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  • Writer's pictureNienke Creemers

This is an Interesting Exhibit: 180 The Strand – Future Shock Pt. 1

On Saturday the second of July, I visited the Future Shock exhibit at 180 The Strand. The cultural centre in London commissioned work from several up-and-coming artists who were asked to reimagine our near future. The result is an impressive collection of Installations, sensory experiences, holographic projections, and interactive algorithms.


Topologies, 2022

UVA's Topologies is one of the first installations you encounter when walking through the exhibition. The space is disorienting as it is located on a downwards slope. Moving planes of light are projected within the space, constantly creating a different division within the room. UVA aimed to explore sensory experiences through technology with Topologies. Being in the space felt overwhelming at first. However, as soon as your eyes adjust to the blue light projected by UVA, the installation becomes playful.


Lawrence Lek

Theta, 2022

Surrealist, apocalyptic and dawning are the words I would use to describe Lawrence Lek's film Theta. Important to note is that these are all used as positive words, as I found the film wonderful and impactful. The film – which was entirely created in Unreal Engine – is set in a post-catastrophic 'SimBeijing'. The main character, a self-driving car, travels through the remnants of the city and questions its purpose. It’s a lovely inquiry and speculation of how/if machines would experience empathy, loyalty, selfishness, and desire.



Subconscious, 2022

In 2022 we have uglycore, normcore, and also; Weirdcore. The digital artist presented an incredible installation at Future Shock inspired by Lucid dreaming. The installation consists of several spaces decked out with busy patterns and flashing coloured lights – that change the colour of the wallpaper and floor. The music played was created by Richard D. James. The installation is a nice break from slightly disastrous speculations and techy applications of the brief.


Ben Kelly

Columns, 2022

I can only describe walking from Wierdcore's Subconscious to Ben Kelly's Columns as a joy. After leaving the intense Subconscious installation you are faced with an almost serene display. Ben Kelly's installation is disorienting, playful and poised. As a viewer, you are invited to walk through the display and – quite literally – see it from all angles. Turning mirrors show all corners of the room while you stand in the same spot.



Daydream V.6, 2021

Meditative, mesmerising and hypnotic, Noemi Schipfer and Takami Nakamoto's Daydream V.6 soothes all stimuli gained in previous displays. The installation projects moving shapes on several aligned screens. I was surprised to see that some visitors were completely taken by Nonotak's work and sat in front of the screens for a long time.



Neo Surf, 2021

Gener8ion's film Neo Surf was one of my favourite displays within Future Shock – let's be fair though, this was an extremely well-curated exhibition, I LOVED everything. The collaboration between filmmaker Romain Gavras and music producer Surkin is a speculative scenario set in 2034. However, there are no disasters, the climate apocalypse did not – or did, it's not clear – happen and people live similarly to how we are living our lives now. There is no sign of 'the end of the world'. The film focuses on a group of teenagers, dancing, laughing, eating, and travelling on a flying surfboard. What I enjoyed about this display particularly is the continuation of normalcy. Even though environments, technology. norms and behaviours change, life in the film does continue in similar ways as we are used to.

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