Museum for the future is an audience-inclusive science fiction installation developed by Theatre Sort/Hvid in collaboration with Kunsthal Aarhus. Theatre Sort/Hvid and Kunsthal Aarhus turn from a theatre and an art centre, respectively, to the epicentre of cross-aesthetic, experimental and research-based contemporary arts.
For Museum For the future, artist Helene Nymann, artist Ferdinand Ahm Krag and the artist duo Studio Thinking Hand will collaborate with six current Danish research projects and research programmes from the University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University and Technical University of Denmark in their process of creating the works for the theatre installation. They all have a common research area in mind: Our visions and nightmares about what the future will bring.
The 20th century fostered a myriad of ideological utopias and a similar number of disasters. With the transition to the 21st century, it became clear that history was far from complete, and that the future could not be annulled as easily: 9/11, the Arab Spring, the war in Syria, states reminiscent of The Cold War and authoritarian figures that devour democracy from the inside. The financial crisis, the refugee crisis, forest fires and a worldwide pandemic. Big data, 5g, digital monitoring and technology that seems limitless.
While the tech gurus in Silicon Valley optimistically predict that the technology can solve all our problems, the doomsday prophets, on the other side, predict total apocalypse. Our world consists of these dreams and nightmares. It makes them our ideas about the future.
This is the starting point for Museum for the future – a science fiction installation that will present us with different visions of the future, designed in collaboration between visual artists and researchers across disciplines.
They are visions of the technologies of the future, the cities of the future and the disasters of the future, which take both dreamy and nightlike forms in the three installation rooms and transform the rooms of Theatre Sort/Hvid and the gallery rooms in Kunsthal Aarhus into labyrinthine future prophecies. The audience will be led through these artistic visions of the future, which alternate between the utopian and the dystopian. In this way, the exhibition presents a wide variety of perspectives on what our future life and society can consist of. Everything from artificial intelligence, artificial memory and artificial life to the use of biological organisms as energy sources and not least thinking about climate chaos and climate cosmos.
Letting the art world and the theatre world work intercommunicate, we can create audience experiences across art forms. The overall dramaturgical narrative, as well as the individual works, will therefore also be the audience's involvement so that the audience in different ways will be part of the installation – in other words, audiences are not only intended for the role of observer, but also the role of co-actor.
With Museum for the Future, Kunsthal Aarhus wants to challenge the individual disciplines and institutions in order to create innovative art experiences and conceptualise new tendencies and help create cultural heritage for both the present and the posterity, once we have to look back at how we imagined the future in 2022.