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Media Installation, 2020

Engineer Andrew Strokov

This project is dedicated to attempts to depict the future – not to describe it, as philosophers and futurologists have done, but to display it in the form of a picture. The two parts of the work, spaced apart in time, comprise a story in the mockumentary genre. In the first part of the work, an artist who was allegedly a friend of Ossip Flechtheim – a German scientist who first used the term “futurology” during World War Two – draws illustrations for his book “Futurology: the battle for the future”. Created in 1970s, these drawings show the future as it was envisaged from the social and technocratic utopia of the time. The second part shows us Flechtheim’s book in the distant future: a robot bibliographer finds it in an enormous digital storage facility and also decides to illustrate it. New technologies are used, and the very process of drawing is transformed into sound. The robot’s processor malfunctions, however, so the illustrations emerge from a printer in the form of black and white lines in the exhibition hall. The sound of the printer that creates the pictures is also important here. Combined, the two attempts at visualization create a palimpsest of a “picture of the future”.

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