Next Brave New World
Group show by RCA Design Interactions graduates
21 August – 16 September
Kathryn Fleming | Zoe Hough | Henrik Nieratschker
Adam Peakock | Alexa Pollmann
arebyte presents Next Brave New World, an exhibition featuring a selection of projects from graduates of the Royal College of Art which engage with the cultural and social impacts of technology. The projects all inspect different aspects of possible future scenarios through the lens of speculative design, technological developments and social and political narratives.
Echoing Aldous Huxley, the show Next Brave New World’ is asking to look at the gaps between utopian and dystopian circumstances and asks us to re-examine the processes leading to the construction and deconstruction of these fantastic worlds, and aims to create a thread which observe the role of the individual as part of different agencies such as society, nature, capital, happiness and culture.
The featured projects raise questions such as:
What is happiness and must we achieve it?
Must governments change to accommodate new needs and desires?
How will vanity and hedonism evolve with our use of technology?
Can we create new forms of life to enhance our experience of nature?
And how might our concepts of space and time change as we look past our own Life times and undertake to design this Next Brave New World?
ENDLESS FORMS/ ENDLESS SPECIES
Environments by Kathryn Fleming
Examining the cultural institutions that have shaped human engagement with and perception of wild animals – The Circus, Zoological Garden, Safari Park – this ecological prototype aims to represent the next generation of human to animal interaction. Within Regent‘s Park of Evolutionary Development, animal habitats have been specifically designed to enforce the re-adaptation and re-purposing of genetic mutations within designed species.
These new breeds are engineered (evolved through synthetic biology and artificial selection) for life in a manmade wilderness. Visitors are invited to become explorers in a new age of discovery and to consider the impact that direct contact and observation of wildlife has upon our collective imagination.
SMILE, THE FICTION HAS ALREADY BEGUN
Film & Installation by Zoe Hough
Why do we value happiness so much more than other emotions? The pursuit of happiness is accepted as a good thing almost without question. Happiness, however, is no longer just the desire of the individual, but of governments and legislative bodies. Following the UN Resolution 65/309 in 2011, which encouraged all member states to measure happiness, countries are now ranked according to the happiness of their citizens; Happiness is starting to be positioned as a better measure of a nation’s success than GDP. This project aims to question the motivations behind this global legislative trend of focusing on happiness. Although as individuals we may each wish to be happy, when our emotions become an indicator of government ’success’, where might this attempted control over our emotions end, and at what price?
THE BOLTHAM LEGANCY
Installation by Henrik Nieratschker
The Boltham Legacy presents a story of the challenges of long term thinking in technological application and development and the projections of human desire and ambition into systems of machines.
The project shows different designed artefacts that belong to fictional British billionaire Lloyd Frederic Boltham who secretly founded a private 400 yearlong space programme to gain a future monopoly in space mining.
After his death the space mission became the unique legacy of his family. Several generations to come will observe the journey of his space probe in secret.
THE VALIDATION JUNKY
Installation by Adam Peakock
Twerk was recently added to the Oxford English Dictionary and the Selfie was registered as a mental illness. The growing access to technology as a tool for social comparison is having considerable cultural impact on popular culture, readjusting the parameters that define the social sense of moderation and decency. The Validation Junky project imagines the Post Industrial Brain, a trend designed as a government response to the projected overwhelming validation demands as resources become scarce. The trend updates our perception of genetic strength or attractiveness to the way that we actually live in post-industrial society, where our lives are continually guided upon technology and athleticism and full body function might no longer be necessary.
Characters & Graphic Novel by Alexa Pollmann
Indivicracy is the tale of a new form of government which presents diverse characters gathered under a non-territorial statehood.
Based on today’s increasing occurrence of nomadic lifestyles, its plot revolves around the cultural rise of migratory existence: body-vehicles become national costumes and flexibility the new ideal. At its heart, Indivicracy mirrors the challenges of globalisation and technological evolution. Societies are on the move – the result of itinerant working conditions, Diasporas caused by political and environmental pressures and technology triggered changes in our behavioural patterns. How will political systems accommodate these new tendencies?