The assignment is to create a poster of an aspect of modern life as if the future was the past. To envision the future 10 years from now the first place to start I felt was to look at the technology advances currently being developed. My research led me to this website which examines the top 10 scientific advances currently being developed.
Technology has become an ever greater part of our lives so another way of examining this assignment was to look at the world 10 years ago and what was considered science fiction. Popular programmes and films of the last 20 years such as Star trek, offer an insight to the direction many technologies are going and suggest glimpses of what 2025 and beyond could look like. More often than not the Sci Fi world portrayed is one of destruction or machine take over, (‘Terminator’ series, ‘I Robot’ movie, War of the Worlds, Independence Day etc.)
Terminator robot : Film – Pacific Western 1984
Modernism of the early 20th Century shared a ‘Utopian’ vision of the future, a place where all were equal and where poverty was a thing of the past. The Russian revolution was built on these principles but the reality of ‘Communism’ turned out the opposite of the dream. Their future world became one of cruelty and subjugation.
In my own recent photography art projects I created a piece which portrayed a future world where trees were taken to the edge of extinction. Without trees there would be limited oxygen, so the world is shown airless and where breathing apparatus is normal attire. This polluted barren landscape offers a chilling view of one possible future.
Dead earth : Graham Matthews
One key technological advance is in robotics. Sci Fi created its own terrifying vision of where this could leads us in such films as Metropolis, Blade Runner and Robo Cop. Cybernetic advances are also a possibility with synthetic organs and limbs being developed now. As early as the 1960’s Tv series Dr Who offered us a look at where this could take us in the form of the Cybermen.
1960’s Cyberman: Dr Who, The Moonbase – BBC 1966
Later the 1990’s brought us an up to date version of a human machine mix in the Star Trek super villains ‘the Borg’.
Star Trek, The Next Generation – The Borg
Stephen Hawking has even warned us of the dangers of robotics progressing too far stating that A.I. could be, ‘The worst thing ever for humanity’. (Source: http://www.cnet.com/news/dawn-of-the-worlds-angriest-robot/ accessed April 2015)
This suggests the friendly and respectful robot portrayed by Robin Williams in Bicentennial Man may not be where the technology takes us.
Bicentennial Man – Touchstone / Columbia Pictures 1999
The 2001 film on board robot artificial intelligence better known as HAL perhaps offering a more realistic version of future events.
HAL 9000: 2001 Space Odyssey – Metro Goldwyn Mayer 1968
Never has our worlds future been so difficult to predict. As Winston Churchill once said ‘It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see’
As a boy in the 1970’s video phones, flat screen Tv’s, mobile phones and powerful computers in the possession of the masses were straight from a script from a sci fi movie. Never did I believe then that all these things would be a reality in my life time. New advances are being made every day, a phone is no longer a phone its a walking ‘talking’ personal assistant offering immediate access to the internet where ever you are.
On a lighter note one obvious idea of a near future vision is one where advertising is out of control, something I feel is already upon us. Everywhere we turn today we are bombarded by advertising, from bill boards, internet pop ups, television, radio, junk mail and even subtle advertising in films, Tv programmes and sports coverage. How far will this advertising trend go, and what other un-tapped sources of advertising ground are yet to be exploited. Some advertising logos have even worked their way into our fashion choices leading to the stark reality that some are actually ‘paying’ the manufacturers to advertise a company.
As one mobile phone company regularly states in all its adverts ‘The futures bright, the futures Orange’. Whether you believe that depends on how many times you hear it.