Our partner FuturHebdo has just released the # 01 of its paper magazine. Here is the editorial signed by Oliver Parent:
In my personal pantheon of myths, the year 2019 has always been important. Indeed, it is during this year that Ridley Scott’s movie Blade Runner (1982) takes place.
2019: we are there. So, let’s try to play a “seven differences” game: Blade Runner takes place in a permanent and rainy night. Today no. In the film, Singularity has happened. Replicants claim their humanity. Today no. These replicants are artificial humans derived from synthetic biology. Today no. The world of Blade Runner seems to have lost the battle for biodiversity: animals are also derived from synthetic biology. Today no .. well, yes and no. In the same way, the background of the film is that of a world in perdition, in which the industry seems to have imposed its model of development. Today, let’s hope not. And then, in this deleterious atmosphere, the conquest of space is presented as the only alternative to a very dark daily life. Today no, well… not yet … And finally, in this dystopian world, we travel flying cars. Today no … though …
Does this mean that Philip K. Dick, the author of the novel from which the film was adapted, and Ridley Scott were wrong all along the line?
It is worth reminding that the novel was written in 1966, while the film will only be adapted in 1982. It was a good thirty years before the first voices sought to warn the political world and the civil society of the dangers that humankind would soon face. We should therefore praise the pre-science of Dick and Scott who have put into words and images the challenges of our present time: climate change, endangered biodiversity, the space conquest… but under what conditions?, the genetic engineering on the doorstep of our bodies, AI and robotics that raise as much fascination as fear, urbanism facing the challenge of modernity, and the whole Western model of civilization, consumption, relation to the environment… that finds itself in the dock …
So, 2019, utopia or dystopia? Hope or abdication? Personally, and without falling prey to angelism – the news is there to remind us that time is running out, I prefer to see and support the many emergences that can be seen around us rather than lamenting my time in vain. Nothing is won. But what do we know about what could come out of the alliance between goodwill and innovation?
In reply to all these questions, this first prospective anthology offers fragments of a necessary and permanent exploration of the real and the imaginary of our time.