Maria Shanina
Future forecast: art show

Let's speculate a little bit about the possible future, looking at some examples of new technologies and behaviors we began adopting recently. What might happen if we were all stuck in a never-ending lockdown? How do we communicate, how do we entertain?

Imagine yourself in the post-COVID future when society mostly lives in isolation, embracing ways of distant communication. In this future technology thrives, yet loneliness is hanging over the world. Brilliant minds were developing products that positively affect wellbeing. One of these you’re using on a daily basis. Take your house, for example, it’s an ordinary apartment and it’s packed with sensors and projectors that monitor external data around you and track your mood, motion, or behavior. Like today, for instance. It’s been a while since you and your friends hang out together so your virtual Butler (what do you call it? Alfred? J.A.R.V.I.S.?) suggested to you that it might be a good day to visit that contemporary art show you were thinking about. And your friends Aisha and Max also haven’t seen it yet. You excitedly say yes, arrange to meet your friends in 30 mins and rush brush your teeth.

30 min passed. You look gorgeous wearing your best outfit, drinking your favorite smoothie, and walking among the walls of contemporary art. Occasionally you exchange opinions on certain works with your friends, who always have different views on art in general. But all of you are enjoying this experience.

And all this happens inside your apartment that, for this occasion, has been transformed into a gallery. Artworks appear over the transparent walls. You can swipe them using your gestures or talking to Alfred (or J.A.R.V.I.S.). Your friends virtually appear here while being somewhere else. Well, they are most likely at their homes as well. Yes, you are stuck at home but you don’t feel that lonely anymore. Your levels of stress and anxiety decreased in the past years, you managed to improve your focus, and became calmer. You can see your friends and family (almost real). You can still enjoy things you like: go to movie theatres, your office, markets. Your future isn’t bright and shiny but you don’t give up. And all this was made possible thanks to your Butler.

Copyright © Maria Shanina, 2024, Canada