Welcome to Slow Futures

Posted on January 15, 2019 by Tony Cho
article image article image article image

Over the course of our natural history, humanity has made a world for ourselves, and advanced in the name of progress. In the short time of human existence, speed has generated value. And acceleration makes revolution says our capital economy and western empiricism. In an ironic twist, through all of our progress, humanity is being shown that the rhetoric of progress as the increasing rate of production, consumption, and attention over time has depleted our resources, and have put humanity in grave danger of the very thing it was trying to avoid in the first place- death.

article image

In an era of the Anthropocene there are few, if at all, any clear solutions to the problems created by humanity. We will never fully get rid of all plastics in the oceans, live without the fear of nuclear weapons, or increase our biodiversity. As this crushing reality is revealed, rather than crippling into cynicism and existentialist crisis, artists, scientists, and designers are beginning to sculpt new realities in hopes of shocking the systems that continue to endanger the planet and the greater ecosystem. One of the answers is to create slow futures. Slow futures is defined asa cultural aesthetic, philosophy of design, history, politics that explores the developing intersection of slow culture and technology. If slow culture is the negotiation of temporalities to live life in a meaningful,thoughtful, and pleasurable way (Perkins) than slow futures is the alternative reality in which slow culture is the basis for the progression of society from henceforth. Slow futures means to embrace there is no longer going back but only moving forward, but in a more conscious way. It is both embracing humanity and our environment now for what it is rather than what it used to be in hopes of breaking the cycle of exploitation that is rewarded by our systems of production, consumption and attention. It is hope for a new future where things are given time to breathe, think, appreciate and coexist.