Dystopian futures are here


Futurist fictions depicted in the novels of authors such as George Orwell, J.G. Ballard or even Bruce Sterling over the past decades look pretty real nowadays. The near future foreseen in films like "Blade Runner" or sci-fi TV series like "Black Mirror" shows a world dominated by technology, the submission of humanity to a constant surveillance, cyberwars, nature on the brink of disaster and deserted cities where machines and humanoids run free.
Dystopia, in the not so distant future or even embedded in the present, has been discussed four times at Sónar+D
1- Researcher Kate Crawford (New York University, Microsoft Research Lab New York, MIT Media Lab) talked about surveillance, big data and AI, and how artists are ahead of time when it comes to establish a code of ethics for these issues through their work.
2- Artista Kode9 (producer, DJ, researched and founder of Hyperdub) talked about the "fully automated luxury communism" and a future where human work is totally automated, and brought up issues like the basic income or spaced inhabited by drones.
3- Bruce Sterling, one of the fathers of the cyberpunk novel, has a good grasp of these futures dominated by hi-tech and a few corporations that know everything about us.
4- Artist Holly Herndon focused on how our 'inbox' acts as a go-between in most of our relationships currently, how she deals with the issue of surveillance from an emotional point of view and how we feel being monitored – do we care at all?