Ignite MCN 2021: Speculative Fiction: A Dispatch from the Year 3021

Speculative Fiction: A Dispatch from the Year 3021 (IGNITE)


Unknown Speaker 00:00
Jeremy Munro is a database administrator at the Smithsonian National Museum of African art. He's deeply passionate about social justice, and the way it's expressed in museums and all sorts of things, including civic infrastructure. Ask him also about his violence. If you're interested in his favorite violence, you end up catching up with them. This is his second Ignite at MCI and I'm really excited for Jeremy to join us today. Take it away Jeremy.

Unknown Speaker 00:33
Alright, so here's some speculative ncn presentations of the future 2050 digital strategy when the state is underwater 2075 securing digital resources in a rare earth metal shortage 2100 diverse now a case for protecting the global south from aggressive rare earth extraction. And so how do we get here, right neoliberal era, the individual is responsible for solving all problems. Thus, we all have physical and mental isolation. And technology exacerbated this. So I'm gonna pop a Lacroix Happy 3pm so this turn, it relies on what Mark Fisher calls capitalist realism, capitalism makes it impossible imagine any other way in the world to organize than it is now. And that, you know, we have the winning out of Western values need to classify and systemize everything and Western enlightenment as this kind of form of cultural hegemony. And, you know, we all know most museums fail to meaningfully address a bunch of this stuff here. And you know, they're absolutely sure is this feeling that things are going to get worse before they get better, which you know, is very frustrating to live with. But I want to articulate an ideal future for everybody. That looks a little bit more hopeful, even though we might have to live through some bad stuff first.

Unknown Speaker 01:52
I feel like the slides aren't incrementing they're gonna kill. So what is the Museum of 3021, a digital wallet, let's get some common ground. So technology can be useful for museums, it can also do harm and many museums pursue technology for its own sake, or repair relevant, I think this is all stuff that we can all pretty much safely agree on. So the lens I'm using is solar punk, which is sci fi that assumes humanity solves the climate problems it faces today. And technology is something to be used only when it is mutually agreed upon benefit. And it's focused on global justice, not just green living for those who can afford it. So why divisions of the future always look like the present, but with the material issues with how we live removed. Like for example, cars are fine, we just need electric vehicles and green energy, the museum just these little startup culture in Silicon Valley, rather than something truly radical and transformative. And like no one knows what technology is gonna be like 50 years from now, let alone 1000. And technology connects, but it also isolates for example, the proliferation of smartphones is connection, but the platform's on them isolate us and particularly proliferation of smartphones in the global south is good so like big machine learning networks require Big Data Centers these are huge carbon emissions there's a potential benefit versus damage what work is automated because we lack staff resources versus what were can only be done that way and if so, is that we're truly necessary and you know, we're running on a rare earth metals, the mining conditions of global South are coming as humanity Tesla batteries, not good at it, power generation is green. You know, even if power generation is green, rare earth metals and carbon production is a huge problem. And like so as digital professionals, I think our new task isn't to be evangelists for every tech, but instead to be in the technological Vanguard running defense, about people care about profit over damage and technology is a means not an end. Like if you take away anything from today take away that it's a means not an end. So often, we do not choose technology or a built environment, they're chosen for us, right? These technologies sold them at a threat that you the worker or the consumer be obsolescent or left behind. And remember society is built to tell us what we desire. Um, and so it's courageous, I think to say that we don't want toxic startup culture, right? And we should resist extractive technologies. So we all agree physical extractive resource stuff bad, but like also, there's extraction of our data, surveillance and attraction of our time or attention. And like less you call me a Luddite, you know, the Luddites destroyed machinery that was destroying their jobs, it was destroying their ability to like, make money and be in the world. And you know, I think Silicon Valley big shots, they don't allow their kids to use screens or social media. So it really is illustrative about what's going on here. And so like, you know, which is it right? 100 companies represent 71% of global emissions are our choices are why companies pollute our jobs just bad, or is it purely your fault? You can't handle the workload, right, you know, and these these are binaries and binaries are bad moralizing your choices is bad, don't do it. Work won't love you back. And self care is about making yourself ready to stand on the barricades, not just endurance and regulation is a great way to solve climate issues. Big regulation guy. I'm so what is the Museum of 3021 I don't know Sorry, I spent like hours on this presentation and I'm more interested in what it isn't. And like what the ideal world can teach us, and that's just sci fi baby. I don't need to have a whole political program and you know, hey, we can take solace even when the world is underwater, we'll still be having presentations where somebody did one shiny digital project once and people will call it digital strategy. And, you know, at least we have that eternal, awful thing to look forward to. One day the long fought battle between humanity and the forces of greed and division will hand And on that day finally free we will throw a motherfucking party I look forward to seeing you there. And now some credits this has been a museum beam union local for 2069 approved presentation two beams can be outsider art you can tell my museum about this I sold out last year I lied you should log off and this MC n Ignite presented by Sherman mean gang if you don't know what that is, you should just go to my Twitter.

Unknown Speaker 05:59
Yeah. Thank you so much for kicking us off Jeremy. Oh my god. So great. Yeah, so that's a little bit of what the next hour the next 45 minutes is gonna be like, I'm so excited to be here with you all.