From September to December 2003 I helped to facilitate a community-based art project called Envisioning the Future. The purpose of the project was to foster connections between artists and the Southern California community of Pomona by creating a collaborative, multi-venue exhibit around a central theme: the future.
For my project, “The Prophets,” I photographed a diverse group of 26 people who live, work or study in Pomona. I conducted one-on-one interviews with each one regarding his or her vision of the future 150 to 200 years from now. I asked them these questions:
• How do you think people’s appearances will differ from what they are today?
• How do you envision the condition of nature, wildlife, and the environment around you?
• What do you think transportation and communication, and technology will be like?
• What do you think our human habitat will be like?
• Will we have the same institutions–such as religious organizations, schools, parks, stores, and libraries–as we do now? Will they be different and if so how?
These portraits you see here are the result of my work on the project over the course of three months.
Note about the design: the colors of the type spirals are based on each subject’s choice of a color for the future. I also asked what colors each associated with hope/optimism, and pessimism/discouragement. These answers, as well as my assessment of whether a subject’s vision was hopeful, bleak, or both, determined the color of the ground as well as whether the text on the spiral reads up or down.