the digital ambassadors at FACT making mini prediction machines


Alongside the labs and workshops The Prediction Machine artwork was exhibited as part of the New Observatory Exhibition at FACT in Liverpool (June-September 2017) and at Cambridge Library (February 2018) and as part of the Techtopia Festival at Polka Children’s Theatre in May/June 2018.

2 workshops with the wonderful Digital Ambassadors at FACT took place in July where we explored the themes of Performing the Future in the context of Liverpool and their own perspectives on climate and environmental change, resulting in the group designing their own mockup mini prediction machines.

An additional workshop took place at Arbury’s Not Quite Over the Hill group in Cambridge, see the blog here.

Image: The Digital Ambassadors at FACT making mini-prediction machines connected to weather sensors that collect data about the present in order to help us think about the future

The Prediction Machine and Promises Machine exhibited by a window at Nottingham Contemporary
Image: The Prediction Machine artwork exhibited at Nottingham Contemporary (2015)

a girl turning the handle to power The Prediction Machine at Polka Theatre
Image: The Prediction Machine artwork exhibited at Polka Theatre (2018)

The Future Machine

The Future Machine is an experiment in thinking about our long term future. Using scientific data, personal narratives and observation as a way to ‘see’ and ‘respond’ as the future unfolds. The Future Machine explores how technology can help us design our own individual and collective responses and if technology can support long term commitments, promises and responsibility.

The Future Machine in it’s first stage is linked to the artwork The Prediction Machine. Visitors to exhibitions of this artwork are invited to submit a promise to the ‘Promises Machine’ using a code at the bottom of the prediction they receive from The Prediction Machine. Once they submit a promise for the future they are then asked whether they want to be part of the Future Machine.

At a future date they will receive an email inviting them to join the Future Machine community and update the community on their promise. For those that have submitted a postal address they will each receive a unique artwork ‘a message from the future’ in the post in the new year and for each new year as long as the project has the resources to continue. They will also receive a couple of emails a year asking them to reflect on their promise and update the community.

A set of Mini Prediction Machines (electronic devices connected to a weather sensor hub than can display the weather data and receive messages from the Future Machine community) have also been developed as part of this work – creating opportunities for participants in the public workshops to capture their own data, imagine a machine could track, capture and interpret data as the future unfolds. These machines send live weather data to the Future Machine community pages and allow participants to ‘narrate’ via a blog their responses to the data.

girl holding up a prediction with the code on the bottomImage: A girl holding up a prediction with the unique code on the bottom