During the month of January through to August 2018, Fiona J MacLellan worked as part of Scotland’s Futures Forum team on a paid internship through the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities.
Bringing a methodological contribution around design practice and participatory research, her placement was immersive and dialogical. A set of four art works were commission by the Futures Forum to visually represent the growing body of work coming from the Scotland 2030 Programme.
The prints were created through a collaboration between Oliver Pitt, an illustrator, and Fiona J MacLellan, designer and researcher, both based in Glasgow.
Oliver and Fiona worked together on the prints through collage of words, ideas and images.
Fiona reflected on her experience:
“We conversed by abstracting pictures from their contexts, situating them in times between here and there. In the newly situated, we arrived at obscurity and new recipes for narratives were created.
“I would describe these art works as futurescapes, one print on each of the thematics (Wellbeing, Technology, Environment and Education). They each visually represent and curate lengthy reports exploring Scotland’s future.
“New conversation have formed around the art works, there is scope to see them as the pillars of the Forum’s work portfolio, while also raising questions around the physical experience of Scotland’s Futures. But more than anything they highlight the imaginative perspective of future gazing. What would it look and feel like to be in the year 2030.”
Created using a Risograph printer from both digital and hand-made collage, the series of four prints come from and step beyond the portfolio of research created out of the Scotland 2030 Programme. Our Future Scotland provided a point of correlation in futures studies for the Futures Forum.
Wellbeing: every man is an island
This work represents the challenges of being well in the society of tomorrow. Supporting one another calls for a community of care, both mentally and physically. Something that has diminished since the ‘every one for yourself’ mentality has set in. So how well are we all?
Set in 2030.
Understanding wellbeing means more than just measuring by index but knowing how to best support the fragile state. Being in a state of wellbeing, being in comfort (happy and healthy) is not the given but a rare optimism found in the few. This state has been compared to Zen found in meditation, an athlete resting after finish of a race or a rush of endorphins found after natural childbirth. A state known to the few, naturally.
The focus is on the one; one is on the focus. This cycle perpetuates itself. Nutrients are easily harvested and farming has been made easier than ever. The focus is farming for ourselves, with little regard to the other. And yet someone brings the water, takes the waste. It comes and goes and seeing as the need is being met there is little reason to engage.Trust is an issue. Can I exist on my own?
Technology: Surveying the surveillance
This work represents the rush of technological advances against the trend for being wild. These contradictory flows are competing and pushing us to the rim of our adventure-sphere.
Set in 2030.
The jobs have mostly been mechanised. It is no longer clear who is the creator or the consumer. They are doing so much for us. Enhanced technologies are found within the technologies with which we deploy. ‘Nomenclatures of the more conspicuous arts’ (Jacob Bigelow, 1829). He knew it well. We can see and feel your effects but we do not fully comprehend.
Into the unknown. Must we push on?
Environment: All paths lead to nature
This work represents the cycles of nature. That of humans and human creation exists in the anthroposcene, where we are set in an epoch to effect beyond the phenomena of the physical world (plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth).
Set in 2030.
Going back to the wild. Breathing a free environment is, of course, within a bubble. When you payat the gates you payper wildzone, it cost to leave the group. But someone told me if you go far enough they can’t charge you.
With the wind that blows you have power for your batteries. The sun is channeled into your greens, the more you seed the more crop for next planting. And the waste goes into heating. You have read all you can, but is it enough to break the edge. Thats where you can come propagate new ideas.
The cycles of nature are moving. Are they with or without us?
Education: Intrinsic to Me
This work represents the individual amidst wider educational goals. The focus of learning has always been the inquisition of knowledge, but to who’s effect? The idea of intrinsic motivation is that which drives us naturally, a build in desire, unique to us all.
Set in 2030.
An inspection report read, “[Here] the education focuses too much on the playful nature of learning.” When was the point that his playfulness stopped being important. Of course its always personal, they log my own pathway like some sort of algorithm. Of course we can be predictive, but we can also be impulsive too. Responsive.
There is nothing stopping him at this point, a blissful (porous) state.
The child is both in education and education is in the child. Where does one end and the other begin?