The speck, the droplet, the pixel.
From microcellular DNA to the proliferation of digital images, throughout all of time we have used science and technology to collect and share information about who we are. Discoveries have been made, patterns have been formed, and stories have been told, but always by those in power.
But who decides who belongs, and who writes our stories? How can we connect with our ancestry if it has been forgotten by history? To build fairer futures, we must question how the past has been controlled, and who (or what) has been left behind.
Future Ages Will Wonder presents an “alternative museum” of artworks that use science and technology to question our past and offer new ways of understanding who we are and where we belong.
The artworks on display bring together traditional mediums such as textiles, sculpture, and photography with virtual reality, computer algorithms and synthetic DNA to reimagine stories about our past, present and future. Through this wide range of materials and art-making, the exhibition refocuses where we place attention and what we value: reimagining stories about our past, present and future. Turning attention to alternative histories, the political and ethical issues found in archaeology, botany, genetics and the use of technology in our daily lives, visitors are invited to behold and ‘wonder’ at the advancement of science and technology.
Future Ages Will Wonder will premier three new commissions by artists Larry Achiampong and David Blandy (UK), Yarli Allison (Canada/Hong Kong), Breakwater (South Korea/UK), a new work by Boedi Widjaja (Singapore/Indonesia) alongside works by Ai Hasegawa and Miku Aoki (Japan), and Trisha Baga (USA). The exhibition is curated by Annie Jael Kwan, an independent curator, researcher and educator, who has collaborated with FACT over the last year to develop the show.
This exhibition marks the launch of Radical Ancestry, FACT’s year long exploration into the sense of belonging. Over the next 12 months, a programme of exhibitions, projects, residencies and events at FACT will look at how history, geography, biology and culture shape our ancestral history and question how technology can help us to explore new ways of thinking and experimenting with who we are.
AN “ALTERNATIVE MUSEUM” OF ARTWORKS THAT USE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY TO QUESTION OUR PAST...
CURATED BY ANNIE JAEL KWAN
Annie Jael Kwan is an independent curator and researcher whose exhibition-making, programming, publication and teaching practice is located at the intersection of contemporary art, art history and cultural activism, with interest in archives, histories, feminist, queer and alternative knowledges, collective practices, and solidarity. As co-director of Something Human, a curatorial initiative, she has presented live art projects across the UK and Europe, and launched the the pioneering Southeast Asia Performance Collection (SAPC) that represent 50 artists from the region at the Live Art Development Agency during the 2017 M.A.P. project. SAPC was then presented at the Archive-in-Residence “Southeast Asia Performance Collection” exhibition, along with the Pathways of Performativity in Contemporary Southeast Asian Art symposium at the Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany. In 2018, she curated the exhibition and public programme, UnAuthorised Medium, at Framer Framed in the Netherlands.
She leads Asia-Art-Activism (AAA), an interdisciplinary, intergenerational research network launched in 2018, and currently in residence at Raven Row. AAA presented Till We Meet Again IRL, an expansive digital programme in 2020, and led Tools to Transform, a toolkit focused on creating resources for Asian and diaspora organising that received the European Cultural Foundation’s Culture of Solidarity grant in 2020, that was launched in 2021. She was the co-editor of Southeast of Now: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art in Asia’s guest issue: Archives. She is a recipient of a Diverse Actions Leadership Award 2019, and currently teaches Critical Studies at Central St Martins, University of the Arts, London, and co-teaches Writing and Curating at KASK, School of Art, in Gent, Belgium. She is the instigating council member of Asia Forum, a platform discourses on contemporary global Asias, that will take place during the Venice Biennale in 2022.
Future Ages Will Wonder is curated by Annie Jael Kwan.
FACT is funded by Arts Council England and Liverpool City Council. This exhibition is supported by Artsformation, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Artsformation is a research project exploring the intersection between arts, society and technology.