The Future Starts Here at the V+A – Opening night
What was it all about? It was an exhibition showing us what it could be like – soon.
I went to look at the future city. I got inside a travel pod with half a dozen fellow travellers, with one of these sat nav screens in front. It told you, for example: you can drop your child off at the museum, like a map – I don’t know how this worked in regard to what the other people wanted to do. Next, I saw a model of Aleppo by a 13 year old boy who wanted to be an architect: medium sized blocks made out of paper and painted. The boy wanted to use modern technology to make a beautiful city – solar panels and a green energy system. I didn’t notice any trees.
Then there was an architects model of the Apple HQ, ringed off in a circle. It made me think of the people living underground in Forster’s The Machine Stops, written 1928. The next model was a glass building filled with people, they were drawn out of paper and cut out. You’d go to a floor in this building where everybody was dancing, you wouldn’t need to buy a c.d, you would be renting the atmosphere. There was another room: somebody was at an ironing board, it was totally communal. Instead of just sitting on your computer or phone, you would actually move in it and rent the space where everything happened around you. I don’t know how this was supposed to work – with your ironing or dancing, there were no sleeping areas – and not one space where you could be alone. Every floor was filled with something, instead of streaming alone, you’re in a space where you’re all sharing the same stream. If I don’t understand it, well I didn’t want to.
There was only confusion for me with this exhibition, it wasn’t worth the trouble of getting involved.
Intellectuals at the moment toy with the idea of becoming a machine without the need for flesh and blood- Transhuman. There’s no thought that we could all be dead before this would happen. What about ideas that many people could live at the bottom of the sea? What about the idea that the sea could be covered in islands, all the same shape as a kind of spatula floating over the oceans? The disgusting thing is that nobody is talking about the fact that we could stop climate change. They’re all talking about dealing with climate change as it happens. Of course, it’s all to do with rich people making money out of new ideas. They were serving surrogate food for example, I was asked if I liked the flavour of a meringue – it was flavoured with London pollution.
I was there because of Julian, to look at a Panda stuffed with shredded Cablegate emails by Ai Wei Wei that he had sent to various dissidents. The point being that in this world of future perfect, there would be dissidents who would wish to preserve truth and that the best security was to have it in a glass case in a museum.
I was with my three friends, we all came to support Julian. We had good conversations. MIA – activist and musician. Instagram cut her feed for over a year because she supported Julian. She wasn’t able to promote her tours or albums.
My dear friend, Joseph Farrell who’s so engaged with inequality and injustice. He works for the Courage foundation and helps Julian with some of his charitable work.
Rebecca – Ken Loach’s producer for 30years – she manages the funding so they can make the films they want. He’s now making a film about the enclosures of land in the 1600’s which is the greatest crime that the landgrabbers ever did to ruin the human race economically.
An economy based on land-grabbing has resulted in dire, unfair distribution of wealth globally and climate change. What nature gives us free should not be privately owned: land, airwaves, underground resources – they should be rented and the money paid into the public purse. I am working on a book to address this problem and introduce One World Economy.