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“Used Future” Symposium by Current Obsession

November 12, 2018 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Current Obsession, the Dutch jewelry magazine and platform, curates a next level symposium, which involves Netherlands and New York based speakers, artificial intelligence, and live-feedback from the audience. George Lucas called it “used future.” An image of a lived-in, used-up, dingy and dirty world, where obscure objects, oil-stained furniture and beat up technology look like they came from the opposite sides of the galaxy. This is the future where young and ancient civilizations coexist, feeding off of each other, creating an altogether more credible image. Artists spend tremendous efforts meticulously denting, burning, bending surfaces of their pristine computer-generated spaceships, because they know: whatever the viewers see on the screen, no matter how far removed from anything “real,” needs to be deeply rooted in materiality and our experience of objects and matter. The entire value system in jewelry is historically based in its materiality and its tangibility. Seen as an investment, it is above all a possession, an object to own, to hold, and to inherit. But how does this system play out, once the materiality is taken out of the equation? What happens when jewelry becomes digital, existing in a whole different realm, taking on a life of its own? This may seem like an unlikely speculative scenario, but the existence of binary jewels raises all kinds of real questions: what is ownership; what is authorship; what is uniqueness, what is luxury, what is wearability and materiality? If putting a dent in the side of a spotless spaceship makes it possible for a viewer to accept a far-fetched utopian future, does that mean hyper-real representations of jewelry could become a part of our digital and analogue lives? An oily fingerprint on a perfect cold facet of a rendered diamond, a hair stuck in a prong of a 3D rendered ring, a deep scratch on a smooth surface of digital metal, or a tiny stone missing from a perfectly geometric binary pavé . . . would this make it all seem more real and bring it closer? After all, why should the future be so pristine?