than a few head scratching moments. Entrance is free and the exhibition is open throughout May and June 2017.
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