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ABOUT OPPOSING FUTURES

Curiosity about what the future has in store for us is nothing new. In 1895, H. G. Wells wrote "The Time Machine". The 1939 and 1964 World’s Fair drew millions eager for a glimpse of the future ahead. "1984", George Orwell’s dystopian novel, was actually published in 1949, but the year it depicts is now more than 30 years in the past. "Animal Farm", "Brave New World", "The Martian Chronicles" and so many others, all recede into the past and feel quaint and silly. So too, 1962’s "The Jetsons" and Disney’s "Tomorrowland", though still functioning and fun, fade into the past.

Even 2013's "Her" and 2015's "Ex Machina” begin to feel like they come from some farfetched "caricature" of the future. The worlds of speculative fiction and film making seem to have grappled with visions of the future more than have the creative thinkers in the realm of visual art. "Opposing Futures" offers you the opportunity to stretch your minds and envision what our Artists think may actually lie ahead, and what consequences may flow from those scenarios.

We live in what is generally regarded as a dystopian world - regional conflicts, wars of guns and bombs and of digital takeovers, overt and covert actions, fears of "the other", climate change, environmental destruction, lack of food and water, epidemics, flood, drought, wildfires, earthquakes, tornados. All inducing stress and anxiety.

At the same time, we are told that scientists, entrepreneurs and innovators of every kind are working diligently and with huge resources to solve the world’s problems, with medical advances, AI, and robotic technologies, new ways of growing food, new industries built on daring technologies, sharing economies, and a new social openness and personal freedom allowing people more often to live with a sense of personal choice, respect and security.

The "Opposing Futures" Artists explore what may actually lie ahead. Where we're going and what the future might look like. Who will win? Who will lose? Will we solve the world’s health, water and food problems, bring prosperity to the far corners of the globe, extend the life cycle to include meaningful and productive advanced old age, bring about world peace, and even perhaps extend civilization to new homes in outer space? Or will we succumb to the myriad of catastrophes that are all too often depicted in news reports, solemn scholarly publications and speculative video and fiction? What new questions will arise?

Our artists were invited to let their imagination soar to create new scenarios, pushing the boundaries of creativity using traditional media as well as performance, video, installation and interactivity.

ABOUT THE CURATORS
"Opposing Futures" is curated by Leah Brown, Peter Symons and Elle Schorr

Leah Brown (MFA 2014, UM) and Peter Symons (MFA 2008, Pratt) are a husband/wife team who have been collaborating as artists and curators since they met as undergraduates studying sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2000. They relocated from NYC to Ft Lauderdale in 2008, and began co-curating The Projects Contemporary Art Space in 2010. They have written for and received funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge to fund basic operations and expanded programming for FATVillage Arts District from 2015-2017. In addition to their curations, they collaborate as the art team for Art+Light+Space Studios, and each maintains their own separate studio practice. They were recently named Broward New Times’ 2016 "Best Curators of the Year".

Elle Schorr is an artist / photographer whose work explores aspects of the changing urban / cultural landscape, and founder / organizer of the Art Salons at the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach. She spends much of her time at museums and art exhibits locally and internationally. In 2015, she curated “Artists of Art Salon”, at the Armory and at the Armory Annex Gallery in Lake Worth, an exhibition of the work of 57 artists from South Florida who have shared their work in Art Salon presentations,