Season 4, Post 32: Art lesson

As regular readers of this Blog will now be familiar, your author is constantly seeking new ways in which to learn more about the future. To this end…

Season 4, Post 32: Art lesson

As regular readers of this Blog will now be familiar, your author is constantly seeking new ways in which to learn more about the future. To this end, he spent an hour recently on a guided tour around Selfridges, one of London's largest department stores. However, this was no shopping trip. The venue (which our host for the tour described as having a “relentlessly innovative” culture) has teamed up with 11 different artists to create the SUPERFUTURES exhibition.

Part of the purpose of art has always been to educate. The angle behind the Selfridges’ exhibition (above and beyond bringing in the punters) is to demonstrate the ways in which artists are using their projects to imagine a more positive and sustainable future. The retailer is also practising what it preaches, introducing more plastic alternatives, plant-based materials and recycled options into its product range. It hopes that customers will do the same.

Beyond the visually compelling nature of works on display (a nine-foot tall, hyper-realistic moving face was the standout feature, although enlarged insect genitalia were also thought-provoking), there was much to take away which correlates directly to future trends we have discussed elsewhere. Monira Al Qadari’s “Benzene Float”, for example, highlights the world’s (unhealthy) dependence on oil and constitutes a call to arms for greater advancement of renewables projects. Meanwhile Olivia Laric’s “Reclining Pan” raises issues of provenance, identity and authorship. By implication, it also discusses ownership of material products and how different, or novel, substances can be used as alternatives. Nanotechnology and synthetic biology are themes which we believe will only grow in importance. Regarding the huge face and insect parts (respectively, Gentle Monster’s “The Giant” and Joey Holder’s “aequator”), both allude to the crossover between technology and biology. They pose the question of whether artificial intelligence (AI) can create new ‘species’ to solve old problems. At the same time, there is an implicit recognition of the limits of technology and the ethics of AI.

The final exhibit we viewed was a piece by Nico Vascellari. Its title is self-explanatory: “in dark times we must dream with open eyes.” The key point made here – and one with which we concur – is that in a world which many see as rightly challenging, it is important to look for positives. Change will not happen unless we fight for it.

The Future Trends Blog will now be taking a summer break and will return towards the end of August. 

9 August 2022​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

The above does not constitute investment advice and is the sole opinion of the author at the time of publication. Past performance is no guide to future performance and the value of investments and income from them can fall as well as rise.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Photos taken by author.

Alex Gunz, Fund Manager

Disclaimers

The document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or any recommendation to buy, or sell or otherwise transact in any investments. The document is not intended to be construed as investment research. The contents of this document are based upon sources of information which Heptagon Capital LLP believes to be reliable. However, except to the extent required by applicable law or regulations, no guarantee, warranty or representation (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this document or its contents and, Heptagon Capital LLP, its affiliate companies and its members, officers, employees, agents and advisors do not accept any liability or responsibility in respect of the information or any views expressed herein. Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Where this document provides forward-looking statements which are based on relevant reports, current opinions, expectations and projections, actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All opinions and estimates included in the document are subject to change without notice and Heptagon Capital LLP is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital LLP disclaims any liability for any loss, damage, costs or expenses (including direct, indirect, special and consequential) howsoever arising which any person may suffer or incur as a result of viewing or utilising any information included in this document. 

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