Today, the radical difference between past and future has become more pronounced than ever before. Whatever it is that awaits us tomorrow, it will substantially differ from what constitutes our present today. The future is no longer a framework within which final certainties can be found (the end of the world, the last judgment), but only a horizon.
The fast-paced development of technology, providing societies with ever new hardware and software applications, is one of the driving factors of this process.
It goes hand in hand with the changing concept of future itself. If before the present was viewed as an accumulation of past events and thus a stable entity, today the present is designed as the laboratory for future events. The future is "open" - it is no longer just unknown but somehow fatefully decided in advance.
It is precisely for this reason that the present has become a problem, a challenge to be taken up - in contrast to all older societies, which had found their safety exactly in that present. The exaggerated optimistic or pessimistic expectations of the future are a direct result of this opening up. This creates enormous time pressure - the present is punctualised, it has become a place of decision-making.
Fate rests in our hands and minds - at least this is the idea.
It is deceptive, because the future course of events cannot be controlled, no matter whether it concerns climate targets, economic development or the fight against a virus.
Which is why there can be no answer to the question of what kind of society awaits us there.
Just like no one can remain in the present forever, no one can go into the future ahead of time. That which comes has not yet come. Every beginning of whatever can only ever take place in the present. Whatever is presented as the future, it can only be seen from the horizons of this present - as a present future. In this sense, future perspectives are in fact always only present perspectives.
The conference addresses these different horizons with regard to the question of media - as a platform bringing together international scholars, researchers, artists, and practitioners to engage in debates on "futures of media“.