October 24, 2017


Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery at Haverford College

Cybersyn Operations Room Datafeed with Chairs, 1972–73. Courtesy Gui Bonsiepe.

Curator: Ingrid Burrington

In engineering, industrial design, and architecture, “futureproofing” typically refers to creating something in a way that minimizes or slows down technological obsolescence. Futureproofing methods are often reflective of people’s anxieties, aspirations, and assumptions about the present, sometimes acting as self-fulfilling prophecies.

In this sense, they recall another form of proof—proof as mathematical argument, defined by a series of accepted axioms and truths. The artists in Futureproof engage with the many malleable interpretations of futureproofing, drawing from both the legacy of military and corporate scenario planning and the use of semi-fictionalized artifacts or archives as “proof,” or evidence, of alternate timelines or futures yet to come. In a time when each day seems to bring a new cascade of political uncertainties, when every "now" is assumed to be "more than ever" and every crisis feels more untenable than the last, Futureproof encourages viewers to interrogate the fraught systems of the present moment and imagine how they might be otherwise.

Morehshin Allahyari, Salome Asega, Gui Bonsiepe and the Cybersyn Project, the United States Department of Energy, Ilona Gaynor, Ayodamola Tanimowo Okunseinde, Shell Corporation, and Ian Alan Paul

Futureproof is accompanied by a publication designed by Frank Chimero with contributions by Salome Asega, Morehshin Allahyari, Ingrid Burrington, Ilona Gaynor, Tim Maly, Ida Momennejad, Fiamma Montezemolo, Ayodamola Tanimowo Okunseinde, Ian Alan Paul, and Jenna Wortham.

Futureproof is presented by The John B. Hurford ’60 ‪Center for the Arts and Humanities and the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery.

Part of the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities, the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery aims to extend cultural literacy through the display and analysis of work across visual and material media. Envisioning exhibition spaces as active workshops for the exploration of visual culture, the Exhibitions Program partners with faculty, students, and visiting curators to design exhibitions that connect curricular interests and scholarship with contemporary artistic practice.

Press contact: Matthew Seamus Callinan, Associate Director of the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery and Campus Exhibitions, at mcallina [​at​] or T (610) 896 1287.

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