Evoluon opens with spectacular RetroFuture exhibition
The iconic Evoluon in Eindhoven opened its doors on 24 September 2022 with the RetroFuture exhibition. No less than 3,000 square metres of exhibition space has been set up in the futuristic building. In a spectacular and playful setting with design, art, science and film, visitors are taken into the experiences of future thinkers, dreamers and artists. RetroFuture explores how we looked at the future in the past and what our expectations of the future are today. The exhibition was compiled and designed by Next Nature.
From future to reality
In a spectacular setting (including a recreated tunnel from Stanley Kubrick’s A Space Odyssey), visitors see how dreams of the future are at the cradle of the biggest and smallest predictions as well as tangible realities. Where Da Vinci dreamt of flying in the 15th century, this became a reality at the beginning of the 20th century. And where communicating via a screen was fiction in earlier films, video calling is now commonplace.
Future dreams of today’s artists
Contemporary artists depict their version of ten universal dreams of the future. In Corpus Lava. ‘Melt me in the Afterlife’ by Maison the Faux & Esmay Wagemans, the impossible desire to live forever is depicted. Studio SMACK holds up a mirror to the visitor with the video Tribe Tower, where colourless, almost transparent figures walk in circles in an equally colourless tower. Also on show is work by Studio Drift, Driessens & Verstappen, Floris Kaayk, Audrey Large, Michael Mandiberg and Tabita Rezaire, among others.
A big colourful carnival on the fourth floor showcases today’s future dreams. Visitors can take a sensational journey of discovery with a VR time machine, score human organs in a shooting gallery, and get spooky in a haunted house designed by Rob Schroeder. Or he can pull products made from algae and enzymes from the Microbial Vending Machine, a converted snack machine by Emma van der Leest.
RetroFuture is about future dreams and what we can learn from them. Human beings have always dreamed about what the future will bring us. We dream about eternal life, paradise on earth, or maybe we have nightmares in which the world goes down. How we think about the future today is based on stories and thoughts of great thinkers such as Aristotle and Leonardo da Vinci. They show us: there is not just one future, many scenarios are possible. In the past, what was the world thought to look like today?
Koert van Mensvoort, director of Next Nature on the exhibition: “In RetroFuture, artists and other creatives depict the world of now and later. This way, that idea of what the future might look like becomes less abstract and people get a better grip on it.”
The Evoluon was a future-oriented technology museum from 1966 until Philips closed it in 1989 – despite much public protest. After that, the building no longer had a public function and functioned as a conference centre. From 2022, Next Nature will open the Evoluon to the public again, with a challenging and lively programme.
Next Nature is the international network for everyone who likes to have a say in what the future could look like. Next Nature is based in the iconic national monument Evoluon, where exhibitions and a public programme on technology and nature will be organised in the coming years. Next Nature looks at a better future through technology with an open mind and confidence, without being blind to the dangers.
24 September 2022 to 25 March 2023