Stories about the Future

By Kirsten Benn Lykkebo & Jacob Westergaard Madsen

10. Feb. 2008

Nobody knows what the future might bring. This matter of fact, however, did not restrain all kinds of good people of the 20th century from having a go at the difficult art of prophecy. From 7th February, it will be possible on the museum's balcony to become immersed in such dreams about communications of the future through films, pictures, and literature. 

Technological Projections

Existing technology should make a safe and sound starting point for a prediction of future communications. Especially, if it is profes-sionals, e.g. engineers from large, well-reputed companies like Bell Labs, BT (British Telecommunication), or the Danish Post & Telegraph Service who express their opinion. One would believe ...

That this is not always the case is demonstrated in the museum's balcony exhibition. 

This is how British Telecom in 1969 imagined transmission of electronic documents via a so-called "picture telephone" and the subsequent print of the document. From the film "Telecommunications for the 1990's". 

 Here we show among other things historical films from the above-mentioned companies illustrat-ing their expectations to and visions of the communication solutions of the future. How did they imagine e.g. the inter-net in the 1960's? Was it possible to imagine it at all? And how did they picture the telephones of the future?

Extension of the Dream Trail

Besides films the visitors to the museum will be presented with Danish science fiction writers' notions of the future and its communications. The balcony will be furnished with comfortable armchairs intended to encourage visitors to slow down and get into the visions in writing and in films.

Hopefully our visitors will be inspired to form conceptions of their own future. How will we communicate in 50 years? or 100? We dare not prophesy; we may be greatly mistaken seen in the clear light of belated wisdom. But the future is still worth a thought. 

The temporary exhibition "Stories about the Future" opened on 7th February as a supplement to the Dream Trail. A lot of the material which has only been given limited space in the short films of the Dream Trail can be seen here in longer passages. 

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