The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, aka, the V and A is certainly one of my favourite places to visit for exhibitions. Before I had my son, now 4, I used to enjoy more frequent trips to London to soak up some culture. So I was overjoyed recently to make a London culture trip a reality.
The V and A is a design led museum, and, as a creative, design is one of my favourite aspects of my creativity. Combine that with being a thinking intovert, forever deep thinking/analysing/pondering on things, another reason why I love V and A exhibitions. They really do cause you to question.
I was attracted to The Future Starts Here exhibition as I’m forever deep thinking on how technology is changing us. So was very excited to see what sort of topics would be covered.
The above photo shows the introduction of the first part of the exhibition. The question asked at the end is a valid one in terms of how technology will continue to change us. There’s an interesting series on Netflix at the moment from the Buzzfeed team called ‘Follow this’. The first episode is about asmr which stands for autonomous sensory meridian response. So in layman’s terms, it’s any kind of sound that provokes a tingling sensation. Youtubers are putting out asmr content such as whispering into the camera, soft rustling, crackling sounds etc. In this fast paced, high pressured world, people are looking to these videos as free therapy for anxiety/mental health issues. They have a calming/comforting effect on some people.
It was truly bizarre to watch! The Buzzfeed reporter Scaachi Koul, was also sent to review Whisper Lodge. A place you can experience asmr one to one, an asmr spa! This seemed to get even weirder! The hostess of the lodge explained that it was a great way to experience intimacy and to be vulnerable in this world of technology where we are all so attached to our screens. Of course this is an extreme example but it made me feel sad. I truly hope that we will not descend deeper and deeper into our screens where we feel we have to pay for these kind of intimate experiences.
The next few bits to catch my eye were the solo dining cafe and ‘’Soylent’. The idea of providing a place where people can go to dine alone whilst still being together with other people. And the Soylent is basically a meal replacement. The idea that we can utilise our time better by just drinking a meal replacement that is nutritionally complete. That the hours spent planning, shopping, prepping and cooking our food could be taken back. It’s a nice idea but having tried the So Shape crash diet plan (I’m hoping to follow up with a review blog. I’ll update this space with a link when that happens!), it takes away all the joy of actually eating! The smells, the colours, the textures of eating real food all come together in a sensory experience that is one of the reasons I enjoy it so much! Also, this idea is already out there. It’s no longer a futuristic idea. Huel is one of them that I’m aware of. I’m sure there are other competitors on the market too!
Next, a bit of nostalgia. I was born in the 80’s so can remember a time before the internet and computers. I’ve seen music technology grow from cassettes and walkmans, to cds and discmans through to the first mp3 players before ipods were invented! My Dad worked as a police surgeon and GP so he had to have the latest gadgets for his work. The mobile phone that was literally the size of a brick and couldn’t be used while charging! His first ‘laptop’ that wasn’t even in colour! It was a bit like the very first Gameboy, that kind of LED pixel screen. I remember it being different shades of grey, white, black. It even had a few platform games on it! And the noisy dot matrix printer to go with it! This was probably late 80’s/early 90’s. At a very rough guess. So when I came across this beauty of the world’s first lap top from Epson in 1982, I was just brimming with feel good memories and childhood nostalgia. It’s a lovely feeling to reminisc in this way.
The last section to catch my eye (for, at this point dear reader, I was on sensory overload and my introvert brain was starting to shut down with all the new info!) was titled ‘who wants to live forever?’. This included a snippet on uploading a brain to a usb!
For those of you who watch Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, this reminded me of the ‘Black Museum’ episode. If you haven’t seen it you must check it out! It explores the dynamics and moral issues of downloading brains. One of those areas that if not done in the correct way, could be abused easily. To me it’s rather scary the implications of this becoming reality!
In this section was also a bit about cryogenics. That there is a whole movement of people who want to be immediately cryogenically frozen upon death. They have the belief that one day the technology will exist to revive them and essentially, bring them back to life! The stand showed an actual home kit for prepping a dead body in readiness for the cryogenic freezing! It posed the question - would you go through that kind of gore for the sake of carrying out a loved ones wishes? I am pretty squeamish when it comes to that stuff! So if my husband wanted this, he’d have to pay richly for some sort of service ‘cause I certainly wouldn’t do it for him!
My last one to mention is the Library to rebuild civilisation. The idea of a collection of books to empower and build community. A great way to bring together my favourite things! Knowlege, books and community. ‘Nuff said.
At the very end there was a display of letters on sticks to create the perfect selfie/photo opportunity to spell out and finish the sentence ‘the future is...’. I was quite tempted to have a go. Being a blogger, I’m always looking for content I can use. But then, on the other hand, my friend said ‘do we really need to take a selfie to remember this moment?’. And my brain was so frazzled with all the new info that I nodded and easily agreed! I’d run out of energy to create this so called amazing photo that is really just to contribute to the marketing of the exhibition. I mean, hey, I’ve written a whole blog instead! The whole display is just another sign of the times. How we are so driven by social media that there was this display to facilitate it!
The exhibition is still on until Sunday 4th November so you still have time to go check it out! I hope my blog has inspired you to go! Please let me know any of your deep thoughts on how you think technology is changing us. I love to hear your feedback! Comment on here or drop me a message.
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I'm Julia, Just Creative Julia, jolly pleased to meet you!
Welcome to my creative lifestyle blog, established 2014. My creative journey in discovering my authentic self as a neurodivergent woman.
Embracing the Neuro Spicy! Here you will find many different topics centring around creativity, deep thoughts, mental health, food and more.