AN ART EXHIBITION TIME CAPSULE
An open call is made each year for this exhibition, which is to be unveiled in the year 2121 – one hundred years in the future.
In 2121 none of us are here presumably. Given this time frame people are encouraged to think long-term, since there is no short-term gain nor much retroactive force with a time span larger than life. The frame can help us reflect on what we are now. Perhaps the most important thing here is the requirement to look beyond oneself – this part of the creative process is thus reset. In relation to 2121, there are no self-reinforcing incentives, no money, nothing to look forward to, nothing to show off.
The artists are most likely not alive when the artworks finally are opened to the public. However, expo2121 is expanded and previewed annually.
An open call is sent out each year, with varying wording and perspective so as to encourage different groups to contribute.
A small group of curators see the contributions each year and discuss them in a public forum. These comments are documented for posterity and are widely available. The curation group changes on a regular basis (members can appoint successors). With these yearly discussions the project is not hermetically sealed: something seeps out, even from black holes.
Annual project reviews:
OPEN CALL expo2121
This is an open invitation to the year 2121. It is aimed at artists, technologists, researchers and people in general to contribute with ideas, input, measures, work, or project that could be of interest to a future audience.
The contributions will not be published until 2121.
The invitation is also addressed to robots and machines.
What would be interesting for an audience in 2121?
Would they rather look back to those who looked forward to them again?
How does it involve the present?
What is to be communicated - the human witness, the truth?
Is it reasonable to assume that truth is the most durable, that which will have value beyond ourselves?
Not only objective scientific truth or facts, but human, experienced truth, simple and sincere?
Or things we'd rather like to postpone and project into the future, or cover over from the past?
How to we relate to the ever-dramatic narratives of the future?
Could we build what the germans used to call a "giftschrank" - a poison cabinet that contains dangerous ideas and works that should still be preserved and available under certain circumstances?
What about dead media, the unreadable future?
What when we know our guesses will be wrong, and not even wrong?
Are we able to project ourselves, and not only reflect on what is important now?
Possible hashtags #art, #future, #ai, #post-human, #exhibition, #century, #group, #show? Can we avoid thinking of AI, QM, virtuality, multiverse, neuroscience, robotics, bio art, climate, space?
Will humans change, not to say improve, or are we rather entering the post-human, whatever this means?
How will the artist fare when AI now also could mean Artistic Intelligence?
Will nature reveal more things to us?
Can we also imagine the development of a "theoretical artist" in the direction of how a theoretical physicist works?
Can art and science find meeting points since we believe what we see and since we see what we believe?
Should the dissemination of the projects be able to draw attention to speculative, if not spectacular, aspects of reality through the counter-intuitive but well-known concept of time travel?
Body and mind as lived life, our common phenomenology, a focal point of all actual, possible and impossible realities?
The alternation between subjective and objective perspective?
Since we can't look very far, and increasingly shorter, the questions we ask might be just as important as any answer we give.
Until the exhibition in 2121 the works, titles, and artists' names are anonymized and referred to by an entry number in the annual review documents. A work might be reviewed several times through the century by the changing curator group. The reasons for an anonymized and indirect exposure, through curatorial comments, is two-fold: It gives the public something to grab onto during a century of suspense. And limiting the viewing to a few curators still transforms the artist's perspective, deemphasizes vanity and careerism.
Deadline: Dec 31, 2022.
Call for participation. 100 years to go!
First annual project reviews.
Call for participation. 99 years to go!
Second annual project reviews.
Q. Does the show require a live and sentient audience, human or otherwise?
A. This has to be open. It's reasonable to envision a machinery audience, so artists were guided to consider creating art for machines, whether they like the scenario or not. Art for machines may be a thing as time goes by.
Q. Will the project's domain name be purchased for 100 years?
A. Someone will have to inherit it to maintain its public presence. Probably it will need to migrate many times. Recording the transitional dimension of it with notes will be important for maintaining the history of expo2121. Saving everything seems like the best policy since nobody knows what will be useful in 2121.
Q. Will it be as easy for machines to play dumb as humans to play intelligent?
A. One could suspect that our unconscious would be hard to simulate, though so far it seems the easiest part, which begs the question why we are stuck in dreaming dreams. How far away is AI dream-therapy for directing the show? And what is a dream without bugs?
Q. Where will the audience be? Where will the show take place? Intergalactic? Mars only? On low-orbit satellite? On earth? At sea? On dry land?
A. This and other things are speculative at present. Suggestions for maintaining the feasibility of the exhibition in 2121 can be proposed by future curators. Bury it in the desert? Throw it into a lava stream? Future collaborators will have to let circumstances guide them.
Q. What would be interesting for an audience in 2121? Would they rather look back to those who looked forward to them again? How does it involve the present? What is to be communicated - the human witness, the truth? Is it reasonable to assume that truth is the most durable, that which will have value beyond ourselves?
A. This requires not only objective scientific truth or facts, but human, experienced truth, simple and sincere, things we'd rather like to postpone and project into the future, or cover over from the past. What happens when this elastic breaks? We can build what the Germans used to call a Giftschrank, a poison cabinet that contains dangerous ideas and works that should still be preserved and available under certain circumstances.