Future Technology Products
Digital Alchemy: Future Technology Products Inspired by Diverse Voices in Science Fiction (2020)
Supported by EU Creative Europe Programme of the European Union Grant
A Feral Labs Project
Solo Exhibition at Catch (DK)
An Exhibition of Future Products [In Progress]
This project is part of a residency with Catch: Center for Art, Design, and Technology in Helsingør, Denmark and is in collaboration with the Feral Labs Network and supported by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
There has been a long and rich history between science fiction and the development of new technologies. From virtual reality to teleconferencing, science fiction has left its ongoing influence on our present day device-driven world. But technologies are not neutral: they are imbued with the values and interests of their creators.
What are the implications, then, if many of the works of science fiction which we see attributed to modern technologies were penned by white cisgender heteronormative male authors? What are the implications if the same dominant voices are overwhelmingly centered in the design and development of new technology products? Who gets a voice in creating the future and who is excluded?
Future Technology Products explores works of science fiction written by a diverse body of authors including women, LGBQTQAI* folx, and people of color to realize diverse futures through the creation of fictional technologies. Situated at the intersection of product design, speculative fiction, maker culture and intersectional data feminism, the artist selects devices and technologies mentioned within these works and realizes them as interactive product prototypes. The objects will be displayed, in both a physical and virtual exhibition, alongside documentation regarding the process of creating the object based on the fictional text. In this way, the project serves as an homage to the works of diverse voices in science fiction while also exploring the relationship between sci-fi and future technologies that are imbued with and directive of our culture.
Throughout the residency, tutorials including source code will be created describing the design and development process behind each object. These materials will cover topics such as programming in Python and C/C++ (Arduino), physical computing, embedded electronics, and fabrication processes such as 3D printing. This toolkit can be disseminated online to extend the project’s reach and usefulness as a topic of discussion, inspiration and education.
In order to extend the project’s reach and also because it is uncertain what regulations around COVID19 will exist, Catch will hold a virtual exhibition that will be permanently available. Watch this space for the link.