[NetBehaviour] Robert Hewison’s Future Tense 25 Years Later.

furtherfield furtherfielder at gmail.com
Wed Jul 29 11:23:29 CEST 2015

Robert Hewison’s Future Tense 25 Years Later.

New Article by Marc Garrett.


This article revisits Robert Hewison’s book, Future Tense: A New Art For
The Nineties, [1] published in 1990. The book focused on contemporary
attitudes to art, architecture and design that manifested in what had come
to be called the postmodern era. Earlier avant-gardes of collectives and
groups such as Dada, Situationism, Fluxus and the Lettrists had
incorporated new technologies and challenged the material values embraced
by museums and traditional hierarchies in modern art and capitalist
society. Hewison set out to discover the ways in which artists of the 80s
contributed to a "critical culture" for the 90s.

In the 70s in the UK, art had a role to play in changing society,
transforming relations to controlling production and critiquing the role of
the establishment. Hewison’s mission was to observe contemporary culture
happening in the late 80s in Britain with an emphasis on the future. Even
though there had been a massive evolution in culture; within and across the
fields of music, art and theory, it was also a new dawn for capitalism as
it morphed into what we now know as neoliberalism. By revisiting Hewison's
book I hope to elucidate what the cultural shifts and differences in our
art culture then and now, and to invite you the reader to reflect on what
they mean to those of us engaging with and practicing across the fields of
art, technology and social change today.

[1] Robert Hewison. Future Tense: A New Art for the Nineties. Methuen
Publishing Ltd (31 May 1990).
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