What Is the Future of Art?

  • 2016-02-09
  • Artsy.net

There are few in the art world that see more, write more, or speak to more artists than Serpentine Galleries co-director Hans Ulrich Obrist. And, having literally written the book on curating, there are few better positioned to see what shape art will take in the future. So, what is the future of art according to Hans Ulrich Obrist? As he describes below: The Extreme Present.

A curator cannot predict the future of art. Artists, however, have antennae that are extremely sensitive to impending change and can often detect it before anyone else. And so by sticking close to artists, curators might be granted a glimpse of what is to come. Curating follows art, and in this spirit I have asked many artists (as well as scientists, poets, architects, mathematicians, photographers, philosophers, composers, and other leaders in their field) to complete the sentence “The future will be....” A very short selection of the many hundreds of answers I’ve gathered have been placed throughout this essay...

I address the impossibility of predicting the future in Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present, the book I wrote with Douglas Coupland and Shumon Basar. The internet is changing the structure of our brains and the structure of our planet in extraordinary ways, so quickly that we haven’t yet developed a proper vocabulary for it. Technological progress has accelerated to the point that the future is happening to us far faster than we could ever have anticipated. This new world is what we call “extreme present,” a time in which it feels impossible to maintain pace with the present, never mind to chart the future.