New Futures™, 2021
4K video, made from commercial stock footage
(Transcript available for download)
Voice acting by Francis Greenslade; sound design by Final Sound; music by Secession Studios; quote by William Shakespeare from Richard II (Act 5, Scene 5). This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
New Futures™ by Laresa Kosloff parodies corporate self-improvement and personal branding trends through a science-fiction narrative made from commercial stock footage and narrated by a voice actor. Kosloff’s imagined scenario proposes a world where a genetic engineering company develops technology that can biologically change a person’s personality. Due to power and wealth inequalities, access to this ‘biohacking’ service is reserved for the rich and those who are able to commodify their new personality by trading social influence on the stock market. The resulting social hierarchy of this new world order is met with resistance by a group of hoodie-garbed hacktivists who are excluded from the system. Within the context of Who can think, what can think, Kosloff’s work takes on additional associations in relation to troubling histories of eugenics and social engineering, as well as expectations of social performance that exclude neurodivergent ways of being.
Sound description: An authoritative voice provides narration while synthesised music plays in the background. The background music is at first uplifting but later becomes subdued and sinister as the ‘hackers’ appear in the narrative. When people point at or touch the holographic diagrams, soft digital beeping sounds are made.