And You May Find Yourself – Futures of Cultural and Creative Expression

This book features three futures envisioned by a group of designers, artists, writers, musicians, scholars, technologists and architects. Through four immersive workshops, the group imagined, developed and revised a series of possible, preferable and alternative futures. While the foresight cycle was dubbed Futures of Creative Expression, it quickly became obvious that it is impossible to explore the future of creation without contemplating what the future holds for humanity in general.

Imagining futures in the plural gives us the tools to make sense of and adapt to uncertainty. An inclusive, collaborative cross-disciplinary approach can make those desirable futures more meaningful and tangible for more people and helps us prevent and prepare for less desirable ones.

The perception of creativity as a uniquely human endeavour, deeply rooted in the talents and intent of human beings, is being challenged by the ever-evolving capabilities of artificial intelligence, rapidly gaining momentum as a powerful tool for artistic expression and experimentation. By utilising the capabilities of this set of cutting-edge technologies, artists can now produce highly realistic images and replicate styles reminiscent of famous painters and expressionist movements. However, this technology also raises important questions about the role of human creativity. Or rather, as Oxford University professor of mathematics, Marcus du Sautoy, expresses in his chapter, Collaboration not Competition, we should think about these new sets of technologies as a new best friend on our next creative journey. Similarly, artist and designer Barbara Schussmann in the epilogue, Exploring AI’s Impact on Artistic Expression, reflects on the process of creating the illustrations for this book as a back-and-forth between her and various tools and technologies.

Web3 instigator Sorrel Salb furthers the discussion in her chapter, The Role of Web3 in Shaping the Future of Creativity. She argues that blockchain technologies enable creatives to build communities around themselves and their work and with that as a base, fund their projects without middlemen.

We are on the cusp of a new age of creativity. These questions and more will continue to shape its future. Rather than recommendations, the futures laid out in this work are some of the many ideas we explored throughout the months the group met. We invite you to reflect on these creative futures, find your own stance and continue your own journey of futures-thinking around creative technologies and tools.

Human development is, to a large extent, defined by our capability to create tools—tools for production, organisation, housing and creative expression. The sum of our efforts is culture. By being, seeing, listening and creating we shape society and we may, in fact, find ourselves.

The foresight process was a part of the USB Create project run by Region Skåne and Media Evolution supporting cultural and creative industries in southern Sweden in devel- oping their competencies within digitalisation. USB Create was co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

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Details: 81 pages
Publisher: Media Evolution
Editors: Martin Thörnkvist and Rebecka Nilsson
Copy editor: Rowan Drury
Illustrator: Barbara Schussmann
Graphic concept: HolsterGreen Studio
Layout: Länge Leve kommunikation
ISBN: 978-91-987389-3-3
Published in March 2023

Alisa Larsen
Barbara Schussmann
Marcus du Sautoy
Sorrel Salb