The Gaîté Lyrique has opened its spaces to a brigade of artists, asking them to reflect on the future and question how the realities of today will affect us tomorrow. The result is ‘2062, Aller-Retour Vers Le Futur’ (2062, a return ticket to the future) a fascinating, multimedia show: Tania Brimson picks out her five favourite artist installations...
Pleix has seen the future, and it's not pretty. In the eyes of this group of anti-consumerists, our collective destinies are plagued by over-consumption, eroded by the increasing ‘virtuality’ of life and bruised by social inequalities. On the ground floor of the Gaîté, you’ll find Pleix’s anxious-making cocktail of video, animation, graphics and installations which transport us to the future just to show us the horrors of our modern-day consumer society. Intense.
From the first radio to the first robot gardner, by way of the invention of the Minitel and the Boeing A380, the timeline frieze of the NoDesign collective (which has taken over the third floor of the Gaîté), sketches out two centuries of technological evolution, stretching from 1862 to 2062. Half-real, part fictional, this crash course boasts some wonderful mechanical relics straight from the dawn of modern times, borrowed from the Musée des Arts et Métiers, as well as models of objects still under development or plucked from an imaginary future. Fascinating.
At David Guez’s installation, visitors can get behind a monitor and create e-mails that won’t be read until 2062 or leave a message on the voicemail of the future, which will be heard at the date of their choice by the person of their choice (Time Out left a nice message for a chum in 2032). It’s a way of questioning our relationship to memory and the passage of time: it’s also excellent fun.
Yellowed by the cruel acceleration of technological time, three somewhat outdated machines (seismographs? Electrocardiographs?) work away busily on the fourth floor, tirelessly transcribing data, mainly headlines about catastrophic news and graphic curves. With an insidious slownewss, one of the measuring instruments spits out endless rolls of paper, dropping information which piles up in alarming quantities on the ground. Welcome to the RYBNA’s "Robot trader", condemned to buy and sell stocks while recording the shock waves that shake the financial markets until its scheduled moment of bankruptcy. Uncomfortable viewing.
Grab your torches! Before entering the den of Francis Olislaeger, with its false air of a prehistoric cave, an assistant will give you small flashlight: without it, it would be impossible for you to read the frieze scrawled on the black walls of the fourth floor by the artist. From visions of the future gathered from users of the Gaîté, the designer has made a naive-style fresco sketching out what the world will look like in 2062. ‘Pregnant’ men, water bars, mechanized sexuality, 5D cinema... A Darwinian spirit has even argued that, by dint of strumming on phone keypads and joysticks, human thumbs may have doubled in size. Freaky.