The future is bright.1 The future is over.2 The future is over-rated.3 The future is now.4 No future!5 The future is a dog.6 The future is going nowhere without us.7
The third issue of another pamphlet considers the future - the idea of the future, the mythology of the future, the possibility of the future, the problem of the future – the complex and changing capacity to think forward from our social, economic, and political present. As the Italian author and critic Bifo says, "The future is not an obvious concept, but a cultural construction and projection."
The idea of the future is in constant flux. Compare the radical differences in the status of the future from the 1850’s (at the dawn of the industrial revolution and modernism), to the 1950’s (at the height of American post-war faith in technology and progress), to the late 1960’s (when the future contained the friction of social and political upheaval), to the 1970’s (when punk's rallying cry of "no future!" announced an emerging dystopian imagination and the oil crisis ended the promise of limitless development), and to the 1990’s (when a wave of pre-9/11 tech optimism rekindled faith in the future). With the increased volatility of the past few years (the ongoing financial crisis, the Arab spring, the tea party, occupy wall street, etc.), the idea of the future seems once again to be changing course.
Instead of making predictions, this issue asks what’s at stake in the idea of the future? What is the history of the future? What is the current state of the future? And what is the future of the future?
1-Orange Wireless slogan, 2-Franco Berardi, 3-Cerith Wyn Evans, 4-Yona Friedman, 5-Sex Pistols, 6-Jacques Herzog & Pierre de Meuron, 7-Paul Chan