Still from "Styles and Customs of the 2020s," 2017, Virtual reality, variable duration, By Kim Laughton, based on text from DIS creative brief by Marvin Jordan, A Scatter X DIS Collaboration, Supported by the Hillman Photography Initiative at Carnegie Museum of Art

Styles and Customs of the 2020s

Hall of Architecture

In this Virtual Reality (VR) experience, artists invite us to consider how a re-imagined future can shed light on our present moment.

This newly commissioned work, built by Scatter, and based on a creative brief by DIS, presents a digital dystopia inflected by rapid climate change, social unrest, and shifting global economics. Inside the VR environment, users will be transported to an ancient cave, animated by the flickering light of an age-old fire. Slowly, the cave begins to dissolve, revealing one of four scenarios from the 2020s. Over the course of 3-4 minutes, users are transported forward in time, to scenes in which humanity itself is in a state of dissolution. Space-steading billionaires, sound-canceling isolation bubbles, water crises, and killer drones clad in artisanal Tuscan leather—these scenes are all science fiction. But, like the best science fiction, they tell us more about the present than the future.

Rocky landscape with house in the background. Palm trees grow in the foreground, and debris litters the ground. A transparent dome structure arches overhead.
Still from “Styles and Customs of the 2020s,” 2017, Virtual reality, variable duration, By Jakob Steensen, based on text from DIS creative brief by Tue Greenfort with Julia Moritz, Chus Martinez, and Timur Si-Qin, A Scatter X DIS Collaboration, Supported by the Hillman Photography Initiative at Carnegie Museum of Art

 

The work uses cutting-edge photographic techniques to scan objects and fabricate entire environments. In the real life, it is situated in the museum’s Hall of Architecture, a massive space filled with plaster casts of monuments from around the Western world. Like VR, this uncanny space plays on the reproduction of reality, mashing up architecture across distances of geography and culture. Take a virtual journey through time and space, and consider how artists can illuminate our present moment and invite consideration of a rapidly-approaching future we can only imagine.

 

Styles and Customs of the 2020s is a Scatter X DIS collaboration based on DIS, Styles and Customs of the 2020s. Collaborating artists: Kim Laughton, Rachel Rossin, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, and Alan Warburton. Writing by Tyler Coburn, Nick DeMarco, Khalid Al Gharaballi, Tue Greenfort, Victoria Ivanova, Marvin Jordan, Jane Long, Toke Lykkeberg, Chus Martinez, Shawn Maximo, Julia Moritz, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Timur Si­-Qin, David Andrew Tasman, Agatha Wara, and Andrew Norman Wilson. Virtual Reality Director: Alexander Porter. Lead Producer: Mei-Ling Wong. Technical Director / Lead Developer: Elliott Mitchell. 3D Assistant: Jillian Morrow. Associate Producer: Anna Henson. Narrators: Adrian Massey and Malcolm Bowen. 3D cave scans captured by Silvain Yart, Comité Départemental de Spéléologie du Loiret, France.

Styles and Customs of the 2020s is part of LIGHTIME, a year of programming from CMOA’s Hillman Photography Initiative.