“Progress is measured by the speed at which we destroy the conditions that sustain life.” – George Monbiot
For twenty years, FutureEverything has looked at big questions facing society through the lens of art and digital culture.
Taking the theme of ‘Less and More’, FutureEverything 2016 explored how we can rethink resources, held in Manchester, this year’s European City of Science.
Human actions have shaped a new geological age and brought the world to a point of crisis. We need to find new ways to gather, and manage, the resources of Earth to overcome the dependencies of the industrial age. Whether it’s our antibiotics and food sources running out, or the world’s fossil fuels, the first thing that we look for is potential alternatives, and ask where they can be found. This year’s conference took a range of experts to task, spanning biology and physics, to artificial intelligence and climate change. We discussed how life, intelligence, the Earth, community and uncertainty can be used as resources, often in unexpected ways.
This year our FutureEverything 2016 conference featured speakers such as Turner Prize winning architecture collective Assemble, designer and director Nelly Ben Hayoun, artist Addie Wagenknecht, counter-terrorism expert Charlie Winter, and award winning bot-artist Darius Kazemi. Opened by Claire Braithwaite, our conference was closed by the inimitable Lemn Sissay MBE. Miss any of the talks or just want to catch up? Head over to our podcast page to listen.
Our live events included our annual Friday night party, held this year at Islington Mill, featuring emerging acts Nidia Minaj, Nkisi and Errorsmith, the world premiere of Gazelle Twin: Kingdom Come – An audiovisual performance for two vocalists, and a specially commissioned series of improvisational performances in response to our other world premiere and commission Smoke Signals by Ed Carter & David Cranmer.
We also launched Project Ukko at FutureEverything 2016, a new climate service for wind energy that breaks new ground in the effort to improve the resilience of society to climate variability and change. Project Ukko combines cutting edge climate science and data visualisation design to communicate forecasts not on the coming days, but months. Understanding future wind conditions can become a crucial enabler for clean energy and climate change resilience. At our conference, audiences interacted with the interface first hand, and saw the project’s stunning interface in a full scale projection, as designed by data visualisation designer Moritz Stefaner.