Date: Friday 29 November–Saturday 11 January

Time: Monday–Friday: 10:00–17:00 and Saturday: 11:00–16:00 (Closed Saturday 21 December–Monday 6 January 2020 inclusive)

Venue: The Levinsky Gallery, Roland Levinsky Building {https://goo.gl/maps/qsLB9mwPe12sjxJVA}

FUTURE HISTORY is a two-phase project. Version 1.0 takes a look in the rear-view mirror as we accelerate through this post-digital phase of our cultural evolution. It celebrates the last 25 years of radical innovation in arts practice, education and research and locates Plymouth at the centre of it all.

Version 2.0 projects forward, sending out cultural mycelia and predictive algorithms to envision the future of creative endeavour.

Rooted in the cybernetic, telematic and interactive behaviours defined by Roy Ascott, FUTURE HISTORY maps this influence on the emergence of contemporary art forms: the digital, wearable, immersive, biological, and artificial.

FUTURE HISTORY sits at the nexus of a planetary network and maps chains of influence that have catalysed the development of new artistic directions and shaped a generation of transdisciplinary practitioners. It presents a series of exhibitions, symposia, online experiences, living labs and creative commissions which recover and redefine a future history.

FUTURE HISTORY is produced by i-DAT.org {:#hGPBR9dD@acAh"X!$mr2cmr2cmr!!!!!!!1!!!!!)a&4R9dGA*P)%KTFh4[FRPEh!!!:}
[Image: Cyberbaby, The Digital Body Exchange. 1987]


{evolving & in no particular order…}

Roy Ascott:

Donna Cox:


Margarete Jahrmann:

Marcos Novak:

Thecla Schiphorst:

Bill Seaman:

Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau:

Adam Montandon and Neil Harbisson:

Donald Rodney Autoicon:

Ade Ward/Signwave:

Chris Speed:

Robert Pepperell:

Victoria Vesna:

Search For Terrestrial Intelligence:

Notes Towards…:

Eduardo Kac:

Constellation Columbia:

Bits & Bytes: fragments of early digital works by:

Thom Yorke: When I grow up…

Is there Love in the Telematic Embrace.

MEDIASPACE: with Roy Ascott & Brian Eno.



coming 2020…


The FUTURE HISTORY Living-Labs build on i-DAT’s radical heritage of practice-based production workshops. These include E/M/D/L https://i-dat.org/emdl-european-mobile-dome-lab/), The Overview: Leonardo 50th Anniversary Celebration (http://balance-unbalance2017.org/leonardo/), Tate Collective TIWWA development workshops (http://quorum.i-dat.org/tiwwa/) and B Aga & Coral Manton‘s Women Reclaiming AI workshops (https://i-dat.org/women-reclaiming-ai-for-activism/). Workshopping processes are central to i-DAT’s creative and collaborative activities and our methodologies critically and playfully engage with themes, technologies and behaviours which form the symptoms manifest in the individual and collective practices of the international FUTURE HISTORY artistic community.

Living-Labs will deliver specific experiences for members of the public and artists. The workshops themes are derived from a synthesis of the FUTURE HISTORY exhibitors and feed of i-DAT’s Research Themes  {Artificial / Small-Faraway / (im)material / Ludic-Systems / Behaviourables & Futuribles}

Living-Lab Facilities: Living-Labs will take place in the new Digital Fabrication Lab and Immersive Media Lab at the University of Plymouth, the Immersive Vision Theatre and Digital Studios. These spaces are quipped with significant resources for artists to explore new skills and experience creative production pathways and prototype and build new work.

[Image: Balance-Unbalance 2017: The Overview, a Leonardo 50th Anniversary Celebration.]


The INTERSTICES Symposium, ‘The Architecture of Consciousness’ was originally held on August 23 – August 25, 1998 at Port Eliot House, St Germans, Cornwall. The symposium workshop bought together many of the artists included in this application for a 3-day creative ‘hackathon’ of ideas and digital making. The event fed into the entangled digital practice and theory that is now embedded in the history of trans-disciplinary inquiry into art, science, technology. It incorporated the expertise and insights of artists, designers, architects, performers, musicians, writers, scientists, and scholars, from this international community.

FUTURE HISTORY INTERSTICES REDUX is an enhanced version of this original Interstices. It will again secure the participation of this international community and also bring in the community of artists who have engaged with the Living-Labs. Its agenda will be to synthesise the knowledge and experience gained from a quarter of a century of digital creative practice and theory and to map a FUTURE HISTORY for the next 25 years. This will also define the qualities and flavours of the FUTURE HISTORY COMMISSIONS [TBC].

INTERSTICES REDUX celebrates the impact of the FUTURE HISTORY community of artists by providing a transdisciplinary change of perspective on the world.

[Image: Interstices 1998]


The krɒn.ɪ.kəl builds on a rich history of online archiving, digital networks and net art. These activities include early Net Art projects by Roy Ascott La Plissure du Texte (1983) and Aspects of Gaia (1989 at Ars Electronica) and other 1980’s/90’snetwork art in collaboration with Mike Phillips, Donald Rodney Autoicon, Generator (2002), Quorum (2016-) and pragmatic audience metrics tools such as Artory.

krɒn.ɪ.kəl builds an archive of early digital works from the international community engaged with the FUTURE HISTORY initiative. It will collect memories (interviews, online contributions) and digital artefacts (code, media assets, etc) of early digital works and activities, that have never been adequately documented by galleries and museums. This initiative is not concerned with fetishizing artistic works which are at risk of being lost forever, but instead focused on synthesising the qualities, theories and practice embedded in these works that are pertinent to the contemporary concerns of the international community of digital artists. Not least to ensure that this cultural amnesia does not lead to an endless cycle of reinventing the digital wheel. The generative archive, is not about fixing points in the past but functions as an active memory guiding current and future action

The archive will be a living knowledge tool which will feed/off relevant archives (ISEA, Leonardo, Ars Electronica, etc) and use machine learning tools developed by i-DAT through the Qualia, Quorum and Artory (http://quorum.i-dat.org/) projects to release and share new knowledge.

[image: Blackboard Notes by Roy Ascott]

FUTURE HISTORY v1.0 is curated by Mike Phillips who would like to thank:

Martin Brooks / Paul Burtnyk / Luke Christison / Andy Cluer / Patricia Conley / Gianni Corino / Mary Costello / Mike Endacott / Steve Furnell / Joel Hodges / Clara Jackson / Lee Jackson / Angelika Kolodziej / Jon Lilly / Adelmo Otranto / Soraya Phillips / Adam Russell / Stewart Starbuck / David Strang / Eva Zessimedes /


And the Artists:

Roy Ascott / Donald Rodney Autoicon / Donna Cox / Duncan Bass / David Bowie / Brian Eno / Chanel 4 / Neil Harbisson / Jaromil / Margarete Jahrmann / Mediaspace inhabitants / Eduardo Kac  / Laurent Mignonneau / Adam Montandon / Marcos Novak / Robert Pepperell / Richard and Judy / Thecla Schiphorst / Bill Seaman / Search for Terrestrial Intelligence / Christa Sommerer / Chris Speed / Victoria Vesna / Ade Ward / Thom Yorke

And those to follow…