Imagining the Future of Humanity We Will Face 10 Years From Now

2021.2.24

Arts and Technologies and the Meaning of Changes that Arise Between Them

<Decennium Series> is a project by visual artist Eunhee Lee who explores the relationship between data and individuals in our digital era where everything is so easily exposed through various media and media arts Jinseung Jang who wants to make fundamental changes to human awareness by working with technology-driven interactive methods and archiving systems. In this project, taking a humanistic and aesthetic approach, these two artists attempt to show both ambiguous and specific forms of humans and human societies in the future. Lee and Jang creates episodes about the technology environment to arrive under the common theme of “future” and, presents them to us in the form of an anthology.

New Artists’ Speculation On Our Digital Environment

To Lee, a screen is an important cross section that defines the border between humans and data or images that are flooding in this digital era of ours. Interested in how visual information which always surround us, is produced or consumed, she collages specific phenomena or incidents in our times. Lee tracks images and the process in which the images are distributed in our digital environment. She reproduces the tracking results through video and installation work and gives us the opportunity to take a new look at how we perceive images in our everyday life and to reconstruct the human awareness system. Lee fundamentally wants to draw a clearer image of the future through this project.

Through <Decennium Series>, Jinseung Jang wants to find out whether the equality he’s dreamt of can be realized. As a media artist who’s been working with technology and programming-based new media and sounds, he has been taking an interdisciplinary approach to eradicate prejudices and discriminations that inevitably happen among people living in a system called society. To resolve and fix distortions of human awareness, Jang combines methods of mechanical awareness with media and interactive experimentation and archiving. His emphasis on “Thinking (objectively) like a machine”, leads the audience to senses they’ve never experienced before and allows us to ponder over the possibility of turning misunderstanding that comes from social prejudices or discriminations into understanding.

<Decennium Series>, an Omnibus Film About “Race”, “Labor” and “Education”, the Three Elements That Constitute Our Society

<Decennium Series> tells us that humans which maintains social order and the inestimable flow of data which surrounds humans constitute the foundation for a new world where technology becomes a part of every aspect of daily life. Lee and Jang’s artistic imagination originates from a premise that many relationships that collide and viewed unnatural today will become unpredictable in the upcoming ten years. Lee and Jang tell three stories with three different topics, “Race”, “Labor” and “Education” which are crucial subjects the humanity must discuss for our near future, in the form a short omnibus film. The story about human rights asks what kind of discriminations would arise if humans were able to choose a skin color other than the one we are born with. The story about labor discusses the scope and ways of work by humans which are gradually becoming extinct because of complicated development of technological platforms. And lastly, the story about education deals with an imaginary future where individuals’ careers and limits are defined and predicted based on AI’s data analysis.

The context and narrative of <Decennium Series> are interdisciplinarily connected to those of concepts closely related to future, such as utopia, dystopia, science fiction, 4th industrial revolution, autonomous driving and globalization. The future is uncertain but the present is the time and space that hold the potential of the future. To some people, Lee and Jang imagines might be viewed foolish for having a conviction on a future that may never come. But on the other hand, Lee and Jang’s project is certainly meaningful because of the fact it reminds us that future is not something that is passively given to us but something we must actively try to create,

Imagining the Future of Humanity We Will Face 10 Years From Now

Media artists Eunhee Lee and Jinseung Jang who have been exploring various social issues through their media work, present us a social landscape the humanity may face 10 years from now. Lee and Jang focus on the technology-driven social structure to arrive in near future and how are awareness would change in this technological environment. In this project, Lee and Jang present us three episodes about three different subjects – “Race”, “Labor” and “Education” which are important basic elements of social structure, through a medium that is somewhere in between a Sci-Fi film and media artwork. The first episode, “C-MP-MUTATINEM (L-85-I7-J)” deals with racial issues that can arise from having a technology that allows us to change our skin color. The second episode, “BEFORE TERMINATION” talks about labor issues that can happen from popularization of autonomous vehicles and lastly the third episode, “the first kid” talks about the education and future of individuals predicted by AI. Through these episodes, Lee and Jang do not provide clear solutions to various social problems we face today but want to discover a possibility for the humanity by freely drifting across the border between technology and arts and the border between reality and imagination.

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