Emerging from a year of environmental catastrophes caused by climate change, a racial reckoning and insurrection at the US Capitol—highlighting deeply entrenched systemic racism in the US—and a global pandemic that continues to spread and take lives, questions about the future seem unavoidable. Using the challenging and monumental experiences of 2020 as a catalyst, the works of art assembled for future as spectrum help us imagine futures from a multitude of perspectives. Through interdisciplinary and cross-cultural collaboration, some works propose environmental stewardship innovations. Other works highlight the varying degrees of communication, care, and mutualism that can be nurtured when organisms or communities come together. Some artists envision possible futures of race in America through earthly and cosmic imagery, while others propose futures where archaeologists are propelled forward by looking back on the collapse of human civilization.
Artists often inspire us to imagine realities beyond our current conditions, challenging us to envision alternative futures. The 2021 Focus section presents the work of artists looking into the future—be it tomorrow, next year, or 100 years from now—and help us envision a spectrum of possibilities.
Andrea Galvani (b.1973, Verona, Italy)
Andrea Galvani’s neon sculptures use mathematical equations and scientific graphics as keys to unlocking the future. His work points towards the future of innovation, environmental stewardship, and cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaboration.