20 years after Time’s Up showed their first piece at ARS-Electronica in 1997 they are back in the context of the festival as “featured artist” and turned the basement of LENTOS into an experiential possible future.
With Turnton Docklands Time’s Up try to seduce an audience to imagine a world 30 years ahead. A world which doesn’t look good, in which the implications of the careless misuse and manipulation of ecological systems have come home to roost, where a climax disaster appears unavoidable. In opposition the artists propose that humanity responds to this ecological dystopia with sociopolitical utopic changes.
We find ourselves in the year 2047, in the streets of the harbour of an indeterminate small coastal city somewhere in Europe called Turnton. Pollution levels have boomed, ocean ecosystems have collapsed, the land, the water and the air are filled with poisons emitted freshly or a century ago. Climate change, the result of a decidedly lax response to warnings and evidence, has begun with momentum, weather extremes are commonplace with floods, droughts and the heaviest storms we can imagine. The coastal regions have gone from being the beautiful playgrounds of the rich to dangerous abandoned zones suffering from rotting algae and the decomposing bodies of a few fish in the collapsing ecosystems as jellyfish and slimes take hold.
In Turnton, Time’s Up proposes that humanity responds to this ecological dystopia with sociopolitical changes that appear utopic. Starting with a question of how luxury might be defined and perceived three decades from now, we developed a melding of several emergent positive opposition proposals in order to undermine the ecological slide.
Without doubt, the image of the docklands and city of Turnton and the surrounding society in this speculative future is incomplete and that is fine: Time’s Up are not offering a prognosis, only a proposal. They mix and match concepts and signals that we know about with a playful portion of fabulation and poetic speculation in order to obtain a possibility that they find interesting and worth thinking about. They prefer to look into the preferable and not just the pessimistic probable, to imagine a future worth living in, in spite of all that might befall us, a good life for all. They invite an audience to join them in imagining more parts of the incomplete picture.