Alexander Naumann

Januar / January - 2019

Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle


"fuTour" is a future awareness parcours. An audio guide leads through six stations, each representing aspects of current future ideology. The voice you can hear from headphones invites you to interact with the objects located at the stations. This offers the chance for interpretation by the visitors and raises questions.

What is the Topic?

Future is an integral part of our present. After a long historical development of our understanding of future, and at least since the Age of Enlightenment, people see future as open and influenceable. At the same time, prevailing narratives and imaginations of future are propagated by all available means. Despite of an "open" future, our ideas about it are never "free". Currently, they are charged with capitalistic expectations and fears. Ideas about future, apart from capitalist beliefs of growth, distribution and marketing logics, are being hampered and, as a consequence, our options regarding alternative futures limited.

Why does it look like this?

In order to perceive each object individually when crossing the parcours, each object is hidden in the upper part of its own black plastic tube. Tubes stand on the one hand for transmission and transport, on the other hand for a different vision, cf. with telescopes or periscopes. The objects themselves are based on basic geometric forms and faintly reminiscent of (consumer) products. Moreover, a distinct color is assigned to each object and container which should facilitate the recognition and navigation through the parcours.

What is special?

A special feature of the “fuTour” parcours is the combination of audio guidance and low-complex, at first sight absurd-looking objects. These are examples of imaginations and narratives that cloud expectations of the future or create "pseudo futures". The audio track wants to create a thought vacuum by means of a spherical atmosphere, in which one can completely engage with the speech text and the objects. The auditory stimuli should thereby promote and challenge one's own imagination. "fuTour" is the attempt to transfer philosophical, economic and cultural discourses about future concepts into an accessible and stimulating form. The aim of the installation is to raise awareness of the future and the ideas associated with it.

What is new?

Future and the idea of it is a question of design. Design is always an expression of norms, hopes and fears - be they related to the present or expectations of the future. This, in turn, has implications for the society in which we live. Hanna Arendt described it as follows: "What appears in the world immediately becomes part of human conditionality." Thus, a large area of design also supports prevailing imaginations and narratives - by materializing, visualizing, and exposing them to people. "fuTour" tries to question current future imaginations and narratives with the means and tools of design.