• Tomorrow

Curtis, Barry, 2013, Journal Article, Tomorrow Journal of Visual Culture, 12 (2). p. 279. ISSN 1470-4129

Abstract or Description:

An authority on the Independent Group, Curtis was first invited to present his research at the ‘Bunk’ conference at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London (2012). The conference brought together a large number of leading scholars from the UK, Europe and North America, including Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, Beatriz Colomina, Ben Highmore and Dirk van den Heuvel, to develop new frameworks and structures for interpreting the Group and its activities. Curtis’s essay for the peer-reviewed Journal of Visual Culture is an extension of the research he presented at the ‘Bunk’ conference.
Focusing on ‘This is Tomorrow', Curtis’s research constitutes an intellectual archaeology of this seminal 1956 exhibition. It is widely known that science fiction and futurology were influential on members of the Independent Group (typically, van Vogt and writers for Astounding Science Fiction are cited), but the precise range and nature of their reading had not previously been examined. Curtis’s research for this essay involved reading contemporary texts on games and systems theory by figures such as Ludwig von Bertalanffy as well as 'futurology' by Robert Jungk and Ossip Flechtheim. This allowed him to make a uniquely subtle demonstration of the complex interplay of negative and positive constructs of the future in the 1950s milieu from which the work emerged.
By drawing on the collecting and reading activities, as well as the autobiographical writings, of members of the Independent Group, Curtis was also able to imbricate their own sense of their developing careers with their awareness of the new sensibilities being brought into play by contemporary technologies and forms of entertainment.

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies
School or Centre: Research & Innovation
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2013 16:23
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2018 15:45
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1444
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