Future Machine in Finsbury Park. A wooden octagon made of Ash with a copper trumpet on each side, a copper coloured base, brass dials and signs, a handle on one side and a wooden pole at the back.

When the Future Comes is a series of artist’s interventions each witnessed by a mysterious and mystical device – the Future Machine due to take place over the next 30 years with the Future Machine appearing in each place at the same time every year in 5 places across England – in an urban park in London, a public garden in inner city Nottingham, the watersheds in Cumbria, a woodland and common in rural Oxfordshire, and in a village and on a cliff overlooking a nuclear power station in Somerset. A newly formed ritual or special occasion will emerge as the Future Machine appears.

Each of the interventions experiment with the different ways we can mark, interpret and respond to environmental change, creating supporting ways of looking at the future. These interventions ask questions about the importance of science, data, myth, art, and ritual to how we navigate the impact of environmental change in our everyday lives.

When the Future Comes is a collaboration between the artist/researcher Rachel Jacobs, artists Frank Abbott, Juliet Robson, Wallace Heim, Caroline Locke and Esi Eshun and musicians Alexandre Yemaoua Dayo and David Kemp. The Future Machine has been built in collaboration with participants in public workshops that took place across England, engineers, programmers, a carpenter, a climate scientist and researchers.

In February 2021 the project was awarded National Lottery Project Funding from the Arts Council of England, match funded by Horizon Digital Economy, University of Nottingham (ESPRC/RCUK).

When The Future Comes follows on from Rachel Jacobs‘ and Active Ingredient‘s previous work including: Performing the Future which took place in 2017-18, The Prediction Machine which was built in 2015 and is continuing to tour nationally, Relate (Timestreams) and A Conversation Between Trees two international co-productions that took place across the UK and Brazil between 2011-2013.

Partners in Nottingham
Mixed Reality Lab and Horizon Digital Economy Research, University of Nottingham – Prof Steve Benford, Dominic Price, Jocelyn Spence
Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham – Prof Elvira Perez Vallejos
Nottingham City Council
Primary Studios
Mellers Primary School

Partners in London
Furtherfield Gallery and Commons, Finsbury Park, London – Ruth Catlow & Charlotte Frost
Haringey Council
The Drumming School, Finsbury Park
Edible Landscapes, Finsbury Park
Pedal Power, Finsbury Park

Partners in Somerset
Cannington Bell Ringers
Cannington Primary School

Other Partners
British Antarctic Survey – Prof John King, Robert Mulvaney

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