June 16, 2016

We’re very pleased to introduce Prophecies, the very first theme of the Node Center Art Department.

The aim of the Art Department is to explore experimental approaches to art that have significant impact on the world around us. As a way to narrow and guide our research, through this vast topic, we will be looking through the lens of Prophecies for three months from mid-June to mid-September 2016.

Artists and creatives have long played a significant role in not only predicting but actively creating the future: the Star Trek  Communicator, first beamed to our screens in the 1960s, famously provided the prototype for Motorola’s first flip phone some 30 years later; while Sun Ra created alternative visions of the future through his music, centered around space and ancient Africa. His work continues to empower countless people to envision non-Western futures and take an active role in not only shaping their future but revising, interrogating, and re-examining the historical events of the past.


Sun Ra, Space Is the Place (1974)


The Star Trek Communicator (left) and Motorolla Flip Phone (right)



In this theme we will explore how artistic approaches to predictions of the future have shaped us today. Here, we’re looking at art in a broad sense, crossing science fiction, popular culture, film and music as well as, of course, visual art. We are especially interested in investigating the following questions: 

  • How is the role of the artist connected with that of the ‘visionary’?
  • When have there been moments that artists have predicted the future?
  • How can creative visions of the future shape our present and past?
  • How is the concept of the future connected to cultural constructs of time?
  • How have artists critiqued the way that the future is presented to us?

Over the course of the next three months we will be publishing posts that explore these questions from different angles and different expertise including academics, writers, artists and more. Some will be coming from invited guest writers, some from the Node team and some from a very special Open Call that we announced in April. You can follow the articles as they appear here

The Prophecies topic has been enriched by the expertise and recommendations of our wonderful advisors: Etzel Cardeña, Marjolijn Dijkman and Rasheedah Phillips.

We hope you enjoy following this journey with us through this first theme!



Yours, now and in the future,

Lauren Reid

Director, Art Department

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