The Roswell Museum
Future Shock: (Re)Visions of Tomorrow
A Group Show Featuring Artwork by 15 Artists and a Feature-Length Film, Co-curated by Caroline Brooks and Aaron Wilder
Future Shock: (Re)Visions of Tomorrow banner image featuring a video still from Sanaz Mazinani's Threshold, 2015, Looped Digital Video with Sound (4:45 Duration), Courtesy of the Artist and Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto
June 25-October 30, 2022
Members' Opening Party: Friday June 24, 2022, 5:00pm-8:00pm
Happy Hour & Film Screening of A Machine to Live In: Friday July 1, 2022, 5:00pm-8:30pm ($20/person, buy tickets here)
Strolling Performance by Artist Nicole Anona Banowetz: Saturday July 2, 11:00am-2:00pm
A Space-Inspired Evening with the Giovanni String Quartet: Saturday July 2, doors open at 6:30pm ($15/person, buy tickets here)
A Machine to Live In Film Screenings: Thursdays, July 7 - September 15, 6:00pm & Saturdays, July 9 - October 29, 3:00pm
Third Thursday Gallery Talks: July 21, August 18, September 15 at 5:00pm
The Roswell Museum
Donald B. Anderson, Russell Vernon Hunter, & Spring River Galleries
1011 North Richardson Avenue
Roswell, NM 88201
Future Shock: (Re)Visions of Tomorrow features national and international artists exploring humanity’s shared future and our connection to space, science, and technology. The exhibition includes a diverse array of concepts and media. From the wonder of space exploration to anxiety for machine intelligence and our changing climate, Future Shock is a reminiscing on who we are and the preservation of our human spirit amid the continued evolution of our technology-filled surroundings.
The exhibition includes work from a renowned group of artists, including Aziz + Cucher, Nicole Anona Banowetz, Kira Dominguez Hultgren, Ala Ebtekar, Wayne Hodge, Rhonda Holberton, Sanaz Mazinani, Ross Meckfessel, Ranu Mukherjee, Manuel Alejandro Rodríguez-Delgado, Tulapop Saenjaroen, Alfredo Salazar-Caro, Elias Sime, Brandon Vickerd, and Shoshannah White. Also included is the film A Machine to Live In co-directed by Yoni Goldstein and Meredith Zielke.
The term “future shock” is defined as a state of distress or disorientation due to rapid social or technological change.” The phrase is believed to have first been used by Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner in 1963 in a joint presentation to the National Council of Teachers of English. In their remarks they “used the phrase ‘future shock’ as a way of describing the social paralysis induced by rapid technological change.” However, it was Alvin Toffler who really broadened the use of the term academically, first in an article entitled The Future as a Way of Life in Horizon magazine in 1965, and then even more so in the 1970 social sciences book Future Shock he co-authored with his wife Adelaide Farrell. Toffler and Farrell’s extensive book characterizes “future shock” as a psychological state as individuals and whole societies grapple with too much change too quickly. This rate of change, they argue, is alienating, disorienting, overwhelming, and stressful. As a part of this change, the familiarity of institutions ranging from the family and professions to religions and national identities wanes. In 1972, Orson Welles narrated a documentary film based on Toffler and Farrell’s book. The term “future shock” then moved from the academic realm to popular culture through music. Curtis Mayfield’s 1973 album Back to the World included a song entitled Future Shock. It was ten years later that the term “future shock” became even more popularized when Herbie Hancock covered Mayfield’s song in 1983 on his thirty-fifth album entitled Future Shock that was lauded as a groundbreaking experimental combination of funk and jazz styles with electronic music. Hancock won many awards for both the album and related music videos. In a 2020 review, Richard Grinell of AllMusic said that Hancock’s album “makes quite a post-industrial metallic racket. Frankly, the whole record is an enigma; for all of its dehumanized, mechanized textures and rigid rhythms, it has a vitality and sense of humor that make it difficult to turn off.”
The works in this exhibition connect with aspects of “future shock” through a plurality of artistic perspectives and a range of strategies, including exploring materiality, imagining, immersing, juxtaposing, and layering to present a (re)vision/revising/re-envisioning of tomorrow. The artists break down the past/future dichotomy of how we think of time, explore effects of automation and planned obsolescence, investigate digitally driven (dis)connections between individuals, and forefront concepts of “placeness” and utopia/dystopia. Altogether, Future Shock reflects on the multitude of possible paths to alternative futures and seeks to activate our awareness as to which, individually and collectively, we might pursue.
Future Shock: (Re)Visions of Tomorrow was only possible as a community effort. It was sponsored by the Roswell Museum Foundation and we feel a deep debt of gratitude to all employees across the Roswell Museum, without whom this large, ambitious exhibition would not have materialized. We want to sincerely thank the City of Roswell, particularly the Facilities Department, the Chef Melinda Creamer, Tonee Harbert, Kerry Moore of B'Wich, Pepper's Bar and Grill, and South Main Metal Building Supply for their energies, enthusiasm, and extremely generous support of this exhibition. In-kind support was provided by Josh Berry, Stellar Coffee, Randy Hadzor of Variety Studios, Rudy’s Towing, the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program, and Westlake Ace Hardware. Additional support was provided by Museum Interns Kats Jimenez and Janet Freeman and volunteers Elijah a.y.e., Michael Beitz, Amber Spence, and UNM students Haley Hughes, Madison Sandoval, and Tiffany Ynostroza. We would like to extend our humblest appreciation to Kira Dominguez Hultgren as well as Eleanor Harwood Gallery (San Francisco, CA) for their help in facilitating the loan of Kira Dominguez Hultgren’s work; to Ala Ebtekar as well as Zoë Lee for their help in facilitating the loan of Ala Ebtekar’s work; to Rhonda Holberton as well as to all those affiliated with CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions (San Francisco, CA) for their help in facilitating the loan of Rhonda Holberton’s work; to Sanaz Mazinani as well as Sasha Furlani, Scott Poborsa, and Robyn Zolnai at Stephen Bulger Gallery (Toronto, ON) for their help in facilitating the loan of Sanaz Mazinani’s work; to Ranu Mukherjee as well as Octavio Gonzalez Figueroa, Wendi Norris, and Rachel Trout at Gallery Wendi Norris (San Francisco, CA) for their help in facilitating the loan of Ranu Mukherjee’s work and to Rachel Panella at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Rich Rice at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and Eric Anopolsky at the New Mexico Military Institute for their technical expertise in installing Ranu Mukherjee’s work; to Manuel Alejandro Rodríguez-Delgado as well as Nancy Fleming at the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art (Roswell, NM) for their help in facilitating the loan of Manuel Alejandro Rodríguez-Delgado’s work; to Elias Sime as well as Samara Brenneman, Emily Ruotolo, Annie Stuart, and Bethany Widrich at James Cohan Gallery (New York, NY) for their help in facilitating the loan of Elias Sime’s work; to Sebastian Alvarez, Yoni Goldstein, Meredith Zielke, and Mass Ornament Films for their help in facilitating the licensing necessary to screen the film A Machine to Live In throughout the exhibition; and to Aziz + Cucher, Nicole Anona Banowetz, Wayne Hodge, Ross Meckfessel, Tulapop Saenjaroen, Alfredo Salazar-Caro, Brandon Vickerd, and Shoshannah White for generously loaning their own artworks to us directly.
Co-curated by Caroline Brooks & Aaron Wilder