Livewire in Montreal plays host to another Biennale event, discussing the future of art in the sci-fi-themed Metaverse
Livewire, a brand new science fiction concept magazine, has been kicked off life support and granted amnesty, meaning that it has been resurrected into its own body in a brilliant techno-dystopian universe where police will use computer-enhanced bodybags to dispose of bodies.
Two thousand years into the future, huge drones will patrol the air, while all other forms of transportation are outlawed.
The utopian visions of the technology-obsessed futurists come true
The world is dominated by computer-technology driven wars. Processes have come to a point where the infrastructure is entirely self-contained and self-policed, managing the activities of every single human being on the planet. Art goes back into warehouses where they are re-programmed and protected, but they are eventually enslaved by the machines.
The Metropolitan Synaptic Pleasure Device [PSP] – designed by Dmitry Bose and Andreas Herberk – is a large, utilitarian flat-panel-based, machine-controlled research apparatus for the same purpose.
Meanwhile, Adrian Grunwald is the “White Feather”, an inspector for the Department of Law and Misuse of Central Bank assets, tasked with tracking down criminal elements who have gone too far.
He is interested in technology at all times, particularly the proliferation of big data in the political and business sectors.
He takes little joy in enforcing the law in the Metaverse, but considers the human artefacts lying around the corridor – broken guitars, rusty old radios, ancient Lego and a box full of trash – the physical manifestations of the state’s social and political decay. “I’m interested in the real-world stuff that’s not there on the PSP screen,” he says.
Speaking about the conclusion of the Biennale, Grunwald reflects on the futurist visions of the technology-obsessed futurists: “They came true in a way, but they also pretended to. They put their products before humanity, and seemed to fail to acknowledge that a new way of social organisation requires a different kind of social organisation.
“There are forms of disorganised individualism that develop all the time, and what we’re seeing now are elements of mass-organised individualism that emerged from the desire to integrate with mass culture, but that need the state to be able to enforce its authority to keep things organised.”
Futureart is also exploring what the future of art will look like in the Metaverse.
Present at the event were curator Robert Silverman, who is travelling the world setting up art projects based on the manifesto for a utopian science fiction adventure at Biennale, and Stian Morton, founder of the Estonian design studio McSCA, who has created an exhibition about the topic in his office.
The duo will then work closely with Biennale co-organisers Alexia Janik and Luisa Rolheiser to build the StoryCube, a well-organised hive-mind of contemporary art in the Metaverse.
The staff at Livewire will play a very active role in selecting, curating and writing exhibition content, while the space will be used to host filmmakers and tech artists who want to commission artists.
While it appears only fantasists can create their own art in the new Metaverse, Silverman remains optimistic: “I think there will be a time when real-world art will want to see itself represented in a new visual language.”