published by www.creativedisturbance.com
I am delighted for the opportunity to write
regularly for EMERGEncy, and for the most part plan to write succinct,
focussed editorials and field reports. But recently, given all the
mayhem in the air around art, tech, and commerce, I found myself
pondering the future and decided to give a shot at a little prophecy.
The challenging, and ultimately embarrassing, part about writing
predictions is making them clear and specific rather than vague
and grandiose. So what the hell: here are my dozen.
Collaborative artworks and performances made by millions of people
on the Internet emerge and evolve. But also a new form of mob behavior,
"virtual street gangs," emerge as well.
Hackers around the world lobby to make a legal distinction between
cyber-crimes and cyber-pranks, protesting that its unfair
to put them in the same league as thieves, murderers, and racists.
The hackers lose, except in Tonga, where cyber-pranks are decriminalized,
followed by Australia and Japan.
Tiny, wireless, global, always-on, micro-telephones called "earbuds"
appear. One use is as a realtime translation service. You may be
in a store in Moscow and your earbud connects you to a retired person,
or perhaps someone hospital-bound, awake in Iowa who speaks Russian
and earns money this way. But earbuds become a teen fad in the US,
where friends keep in touch with each other 100% of the time.
"Witness-cams," live portable wireless webcams, replace AK47s in
a small number of dicey places, beginning in Sri Lanka, Chechnya,
and the Women in Black movement.
A little later, micro-cameras are grown onto genetically altered
flying beetles. Not just a few, but swarms of these appear - "Swarm
Camera "zappers" are invented, driven by a high market demand to
combat invasions of privacy. Zappers are small wearable devices
that aim a laserbeam directly back into the camera lens to neutralize
any camera aimed in your direction.
A spiritual crisis descends upon the Silicon Valley rich. Multi-millionaires
who have gone through eco-tourism, Lamborghinis, trophy art, and
trophy marriages wake up and realize "hey, Im not even
30 yet" and freak out.
The NEA cannot get out of its sorry state, unable to fund anything
that anyone may consider controversial. Risky, edgy art is funded
by private foundations and collectors. We return to a Medici era.
Indigenousness becomes a hot, booming industry lead by an adopt-a-culture
promotion. First-World people can be legally ordained members of
real Fourth-World tribes. Maya, Tibetan Buddhists, and Taureg lead
Mongolia becomes the tele-marketing center of the English world.
When you hear "L L Bean, can I help you?" you will be
speaking with a Mongolian. Other countries where English speakers
cannot earn $2 a day become jealous and compete.
TV as we know it does not die, or even change.
Realizing that bits have to safely reside somewhere, new kinds of
museums appear, as cultural data banks. These digital collections
become a boom for small, remote, and specialized museums.