When the Future Comes is a series of artist’s interventions each witnessed by a mysterious and mystical device – the Future Machine. A newly formed ritual or special occasion will emerge as the Future Machine appears in Oxfordshire, Nottingham, Cumbria, Somerset and London every year - until 2050 the year that scientists predict will be a watershed for more extreme climate and environmental change. A third element, The Cabinet of Curious Places, is a transportable canvas and wooden box, holding artefacts and stories of how the people and ecologies of these five places remain resilient in these uncertain times.

Future Machine will next be appearing:
When the Newly Planted Trees Have Abundant Green Leaves
Thursday 11th July 2024
Cannington, Somerset

The Cabinet of Curious Places will next be exhibited at:
Our Stories Are Wild, Derby Cathedral
Wednesday 12th June - Tuesday 16th July 2024
The launch and Celebration event is on Monday 24 June, from 18:30 to 20:30


When the Future Comes is an art/research project taking place in collaboration with researchers at Horizon Digital Economy and the Mixed Reality Lab at the University of Nottingham, University of Derby, University of Bristol and University of Exeter. The research focuses on themes of human-nature-technology interactions, identifying the ineffable in our localities, considering responsible digital futures and ways to archive this longitudinal art/research project.


Sign up to find out where and when the Future Machine is next due to appear



Rachel Jacobs

Lead Artist

Frank Abbott


Juliet Robson


Wallace Heim

Artist, Writer, Philosopher

Caroline Locke


Alexandre Yemaoua Dayo

Musician, Composer and Arranger

David Kemp

Musician, arranger (saxophone , over tuned flute)

Miles Ncube

Musician (bird sounds)

Robin Shackford

Artist, Creative Programmer and Interactions

Ian Wood

Carpenter and co-designer of the physical Future Machine

Dominic Price

Programmer and Research Fellow, University of Nottingham

Matt Little


Prof John King

Senior Atmospheric Scientist, British Antarctic Survey

Esi Eshun


Gabriella Giannachi

Professor of Performance and New Media, University of Exeter

Dr Jocelyn Spence

Research Fellow, University of Nottingham

Prof Steve Benford

Professor of Computer Science, University of Nottingham

Prof Esther Eidinow

Professor of Ancient History, University of Bristol

Dr Alan Chamberlain

Senior Research Fellow, University of Nottingham
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