||2001: science + fiction
7-17 June 2001
'Try to gauge the stupidity of your age through imagining some sort of future on the level of the momentary, general view: what you imagine will have the same relationship to the future reality as your earlier imaginings have to the realised present. This relationship clearly demonstrates the prevailing narrow-mindedness.'
Miklós Erdély: Extrapolation Exercises
Of all utopias, those that only have a lifetime of a single generation represent the greatest challenge. During the last few decades, two magical dates have hovered before the eyes of several generations: 1984 and 2001. The distance between the publication of Orwell's novel and the imagined future was thirty-five years, while Kubrick's film was set thirty-three years ahead in the future. Long-term utopias, due to the subjectively unexperiencable time they cover, are classified as fantasy or esoteric literature, while short-term predictions are easily defeated by time. In its basic state, media art lies in the borderland between science and fiction. Its instruments were constructed on the basis of scientific discoveries, and its existence also depends on their operation; in other words, it is fragile, unstable, which is at least a concrete utopia as compared to the notion of 'eternal' art.
In what form do fictional elements occur in the contemporary sciences? The aim science set for itself was to gain knowledge of the world, but these examinations resulted in its continuous transformation. Is it possible that this hierarchy has been reversed? Will the transformation process become the event horizon of recognition? And will research, which is falling out of this trend, be sucked up by oblivion as if by a black hole? Where is the still undoubtedly existing difference between science and pseudo-science, if the imaginable has become a decisive basis of comparison for both? What can the future role of art be in the relational system between science and fiction?
Miklós Peternák - József Mélyi