Future-forming interdisciplinary research

Meme as Myth: A Story of the Future of Communication and Technology


Our graphic future began taking shape as we began imagining what would happen in geological terms to the massive waste and technology dumps of today. We imagined a distant future, set in the 25th century, in which a catastrophic global event in the past had caused the ‘Great Blackout’. Technology as we know it ceased to be a part of human culture, but those in the immediate aftermath were still socialised in the practices and idiom of social media and thus continued certain behaviours with pre-digital tools. What would an analogue version of digital culture look and sound like? What would happen if, over time, a mythology emerged around this mysterious legacy? And what would happen if three academics of the future discovered an object rumoured to be the legendary ‘Y-Phone’, which was central to humans’ life and worldview in the hidden past?


The ‘Nuwssfeed’ imagines some possible answers, as well as the form a kind of material-digital newspaper of the future might take. One of our aims was to envisage some of the long-term environmental consequences of our current dependence on technology and its components. We found a way of building in that aspect by historicizing the future outlined above. Our graphic fiction ‘Nuwssfeed’ thus became a historical artefact, displayed in a museum of the even more distant future, and enabled us to imply a ‘wise’ future, in which the dangerous environmental consequences of short-sighted management of waste in the present (and accidentally in the 25th century) could have been overcome. 


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