SNP’s word of the day: Near-futurism


Illustration by Lewis Mirrett

Word: Near-futurism

Meaning: A concern with the events of the future, coupled with a belief that the future is… now.

Usage: “The current wave of literary near futurism comes at a time when the printed book — and the very act of traditional reading — seems under siege by digital technology.” — New York Times, The 10th Annual Year in Ideas, 2010

You should know it because: Gary Shteyngart, at an International Festival of Authors talk yesterday, joked that his 2010 novel Super Sad True Love Story made him a “Nostradamus of three months from now.” Indeed, since his dystopic romance came out, he’s proven eerily right about significant things, like credit defaults and the #Occupy protests in city parks everywhere.

The world has become so unpredictable—okay, unstable—that guessing at the near future is as difficult, maybe more difficult, than peering into some far-off state of things. As the Times noted, Shteyngart isn’t the only writer tackling it; did you read Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From The Goon Squad? It was another of last year’s most-read, most-discussed books, and it was set at a similar diagonal angle, the same short distance, from the present.

And in the design sphere, I’m kind of into Near Future Laboratory, a think/make design and research network focusing on digital interaction designs based on “weak signals” from the fringes of digital culture, where the near-future already exists. If that’s too headspinning for a Monday, watch YACHT’s double-feature music video for “Utopia/ Dystopia (The Earth is on Fire)” again. Close enough.

Join the discussion

Neither the author nor FASHION Magazine necessarily agrees with the comments posted here. Editors will not correct spelling or grammar. FASHION Magazine reserves the right to edit or delete comments entirely.

Join Fashion Magazine


Unsubscribe at any time.