Books to Read Now About the Future

Image courtesy of Adobe Bookstore and Collective.

Courtesy AdobeBooks and Arts Cooperative.

Here’s a future-focused reading list, courtesy of Adobe Books and Arts Cooperative, a multidisciplinary hub for arts and culture. Adobe Books has provided valuable literature, engaging art exhibits, local music and literary performance, as well as gathering space for the Mission District of San Francisco for the past twenty-five years. 

The Artist-Run Space of the Future
Institute for Applied Aesthetics

Only available online, this short guide outlines the meaning and purpose of the artist-run space in our contemporary society and gives useful examples of organizations that are leading the charge for community building and grass-roots support for artists into the future.

The Nature of the Future
Marina Gorbis
Free Press, 2013

Aligned with the interests of the previous title, Marina Gorbis explores ways in which new technologies are offering opportunities for individuals to realize their projects through “socialstructing”—building a community of support without the support of large institutions.

A Guidebook of Alternative Nows
Edited by Amber Hickey
The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest Press, 2012

A collection of contributions from artists, writers, and other visionary thinkers, A Guidebook of Alternative Nows asks readers to open their minds to alternative versions of reality. Through this mode, we see other possibilities for what the present is and are therefore exposed to an array of positive potentials for our subsequent future.

The Fourth Dimension and non-Euclidean Geometry in Modern Art
Linda Dalrymple Henderson
The MIT Press, revised with a new introduction in 2013, originally published in 1983

Linda Dalrymple explores the fourth dimension and non-Euclidean space, specifically in regards to their influence on modern art. Many would argue that the fourth dimension is a key pillar to the foundation of modern art. This well-researched and enlightening book gives a clear connection between mathematical theories and the trajectory of visual art in the twentieth century.

The Dada Cyborg: Visions of the New Human in Weimar Berlin 
Matthew Biro
University of Minnesota Press, 2009

A historical account of the development of the cyborg, this book chronicles how our visions of a post-human have been shaped by the Berlin Dada movement of the early twentieth century. Fascinating for anyone who’s interested in how visual artistic strategies can shape scientific inquiry and mold the future.

Human Purpose and Transhuman Potential: A Cosmic Vision of Our Future Evolution 
Ted Chu
Origin Press, 2014

Questioning human purpose in an age of the fast advancement of technology, Ted Chu offers a bold and plausible take on the future evolution of human existence. Definitely worth a read for anyone interested in the future potential of humanity.

The Robot in the Garden: Telerobotics and Telepistemology in the Age of the Internet
Ken Goldberg
The MIT Press, 2000

Writer, artist, and inventor Ken Goldberg investigates the growing use and availability of telerobotics in our current everyday lives. Observing the rise of robotics being used in conjunction with the Internet, Goldberg questions the representation of these technologies through online mediums and points to the potential of telerobotics as an artistic medium.

The Future of Art: A Manual
Ingo Niermann with Erik Niedling
Sternberg Press, 2012

A book with an accompanying documentary film, The Future of Art chronicles the journey of Erik Niedling and Ingo Niermann as they interview key figures in the art world in an attempt to find the next epoch for the history of art. Though they fail to land on any conclusions, this manual, accompanied by a DVD, offers an interesting view of artists hypothesizing on the future of art and how to find it.