Wallpapering into backcasted future(s)

It’s the time of the year, when Time’s Up start flipping through all those images, notes, sketches and scratches being taken and made throughout previous months. Rarely out of melancholy, much more given by the fact that applications for grants for the following year asks about all activities, successes and events of relevance in the past months.

While collecting this list we stumbled over a photo-album documenting almost every single step of attaching some wallpaper. Showing an “event- timeline” for the years 2036 – 2045. Developed for our contribution in the exhibition “Work Upside Down” in autumn, in Cluj (RO).

We recalled how anxious we have been – we have never done “wallpaper-mounting” before. 10m in length. 2m in height. How shall those huge, unwieldy pieces of paper make their way onto a wall – without being wrinkled, teared in parts, only half stuck, showing utterly bad overlaps or gaps, etc? Our imaginations in terms of “what can go wrong” have shown a tremendous spectrum of options.

Therefore we have been super-happy that Oana Big from Centrul Cultural Clujean organized an “wallpaper-mounting experienced person” who gave us a hand (it turned out that he eventually did the whole job for us…). This was a big advantage for the exhibition; on the other hand – our inexperience in mounting wallpapers stays….

Anyway – anxiety was paired with excitement, since the application of the “huge piece” allowed us to see a „room-sized version, a 1:1 scale version of something until then only seen on split-screens or in single printed A3 parts. And – it allowed us to enjoy something also new in our “future-scenarios-related history”. Because, it was for the first time we extensively used a method called “backcasting”.

Backcasting – described in abbreviated form – is a process of starting from a desirable (sustainable) future as a vision of success, then looking back to today to identify the most strategic steps or actions necessary for achieving that specified future. Well; we adapted the method of backcasting. As we adapt pretty much every existing, common tool and method being around within Future Studies, to playfully integrate it into our storyworld-based future scenarios.

Admittedly, our elaborated steps – starting from the preferred success in the year 2045 back to beginning of the year 2036 – were not all marked by the utmost seriousness. Nevertheless, strategic steps or actions needed have been doubtlessly influenced and coupled with social, economic, medical and technological trends we can see today.

We are looking forward to continue this type of futuring in the coming months to work out steps and actions needed to inspire a future in which the decoupling of “work and income” has been happening.

Work Upside Down is feeding Curiouser and Curiouser, cried Alice: Rebuilding Janus from Cassandra and Pollyanna (CCA), an artbased research project from the Institute for Design Investigations at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and Time’s Up. It is supported by the Programme for Arts-based Research (PEEK) from Austrian Science Fund (FWF): AR561. As well as through BMKOES, Linz Kultur, Land OÖ & Linz AG.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s