New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future

In his brilliant new work, leading artist and writer James Bridle offers us a warning against the future in which the contemporary promise of a new technologically assisted Enlightenment may just deliver its opposite: an age of complex uncertainty, predictive algorithms, surveillance, and the hollowing out of empathy. Surveying the history of art, technology and information systems he reveals the dark clouds that gather over discussions of the digital sublime.

J. Paul Neeley

J. Paul is a London based designer and researcher with expertise in Speculative Design, Service Design, Design Research, and Strategy.

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Gemma Jones

Interdisciplinary cultural researcher and strategist specialising in semiotics and futures thinking

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December 17, 2020

We live in times of increasing inscrutability. Our news feeds are filled with unverified, unverifiable speculation, much of it automatically generated by anonymous software. As a result, we no longer understand what is happening around us. Underlying all of these trends is a single idea: the belief that quantitative data can provide a coherent model of the world, and the efficacy of computable information to provide us with ways of acting within it. Yet the sheer volume of information available to us today reveals less than we hope. Rather, it heralds a new Dark Age: a world of ever-increasing incomprehension. In his brilliant new work, leading artist and writer James Bridle offers us a warning against the future in which the contemporary promise of a new technologically assisted Enlightenment may just deliver its opposite: an age of complex uncertainty, predictive algorithms, surveillance, and the hollowing out of empathy. Surveying the history of art, technology and information systems he reveals the dark clouds that gather over discussions of the digital sublime.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/178663547X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=178663547X&linkCode=as2&tag=neeleyworld01-21&linkId=a2d9a2fad62e834f6729728f4742b1cc

Further Reading
Anthropocene or Capitalocene? : Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism
The Earth has reached a tipping point. Runaway climate change, the sixth great extinction of planetary life, the acidification of the oceans - all point toward an era of unprecedented turbulence in humanity's relationship within the web of life. But just what is that relationship, and how do we make sense of this extraordinary transition?
June 25, 2021
Visions from Latin America: Critically navigating uncertain futures (Part one)
Evening lecture/ 26 November 2020
December 8, 2020