THE FUTURE STARTS HERE
Co-curated with Rory Hyde
Victoria & Albert Museum, 2018
ARKDES, 2019


With the participation of: Ruth Ewan, Miranda July, Tomas Saraceno, Jalila Essaïdi, Adrian Lahoud, Superflux, Skylar Tibbits, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Antanas Mockus, Jonas Staal, Taryn Simon, Hanif Shoaei,  Olafur Eliasson, Sara Hendren and Caitrin Lynch, Pauline Van Dongen, Cesar Harada, ZUS, Kuehn Malvezzi.
And 38 Degrees, 3Scan, Abwab, Ale Co, Anders Sandberg, Article 36, Unesco Global Geopark, Bento Lab, Bio Art Laboratories, Bloomberg, Bosch, Cambridge Analytica, Cell 411, Cryonics Institute, Drew Berry, Facebook, Foster+Partners, SNOO, Google Inc, Greek Embassy London, Hydroswarm, Indian Space Research Organisation, Julian Assange, Julian Melchiorri, Kickstarter, Lavazza, Bitcoin, London School of Economics and Political Science, Made in Space, Marina Van Goor, MIT Media Lab, Alex Kalman, Mother Dirt, Nanopore, Nanotronics, NASA, New Zealand Government, NordGen, Norwegian Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation, Ocean Agency, Greg Moore, Paro Robots, QD Laser Inc, Refugee Open Ware, Reversible Destiny Foundation, Schiebel, Smout Allen, Speedo, Tesla, Superpedestrian, University of Berkeley, University of Southampton, What3Words, Volkswagen.

Like a reverse archaelogy, this exhibition looked at the extreme present to speculate about the futures contained in it. From smart appliances to satellites, artificial intelligence to internet culture, The Future Starts Here brought together more than 100 objects as a landscape of possibilities for the near future. 

Taking place 200 years after the publication of Frankenstein: or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley, the story of the young scientist who created a monster in his laboratory became a cautionary tale for what can go wrong with technology. But as Bruno Latour has put it, the scientist’s mistake wasn’t the creation of the monster but instead not to love and care for the monster he created. Recent developments in fields such as artificial intelligence, genetic manipulation or big data analysis may seem like the unleashing of monstrous futures. But what if instead of giving up, we cared and loved new inventions however daunting their futures may seem to us now?

Divided into five acts, the exhibition took visitors on a journey across scales: from the familiarity of the home where smart devices are changing our notions of privacy, to the global network of the internet shaping contemporary politics, the environmental effects of technology and the strange prospects of immortality promised by Silicon Valley enthusiasts. Each act was guided by a series of speculative questions: Are we still human? Does democracy still work? We are all connected, but are we still lonely? Who wants to live forever? Together, they provoke the visitor to imagine the implications of contemporary technologies in the years to come.