Museum of the Future

The Museum of the Future is a telephone voicemail project. Listeners were encouraged to call our voicemail system, where they could explore concepts of the future by accessing narratives, interviews, theories, information and sound bytes related to shifting perceptions of the future. We featured narratives that deconstruct the desires that drive utopian fantasy, such as immortality, colonization and increased profit margins, and how these issues develop in relation to technological exploration. As we approached the year 2000, speculation about the next millennium was reaching a fever pitch, and this installation invited participants to share their ideas about the future.

The Museum is a collection of paired advertisements describing advances and selling the benefits of technologies designed to enhance our quality of life. By juxtaposing historical to futuristic adaptation of advertising language, for example such as ads for slave auctions and ads for robotic servants, the piece questions the capitalist aspiration for free labor and the unsustainable ideas around perpetual growth. By using audio played over the telephone the user is forced to imagine the images for each of the vignettes, while looking at the current environment around them.

Media: telephone, voicemail system on computer, flyers, graphics

Location: SoundCulture ’96, International Sound Festival, San Francisco, CA 1996

Location: 1078 Gallery, Chico, CA – 1997