The Future for Today

The Future for Today is a series of short video vignettes that explore fortune-telling as a hyperephemeral microgenre for ambiguous second-person narratives. Practitioners from different fields produce a series of forecasts using both traditional and novel divination methods. Previous iterations of the project featured techniques such as astrology, dream interpretation, tarot card spreads, speculative science-fiction, and neural network-generated memes, among others. Keeping with the status of prosaic entertainment that prophecy has earned within rational modernity, the project also seeks to occupy interstitial media spaces as its preferred exhibition platforms. This curatorial configuration is meant to foster chance encounters, which sidestep codified readings of “art” while allowing for serendipitous interpretations that interweave potential and quotidian realities. Previous iterations of The Future for Today took place using Instagram’s stories function (2017-18) and an urban media façade (2018).

In the context of the Witch Institute, The Future for Today video vignettes will precede certain screenings and performances. You can also catch them as Instagram stories during the symposium by following @thewitchinstitute

Curated by Gabriel Menotti

Artists:

MARIANA PAR

Mariana Par lives and works in Rio de Janeiro. Currently, she is enrolled in the Visual Arts MA at UFRJ. In the past years, she has participated in several book fairs and gallery exhibitions, experimented with different art languages, edited books and magazines, and attended open courses at various Brazilian institutions.

Her works reflects her engagement with language throughout the visuality and contingency of words, and often tension the limits between public and private domains, the inside and the outside, specially when it is related to urban housing and shared spaces.

She has participated in various exhibitions, including “Ccasa Carioca ” (2020-2021), at Museu de Arte do Rio - Rio de Janeiro, “A Utopia do NÃO” (2019), at Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro, and “The future for today", at SESI - São Paulo, with works that range from questioning closed-source codes to hygienist urbanism and the economics of the institutionalized art world and value.

WORK: Untitled

Apartment-based divination practice using optical character recognition (OCR) tools on alphabet soups. This oracle operates on a yet unknown language.

Thiago Hersan

Thiago Hersan used to be an integrated circuit designer. Today he works with education, communication and art.

He is interested in the digital, biological, political and social technologies that we use to communicate, and the process of ‘hacking’ as the deterritorialization of the techniques necessary to shift, intervene and subvert dominant structures.

He is part of the Astrovandalistas collective and in 2014 he received a VIDA 15.0 award to develop the project memememe.

He has been a resident at Delfina Foundation in London, Impakt in Utrecht, Autodesk in San Francisco and FACT in Liverpool, and shown works at exhibitions like: Mirror Mirror in Lausanne, Humans Need Not Apply in Dublin, Unsettled Artifacts in Los Angeles, Multitudes in São Paulo.

WORK: Algotypes (tarot) (2021)

The Algotypes tarot proposes a new representation for the twenty-two cards of the major arcana, where each archetype is based on a commonly used algorithm.

Despite the term’s recent cachet, algorithms aren’t magical. An algorithm is a list of instructions that outline exactly how to complete a calculation; it’s problem-solving with a list of rules.

Besides, algorithms are written by humans, and as a result, they contain the desires, ideologies, biases and limitations of the people who design them. They are situated: like any form of knowledge-making they reflect the particular conditions in which they are produced, and the social identities and locations of their producers.

The possible representations, interpretations, and re-readings presented in this project are meant to facilitate potential connections between material, abstract, personal, political and social aspects of computation. It’s a way to use the algorithmic as a kind of mirror to amplify what is human within these logics.

 

Luiza Crosman

Luiza Crosman is an artist and cultural producer currently based in Brazil. Her work spans installations, speculative design, education and institutional dynamics with special interest in diagrammatic and infrastructural methodologies.

WORK: Weather Report Girl

"Weather report girl" is a performance-video by Luiza Crosman in which the artist investigates the relationship between weather forecast format and our imagination about our world and others. Taking advantage of internet platforms, such as Zoom, Instagram stories etc she develops two characters, two Luizas, the news anchor and the weather report girl.

HERMETECHNICS INC.

Hermetechnics Inc. is an imaginary Silicon Valley corporation. Our mission is to download ancient knowledge from the Cloud itself, and use magick to create value for our shareholders. With plentiful VC funding and the correct attitude, we will be able to disrupt the esoteric market using new techniques of divination.

Hermetechnics Inc. was established as a critical investigation into techno-occultism, Silicon Valley startup culture and the role of esoteric traditions in a surveillance capitalist society.

Jakub Fiala is a Berlin-based artist and creative technologist. He specialises in algorithmic, sonic and interactive arts and machine learning. His work was exhibited in the UK, Spain, Japan, Italy and South Korea. In his art practice, he explores the relationship between the natural and the supernatural, and complexity emerging from simplicity.

Karin Valis has several art and experimental music projects, mostly centred around various flavours of Western Esotericism. Her studies center around the Mystical Qabalah, Jung and core shamanic practices. In her professional life she is a BE programmer with focus on natural language processing.

WORK: Readings from the Latent Spaces

Readings from the Latent Spaces is a series of audiovisual meditations on the Major Arcana of the Tarot, undertaken by human and machinic consciousness in unison. Each piece in the series comprises a journey through the latent space of a specially trained StyleGAN2 model, accompanied by a bespoke musical arrangement. Dedicating one week to each of the Arcana, the authors (both machine and human) collaborate and meditate on its archetypal structure and symbolism. The collected material is sampled and juxtaposed to map various aspects of the card, gradually producing the final piece. By bypassing rational sensing of the Arcana, the viewer may dive directly into the depths of the unconscious.

a deck of cards with black and red images on them splayed on a white background
Algotypes tarot Thiago Hersan
the image of a phone screen with a thermal map of the world superimposed over a person's face
Weather report girl Luiza Crosman
a grid image of several tarot cards illustrated by the artist
Readings from the Latent Spaces Hermetechnics Inc.
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