An affective infrastructure for exploring the futures we (do not) want
Is it possible to fall in love with robots? Will machines become more intelligent than humans in the near future? And if so, will super-intelligent robots take our jobs and render human workforce obsolete? Will all people be able to profit from technological advances?
While ideas about our (technologically) shaped future(s) seem to oscillate between techno-optimism and -skepticism, a techno-realistic perspective has to consider both – chances and risks of technology.
Instead of focusing on questions of optimization and efficiency, which seem to dominate discourses on technological developments, design moves its focus of attention more sharply questions considering what it means to be human in a digitalized world and on how emerging technologies can be used as tools for sustainable development. Being human also means being aware of current era and actively defining our place in a future world, which is based on values such as reciprocal respect, democracy, solidarity, empathy and human rights.
Error 404 – Human not found? – an exhibition and mini-symposium – creates a space for assessing burning questions surrounding technological and societal change. Following a speculative, sometimes humoristic approach students of InterMedia BA at FH Vorarlberg explore the futures we (do not) want. Creating future scenarios, their micro-projects outline dystopian and utopian visions of how the future relationship between human and technology in the named contexts will unfold.
The exhibition represents an “affective Infrastructure“, where the audience can experience different aspects of societal transformation induced by technological change: The visitor becomes a “player” who can explore spaces of empathy/ intimacy, work/time & social cohesion/ disintegration in a game like transmedia setting.
Lectures will give an impulse for discussing how existing options and decision making processes affect how something we call “the future” will unfold.