Stephen Melville: “The Future is Now, Now is the Future”

The David Roberts Art Foundation recently held a series of talks on the topic of “The Future,” and a blog run by the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture at The University of Westminster has just posted the talk that Stephen Melville gave as the third and final one of the series.

Melville’s talk was entitled, “The Future is Now, Now is the Future.” To access it, click here.

And here is an excerpt:

What is it for us, now, to talk of the future? If we have lost our marvels, do we want them back? Do we want some assurances about what follows if there is, now, no future? Do we rehearse these representations to ourselves in hopes of dispelling them, gaining or regaining access to an agency that feels somehow denied to us? Or do we perhaps rehearse them to maintain ourselves in just such denial? Do we want to know what time will tell? Stanley Cavell writes, ‘But my question is: What will time tell? That certain departures in art-like pursuits have become established (among certain audiences, in textbooks, on walls, in college courses); that someone is treating them with the respect due, we feel, to art; that one no longer has the right to question their status? But in waiting for time to tell that, we miss what the present tells …’

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