Beyond Barcode (BARCODE) is an exhibition project organized by CoFUTURES research team and hosted by the Intercultural Museum in Oslo. The primary objective of this project is the exhibition BEYOND to showcase results and innovation of the ERC-funded CoFUTURES: Pathways to Possible Presents and associated research projects. BEYOND consists of a set of transmedial prototyped futures co-created with artists, writers, designers, games developers, and changemakers. The secondary objective is to develop an activity programme during the exhibition. The project considers relevance along three different axes: (a) Expanding CoFutures Literacy, (b) Pluralizing Futures and Futures Knowledges, and, (c) Global-Local Challenges and Norwegian Futures. BEYOND will draw upon research findings and innovation of the CoFUTURES research team and collaborators who come from Europe, the US, Africa, and Asia. BEYOND will combine findings from research on how local inhabitants of Oslo anticipate and imagine the future and juxtapose it with global imaginaries of authors and artists affiliated with CoFUTURES. The ERC funded CoFUTURES project strives for a threefold impact: (1) expose audiences to the impact of futures thinking, (2) teach futures literacy and CoFutures literacy methods, and, (3) promote and raise awareness of diverse future thought on individual lives and how that shapes communities from the regional, national and the planetary scale.
CoFutures takes as its main methodological inspiration futures literacy. Futures literacy is recognized by the UN as a key skill of our time, relevant for all aspects of our life. It involves training people in their ability to be aware of, recognize, and deal with problems in long, medium, and short term futures. There is a critical gap in how short term thinking (politics) and long term strategic thinking (scenario and policy) can be brought together in the public space of engagement in order to develop sustainable futures. CoFutures addresses this gap by developing and creating methodologies that hybridize and advance knowledge from science and technology studies and policy, futures studies, and speculative future fiction. We call this cofutures literacy.
The exhibition project BEYOND BARCODE (BEYOND) will promote cofutures literacy for different stakeholders: academia, general public, as well as policy makers and public and private organizations. BEYOND and its content, as well as the different public events, will radically expand the impact of the project in Norway, and also help export our research to international communities.
We will prototype different alternative futures, in association with different communities in Oslo, artists, fiction writers, designers, games developers, and changemakers. These prototypes will serve as the core component of the exhibition. We will also have associated events including workshops, lectures, and a Live Action Role Playing Game (LARP).
BEYOND serves the ERC project's goal of exploring alternative visions of innovation, non-traditional visions of futures, and questions the dominance of specific future visions by presenting alternatives on an equal playing field. BEYOND will display prototype futures under the themes: Diversity and Demographic Change, Culture and Social Life, Infrastructure and Governance, Climate and the Environment.