BEYOND FORECASTING AND PREDICTION: THE ROLE OF PHANTASMAGORICAL MEMORY IN IMAGINING THE FUTURE

Authors

  • Y. SEIF FAROUK Antioch University Seattle, Washington, USA, Ukraine

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.32589/2311-0821.1.2019.170192

Keywords:

design, future, imagination, memory, notation, phantasmagoria

Abstract

Introduction. Forecasting and predication are influenced by the conventional perception of a reality that has been engulfed by a reaction to austerity and scarcity. Forecasting and linear projection toward the future are problem-solving trajectories that aim at maintaining the status quo. The future is inventable, not inevitable. A desired future cannot be achieved through forecasting and prediction, whether in dystopian fiction or utopian fancy, but can be accomplished through an imaginative future memory and by design. Memory is a phantasmagorical phenomenon, where present reality is constructed by past memory, it can also be transformed by future memory. Future memory requires a shift from being trapped by the gravity of the present to the weightless imaginary future and the freedom of toying with the real. Past memory is recalled to augment strategies for solving current problems, but future memory is imagined to explore design alternatives. Whereas memory of the past becomes our familiar path to forecasting the future, memory of the
future provides a meaningful way to access a wide range of unfamiliar options for imagining a desired future.
Purpose. The paper aims at explaining the possible ways of interpreting the language of future as semiology, which can be located within the larger scope of semiotics. Under this larger scope, there are three major semiotic systems: linguistics, kinesics, and objects.
Methods. In cognitive semiotic perspective the paper highlights the methods of interpreting the semiological concept of future in literary text focusing on psychological and sociological data.
Results. Going faster and acquiring material, physical things are considered winning the game of forecasting and projection. It is clear that postmodernity has been superseded by transmodernity. The core value of transmodernity, which embodies many integrative qualities and undissolved differences, emphasizes transparency between pre-modern, modern, and postmodern realities. Not only does transmodernity discard modernity’s insistence on autonomy and absoluteness, it also transcends modernism and postmodernity’s inclination toward dualistic rationality and an either-or position. A desired future in the transmodern world can be created through phantasmagorical memory and communicated by the notating and scoring process. Such future possibilities are emergent outcomes of the design process that teleologically reveals unlimited options.
Conclusion. Notating the imagination of phantasmagorical memory transforms the status quo into a visceral experience of a desirable future in our transmodern world. This is the way we can transform the present reality into a desired future reality. Without such memory, it would be difficult to avoid the despair about the status quo and to go beyond utopianism and dystopianism. To imagine the future is to transform absoluteness and to participate in a process that seeks meaningful change. Imagining a desired future in the transmodern world is essential for rejuvenating cultural practices and renewing natural environments. And notating imagination – the unseen forces behind physical manifestations – reveals an integrated consciousness that highlights the reciprocal relationship between cultural ethos and environmental ethics.

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