FUTURE SHOCK: (Re)Visions of Tomorrow

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June 25 – October 30, 2022

Hunter, Donald B. Anderson and Spring River Galleries

Future Shock: (Re)Visions of Tomorrow features 16 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 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. They used the phrase “future shock” as a way of describing “the social paralysis induced by rapid technological change.” However, it was Alvin Toffler and Adelaide Farrell who broadened the use of the term academically in their 1970 social sciences book Future Shock which characterizes the phrase as a psychological state as individuals and whole societies grapple with too much change too quickly. In 1972, Orson Welles narrated a documentary film based on Toffler and Farrell’s book. The term “future shock” then moved to popular culture through music. Curtis Mayfield’s 1973 song “Future Shock” was further popularized through a rendition by Herbie Hancock in 1983 which was lauded as a groundbreaking experimental combination of funk and jazz with electronic music.

 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, co-curated by Caroline Brooks, Executive Director, and Aaron Wilder, Curator of Collections & Exhibitions, was only possible as a community effort. 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 Roswell Museum Foundation, Josh Berry, Chef Melinda Creamer, Randy Hadzor of Variety Studios, Tonee Harbert, Kerry Moore of B'Wich, Pepper's Bar and Grill, Rudy’s Towing, South Main Metal Building Supply, and Westlake Ace Hardware for their energies, enthusiasm, and extremely generous support of this exhibition. 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.

Future Shock Related Programming:

Tomorrow Talks

Select Tuesdays, 6 p.m. 

See dates listed below

Who are we and where are we headed? As part of the Roswell Museum's exhibition Future Shock: (Re)Visions of Tomorrow, there will be a series of webinars where participating artists will discuss their work in the context of the show's themes. Each conversation will feature two artists participating in the exhibition and will be moderated by Aaron Wilder, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions. Webinars will be Tuesday evenings at 6:00pm Mountain Time on the dates listed below. Attendance is free and open to all. The only requirement is for attendees to use Zoom.us to register for and attend the webinars (see below for Zoom registration links for each session). Recordings of past webinar sessions can be viewed below.

September 13, 2022 with Nicole Anona Banowetz and Ranu Mukherjee

September 20, 2022 with Wayne Hodge and Brandon Vickerd

September 27, 2022 with Kira Dominguez Hultgren and Ross Meckfessel 

October 4, 2022 with Rhonda Holberton and Alfredo Salazar-Caro 

October 18, 2022 with Ala Ebtekar and Sanaz Mazinani 

October 25, 2022 with Manuel Alejandro Rodríguez-Delgado and Shoshannah White 

Past Tomorrow Talk Recordings

September 13, 2022

September 20, 2022

September 27
October 4, 2022
October 25, 2022

"A Machine to Live In" Film Screenings
Saturdays, July 9 - October 29, 3 p.m.

As part of Future Shock, watch A Machine to Live In—a hybrid documentary/art film about Brazil's capital city, Brasilia, a sixties-era “cosmo-futurist” utopia. Screening included with admission. (There will be no screenings on Table Top Game Days, Sept. 3 and Oct. 1)