Understanding the Future World
Solo | Spring 2018, Royal College of Art & Imperial College
Understanding the Future World examines the effects that future forms of media, specifically virtual reality, could have on how we perceive the world around us. The project is a built experience based off the way current consumption of media through the cell phone affects our perception of the world around us. There are three scenes to the experience: Marketplace, False Perception, and Surveillance. The experience was designed using 3ds Max and Unity.
The first scene of the experience is about mass consumption of cell phones at unsustainable rates. Firstly, we are pushed to buy a new cell phone every year with new generations of phones being released all the time. These phones require raw materials, rare metals that damage the Earth at a far quicker rate than we can replenish. Secondly, we are pushed to buy these new technologies which we don’t fully understand. We don’t understand how they function, we are discouraged from doing so, and more frequently, we are subjects to mass surveillance. Additionally, we don’t yet fully understand how these objects affect our perception of the world around us.
A scene designed around the location and circumstances of Stephon Clark’s death in Sacramento, California. Stephon Clark was shot and killed by police in his backyard after police thought his cell phone in his hand was a gun. This scene takes a looks at the cell phone from a third person point of view.
Cell phones have enabled mass surveillance by corporations and governments that has become increasingly difficult to thwart. This surveillance is not only used to monitor, but is used to nudge the consumptive behaviours of individuals. In situations of police surveillance, lower-income individuals are targeted at a much higher rate.