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THE HISTORY OF THE FUTURE

Published by Franklin Furnace Archive and Pseudo Programs Inc., 1998

Before looking closely at the "history of the future" let us dwell on the history of Franklin Furnace Archive. Named after the street that housed it, the New York based archives was considered the largest publicly funded collection of contemporary artists' books, with its 20000 objects, in the US. Giving away its collection Franklin Furnace has recently settled on the Internet and continues broadcasting and commenting those remarkable art events for which it had provided space in addition to its archival activity. Mail art and artists' books exhibitions, art sales, theatrical performances, installations, weekly performances - these belong to the past while the future, in the spirit of change, is of on line free live presentations: performances, interviews, debates, conferences, and talk shows on art and access.

The CD-ROM presents this change through ten live art presentations by ten new artists, that is Franklin Furnace's inaugural virtual show. The show spans over eight hours featuring digital, animated, video, audio, and interface art works - all of them performances -, as well as, interviews made with the artists. Although the works are really interesting, it makes a man to open the CD-ROM, as we get stranded at the very first image. With a bit of inventiveness, we must open the files containing the performances and the interviews one by one and it may happen that an error in programming forces us to quit the one we are looking at. It is a pity since this selection offers a wide variety of works. There are a pop opera about Mao Ze Dong composed of images in the Warholian fashion and CNN shots, ecstatic performances photographed with a trembling handycam, a science fiction vision of future based on the official guide to the one time New York world's fare, a genuine imitation of a talk show parodying the sexual-cultural stereotypes of Latino women. And we must mention the performances which present the myth of feminity through the body and sensuality; or through the symbols of the unconscious; or through five remarkable fictitious female portraits.

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