Today, the radical difference between past and future has become more pronounced than ever before. This development is driven by the fast-paced development of digital technology, providing societies with ever new hardware and software applications, and at the same time damning yesterday's break-throughs to the digital refuse heap of history. Whatever it is that awaits us tomorrow, it will substantially differ from what constitutes our present today.
This development goes hand in hand with the changing concept of the future itself. If before the present was viewed as an accumulation of past events and thus a stable entity, today the present is designed as the laboratory for future events. The future is "open" - it is no longer just unknown but somehow fatefully decided in advance. Fate rests in our hands and minds. It is precisely for this reason that the present has become a problem, a challenge to be taken up - in contrast to all older societies, which had found their safety exactly in that present.
But no one can remain in the present forever and no one can go into the future ahead of time. That which comes has not yet come. Whatever is presented as the future, it can only be seen from the horizons of the present - as a present future.
The conference addresses these different horizons with regard to digital media - as a platform bringing together international scholars, researchers, artists, and practitioners to engage in debates on "futures of media".