Every evening from Monday 30 October to Sunday 5 November, a fleet of private electric cars will arrive in Aarhus, Denmark to take a select group of passengers to a secret city location where they will be dropped into the science fiction world of 2097.
Exploring tunnels, stairwells, and floodlit spaces using a handheld GPS device, you will encounter a person from the future, before you are returned to the present. Uncover a world where consciousness is transferred from the dead to the living and molecular harvesters destroy cities and rebuild them.
2097: We Made Ourselves Over spans two cities – Aarhus in Denmark, the current European Capital of Culture, and Hull the current UK City of Culture. These two cities commissioned artist group Blast Theory to rethink possible futures with their citizens.
Over the last year and a half we have worked with the residents of Aarhus and Hull to imagine a possible future 80 years from today. We have run workshops with school kids, young people and the over 60s. We have made a series of films with experts who can shed light on the coming century. We’ve created a free app which lets you interact with a person from the future, and be a protagonist in the 2097 films.
Still from the 2097 app: to download for free search ‘2097’ in your app store
In the midst of the political turbulence of the last year and a half, we chose to focus on utopian possibilities. Scenarios involving climate crisis, economic collapse and rising hatred are constants in our daily news, opinion columns and even the mouths of our leaders. We don’t need any help to peer over the precipice and imagine a future world gone very wrong.
Instead we looked back in time to the moment when progressive and left-wing values held sway. In the 1960s it seemed that radical right-wing ideas fed by economists Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek had no chance of public adoption. Their commitment to the reduction of the state was – to most people – unthinkable. Rather than give up on those ideas, a small group of adherents formed think tanks, journals and protest groups; they developed allies and laid the intellectual ground work for a possible policy agenda. When Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were elected, they were ready to make good use of the power they had won. Today conservative ideas such as nationalism, hostility to migration and ill defined, interminable wars against terrorism and drugs seem firmly entrenched.
Now might be the perfect moment to consider the unthinkable. New spaces for fresh thinking are required. In Blast Theory we have been making interactive art for the last 26 years. Our work is about creating conversations with strangers. We make interactive installations, online games, smartphone apps and even the world’s first live interactive film. We are fascinated by the power and imagination of the people who take part in our work in cinemas, online and on the street.
2097: We Made Ourselves Over takes its inspiration from the discussions we had with the citizens of Aarhus and Hull. We have made five short science-fiction films, and a live event in each city set in 2097. In this world, three teenage girls rule the city, locusts are farmed in balloons overhead and when you die you bequeath your consciousness to another person. New technology allows all matter to be harvested at a molecular level and reused.
In this imaginative playground we hope there is space to explore new ideas about the future. So, for example, is it possible consider a world in which all private property is abolished? What would it look like and how do we get there? And while we’re at it, can we hope we can create some cracking bits of sci fi.
Blast Theory are renowned worldwide for their interactive experiences mixing games, theatre and technology. Their work has been shown at Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival in New York, Venice Biennale and the Royal Opera House in London.
Ticket price: Kr 125-250
Departures every 15 minutes between 5.30pm and 7.30pm. A maximum of 9 people can book for each 15 minute slot.